08 SES 06, Learning about Sexuality, Identity and Health in Schools Literacy
Parallel Paper Session
Sex education is a key area of health education, which involves a continuous process of learning. It must begin early, in elementary school, following the development of the child, with content and methods adapted to their age level (Ministry of Education and Health, 2000).
In Portugal, the Assembly of the Republic approved the Law No. 60/2009 of 6 August, further regulated by Ordinance No. 196-A/2010 of April 9, where we can find some principles and rules relating to sex education in schools, which has a compulsory character and a workload of six hours, annually.
There are four thematic areas deemed critical in the 1st Cycle of Basic Education (CEB): i) the knowledge and appreciation of the body, ii) sexual identity; iii) interpersonal relationships, iv) human reproduction. These areas are operationalized in a group of objectives that aim to develop values and positive attitudes towards sexuality, as well as responsibility and the welfare of the individual.
As an area of great importance in the socialization process, the school plays a critical role in terms of sex education. However, there are other partners of this process, including the family, whose emotional space is privileged for the development of healthy lifestyles in the area of sexuality. Examples of parents as well as other family members, communicate values and beliefs towards sexuality, and are therefore, very important references to the personal journey of children and youth.
Thus, the articulation of the school / family is essential for success in education. The sharing between parents/guardians and communication between them and teachers establish ties of mutual trust.
Taking into account the issues presented, we define the central issue of our investigation:
What is the perception of parents and teachers of the municipality of Viseu in relation to sex education in the school environment of the 1st Cycle of Basic Education?
Taking as a guideline the Sex Education Program of the 1st Cycle of Basic Education, we formulated four general objectives in order to study the problem:
1- Knowing the perceptions of parents about the teaching of sexuality in the 1st Cycle of Basic Education;
2- Knowing the perceptions of teachers on the teaching of sexuality in the 1st Cycle of Basic Education;
3- Comparing the perceptions of parents and teachers regarding the approach on sexuality in the 1st Cycle of Basic Education;
4- Verifying if there are significant differences on the perception of parents and teachers regarding sex education in the school environment of the 1st Cycle of Basic Education.
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