The Current

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

She set the standard for sex education and sexual health in schools across B.C. Meg Hickling is a legend among teachers, parents and students-all-grown-up. Today, the former nurse shares insights gleaned over four decades of teaching what she always called 'Body Science' to kids and their parents.
Talk of overhauling sex ed in Ontario has some citizens hot and bothered, but it's nothing that hasn't been on the curriculum in B.C. for years. Today, pioneering nurse Meg Hickling who helped bring modern 'body science' to British Columbia. (CBC/Elizabeth Hoath)

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.

Sessions such as these have been taking place for years in B.C., where the current curriculum has been in place since 2006. In fact, the new program being debated in Ontario right now, and sparking so much controversy, is seen by many as just a way of catching up to what's taught in B.C. It's a province many consider to be ahead of the curve.

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

And 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. Meg Hickling is now a retired sexual health educators but teachers like Cath Blyth carry on her work. Meg Hickling joined us from Vancouver.

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. 


♦ Having 'The Talk' with kids may not be easy, but parents need to persevere - Vancouver Sun

♦ Hickling reflects on decades of sex education - Link Magazine