Graphic sex education program for 5-year-olds shocks New Zealand parents

by Michelle Kaufman, New Zealand Correspondent

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, December 11, 2013 ( – A new graphic sex education program aimed at five-to-12 year-olds has been launched in New Zealand, drawing sharp criticism from parents who are shocked at the material covered.

The Every Body Education program provides both in-school and out-of-school programs for children aged between 5 and 12-years-old.

Kathryn Heape

Presented by Kathryn Heape, children are taught what she perceives to be age-appropriate information about sexuality, starting at the earliest age with the details of sex.

“We talk about how the baby grows in the uterus, [and] we talk about how the penis’s job is to deliver the sperm to the egg through the vagina. It’s all very matter of fact,” she recently told 3 News.

In addition to this “matter of fact” explanation of sexual intercourse, five and six-year-olds are taught the scientific terms for sexual and reproductive body parts.  Childbirth is described, and, under the guise of personal safety, condoms are shown with the instruction not to pick them up off the ground.

According to the Every Body Education literature, seven and eight-year-old children are given information about menstruation and nocturnal emissions (wet dreams).  They are also taught that “all families have different values and beliefs towards sexual activity”.

Nine and ten-year-olds are taught about the different ways conception can occur, how families are formed, and the “responsibilities that come with being in a romantic relationship.”

Sexual and reproductive health, STI’s and sexual responsibility are in the curriculum for eleven and twelve-year-olds.

So far five North Island primary schools have signed up for the program, according to 3News.

Heape believes “the earlier we start talking, the better.”

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