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Sex Education Is A Progressive Process

( Originally Published 1923 )

Sex Education is a Progressive Process.—Whether from the point of view of habit formation and development of attitudes, or from the point of view of the acquisition of knowledge, the education of the child with respect to sex, like education in general, must be a prosess of continuous adjustment dependent upon the development of his mentality, his emotions, and his experiences. The things to be taught, from whatever point of view, cannot be considered as consisting of a limited number of items that are disposed of once and for all. There will be need for repetitions and for supplementing.

It is not desirable either to repress the child's consciousness and curiosity regarding sex, nor to over-sensitize him and make him too curious, too preoccupied. On the other hand, it is desirable to meet his interests and curiosities on his own plane as they manifest them-selves. One of the dangers in a violent repression of the child's curiosity, as already discussed heretofore (pages 39-43), is the fixation of his interests at the level of development which they have reached, thus preventing further and higher development. Such infantile fixations often lead to defective adjustments later, and in many cases to various perversions.

By meeting the child's emotional and intellectual needs as they show themselves, and linking up information and guidance with other interests, we may prevent a detachment of consciousness regarding sex from the rest of consciousness, and encourage a balanced development.

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