When Should We Start Sex Education for Children? いつから始める?子どもへの性教育

Published on: June 08, 2021

In the second of a three-part series on ‘Sex and Kids,’ Mina discusses when to start sex education for kids and how to introduce age-appropriate topics.

By Mina Hashiguchi / Translated by Hanae Matsumura

The idea of ‘Sex and Kids’ workshops was born in the autumn of 2020 when I was having a casual conversation with Aya, who wrote the first article in this series. Then I invited Rina, my friend who is a nurse, to be an adviser and started preparing for different workshops for adults and kids.

The frequently-heard comments from the participants are:

“I think it’s too early for my child to start sex education.”

“Doesn’t it ‘awaken’ my child, who is still innocent and ignorant, if I start sex education?”

But then, “When should we start sex education for children?”

Subsequently, we refreshed our knowledge about sex education and learned that sex education usually starts when the child is born. So how can we start sex education for 0-year-old babies?

I have two daughters, aged eleven and eight, and an eighteen-month-old son. For my son, I started introducing sex education to him by saying, “let’s clean your penis,” or “let’s take your clothes off to change diapers,” as an important first step.

It is also important not to touch your baby’s penis or bottom without saying a word or saying something like “your bottom is so lovely!” regardless of the fact they are tiny and lovely.

I intentionally have this attitude in front of our daughters, believing that it will contribute to the sex education of my whole family. To be honest, I do want to kiss my son’s bottom, especially after his bath, because it’s just irresistibly lovely…but I just resist it.

His body belongs to him. Even his mother cannot touch it without reason, except for giving necessary care. And it’s not just for parents. I’m starting to let my child know, little by little, that he shouldn’t let his body be seen or be touched by others when it’s not necessary, no matter who they are, including siblings, relatives, friends, and acquaintances.

You may think it is too early and too much. However, if it is deeply grained within children, they will become capable of protecting themselves when they need to. That’s why we should start educating as early as possible, from birth.

In many countries, including Japan, sex education at school is way too insufficient. At home as well, many parents tend to avoid talking about sex-related matters. If you grew up in such an environment, you might have had to rely on whispers from your friends or other unreliable sources to get sex-related information. Moreover, children nowadays can easily access sex-related material on the internet, including false information.

Now it has become a global phenomenon to teach children how to value and protect their bodies and start age-appropriate sex education from an early age. This means that we parents need to learn about sex education first and change our mindset and behaviors towards it.

To support this, we hold various ‘Sex and Kids’ workshops – once a month for adults and occasionally for pre-school and elementary school kids. It’s not too late to start learning, and you’re welcome to learn sex education with us. If you are interested, please feel free to contact minaemikizuna@gmail.com for more information. Workshops are in Japanese.  



文:橋口実奈 2020年秋、第一走者の丹野さんとのたわいもないおしゃべりから、性教育のイベントを開催しよう!という話が生まれました。そこで、共通の友人で看護師のりなさんをアドバイザーに迎え、性教育について大人向け、子ども向け両方のイベントを開催しています。  












私が主催するみなえみでは、毎月開催の大人向け、不定期開催の幼児向けまたは小学生向け等の性教育イベントを行っております。いつから始めても遅すぎることは決してありません。性教育を一緒に学んでいきませんか?ご興味のある方は minaemikizuna@gmail.com までお気軽にお問い合わせくださいね。

Photos courtesy of the author

About the Author

Mina found the circle “Minaemi,” named in hope that “everyone (mina) can smile (emi),” after the Tohoku Earthquake in 2011. The circle held charity bazaars and other events to make donations to the Japan Red Cross. After moving to Bangkok in 2018, she continues holding various community events, now mainly focusing on sex education workshops. 「みなえみ」代表。2011年の東日本大震災をきっかけに、上海で「みんなが笑顔になれるように」とみなえみを立ち上げ、仲間と共にチャリティバザーやイベントを開催し50万円余りを日本赤十字から寄付。2018年にバンコクに引越後も様々なイベントを開催、現在は主に性教育の活動を行う。

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