The Current

Sex educator Meg Hickling: Never too early to learn 'body science'

It can be hard to talk about sex with your kids. So perhaps the heavy lifting should be left to the experts? It's a contentious theory. We hear from a trailblazer in the world of sexual health education who has been fighting to educate parents about the benefits of sex ed for more than forty years.
Pioneering nurse Meg Hickling helped bring modern 'body science' to British Columbia where the current sex ed curriculum has been in place since 2006. (CBC/Elizabeth Hoath)

Cath Blyth teaches sex-ed to a grade two and grade three class at West Langley Elementary school in B.C. (West Langley Elementary school in BC)

Seated "Criss Cross Applesauce" on the library's carpet floor, Grade Two and Three students at West Langley Elementary school in B.C. get ready to learn "body science". And yes, "body science" is another way of saying, "sex- ed" which is nothing unusual for students that young in British Columbia.

These type of sessions have been happening for years in the province, where the current curriculum has been in place since 2006.  Many consider B.C. to be ahead of the curve... and the controversial new program in Ontario -- is seen by many as just a way of catching up to what's taught on the West Coast.

That's thanks, in large part, to Meg Hickling. She's a nurse who, forty years ago, saw a need -- and set off on a career devoted to teaching kids and their parents about their bodies. Her work is carried on by sexual health educators today.

"This is not how to have sex class, this is how to take care of your body."- Meg Hickling, Pioneer Sexual Health Educator

Meg Hickling is retired now, but she joined Anna Maria Tremonti to talk about her life's work in March.

Do you agree that it's never too early to be teaching kids about sexual health? And if you're a parent - how comfortable do you feel speaking with your own children about sex and their bodies?

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​This segment was produced by The Current's Liz Hoath.