Local non-profit celebrates sexuality education month | TheUnion.com

Local non-profit celebrates sexuality education month

When Derek Cooper’s nine-year-old son first asked him about sex and childbirth, Cooper talked about it until the boy said he’d heard enough.

For Cooper, principal of Pleasant Ridge School outside Grass Valley, imparting such delicate information wasn’t difficult. But most parents feel uneasy telling their children how they really came into being.

October is the National Family Sexuality Education month, and Nevada County educators are encouraging parents to teach their children about sex and sexuality at home.

“I don’t think, as a society, we talk enough about (sex) because of the embarrassing moments and the hush-hush thing from the 1920s, 30s and 40s,” Cooper said. “But as a parent and a principal, I feel if we educate young children when they are ready, it provides them a better understanding of sex later in life.”

Susan Rogers, of Nevada County Citizens for Choice, agreed.

“Our country comes from a Puritan stock, and that Puritan heritage still permeates the American attitude toward sex,” Rogers said. “You might not notice that when you watch movies or TV, but if you saw how sexuality is treated in Europe, you’d see a real difference.”

While the European media is more sexually explicit, teenage pregnancy rates are lower in Europe than in the U.S., Rogers said. When parents discuss sex in the context of love and relationship, young people are better able to make healthy decisions in their lives, she contended.

“Research demonstrates talking to children about sex doesn’t result in their becoming sexually active at an earlier age. It actually delays it,” said Rogers.

Although schools offer sex education as part of the curriculum, Lyman Gilmore School Principal Brian Buckley thinks “there is a greater need … for our parents to help children navigate these issues.”

Activities for the sexuality education month

Nevada County Citizens for Choice is hosting two free workshops for the public at Lyman Gilmore School and Pleasant Ridge Union district office next week. Books on sex education are on display at local libraries and bookstores including The Book Seller, in Grass Valley, and Harmony Books, in Nevada City, Rogers said.

“This campaign has no agenda other than to say that parents should be talking to their children about sex,” Rogers said. “What parents choose to say in the privacy of their homes is their decision. We just recommend whatever they say is comprehensive, research-based and medically accurate.”

The nonprofit group sponsors a local clinic offering information about birth control and pregnancy options.


To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail soumitros@theunion.com or call 477-4229.

Sex ed starts at home

Wondering how to talk to your child about sex?

Nevada County Citizens for Choice is hosting two free workshops for the parents at Lyman Gilmore School and Pleasant Ridge Union District next week.

The workshop at Lyman Gilmore is from 7 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. Oct. 24. The one at Pleasant Ridge Union District Community Room is from 7 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. Oct. 25.

– Soumitro Sen

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