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Canadian Parents Supportive of Sex Ed, Study Finds

Classroom of children with their hands raised

A new national study found parents are more open-minded about sex ed than previously thought, with a majority agreeing that sex ed should be taught in schools.

Researchers had 2,000 parents of elementary and secondary children across Canada weigh in on their feelings towards safe sex, sexual orientation and gender stereotypes, sex trafficking and coercion, attraction, love and other topics. Eighty-five per cent agreed their kids should learn about these topics in class.

Related: Children with same-sex parents score higher in school, says study.

Atlantic-based parents were the most supportive of a wide range of sex ed topics, while parents in Quebec wanted subjects covered as early as elementary and middle school. A whopping 93 per cent of Ontario parents revealed that it was important or very important that their child learn from an up-to-date sexual health education curriculum; however they had different opinions on when sex ed should be introduced to their kids.

Although most parents want many of these topics introduced before secondary school, when it came to learning about the less parent-friendly topic of pleasure and orgasm, the majority thought these shouldn’t be introduced until grades 9-12.

Another surprising finding from the study dispelled the common argument that moms and dads don’t want their kids learning about LGBTQI2SNA+ relationships — approximately 91 per cent of parents in this study were in favour of their kids learning about sexual orientation compared to a previous study conducted back in 2002.

Related: How the lockdown has helped people discover their queer identity.

“There is a high level of support for sex ed that… aims to reduce homophobia and transphobia,” one of the lead researchers, Jessica Wood told the Globe and Mail.

The takeaway? More parents in Canada may have become increasingly supportive of their kids learning about sexual orientation over time.

Parents are realizing that sexual health education in school is key to providing students with the info and resources needed to make empowered decisions about their bodies.


Related: The 9 best Canadian cities to raise kids.

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