Sex Education

“Sexuality is an integral part of the personality of every human being. It is a basic need and an aspect of human beings that cannot be separated from other aspects of life… Sexuality influences thoughts, feelings, actions and interactions and consequently our physical and mental health. If health is an essential human right, sexual health must also be recognized as a basic right.”
World Health Organization, 1975

This project was born to meet institutional demands and has a very important social role to play. It is a pioneering initiative for this age group.

The sex education projects of the Criança é Vida (Child is Life) Institute are directed at three age groups:

  • Time of discovery – 7 to 9 years of age.
  • Sex, love and responsibility – 10 to 12 years of age.
  • Issues of adolescence – 13 to 15 years of age.

Its purpose is to help children and adolescents obtain the knowledge they need to allow them to exercise their sexuality with pleasure and responsibility in the future.

They were prepared in order to meet the very specific demands of the communities:

  • Children and adolescents have been exposed early to sex, since families share the same rooms;
  • Children and adolescents must understand and respect their bodies and develop responsible attitudes about sexuality;
  • There is also a lack of information and orientation, which leads to a high rate of unplanned pregnancies among adolescents, sexually transmitted diseases, low self-esteem, violence against women and sexual exploitation;
  • There is a lack of high-quality materials on the topic in institutions.

Specific project objectives:

  • Help children and adolescents obtain the knowledge they need to allow them to exercise their sexuality with pleasure and responsibility in the future.
  • Understand their bodies well, have a positive image of them and care for their health;
  • Avoid sexual relationships of a coercive and exploitative nature;
  • Avoid unplanned pregnancies, seek orientation and use contraceptive methods;
  • Unify knowledge;
  • Offer high-quality materials to partner institutions.

Strategic Alliance:

The projects were prepared by Prof. Célia Regina Ramos Siqueira, a biologist, and the technical review was made by Prof. Dr. Carmita Helena Najjar Abdo,  General Coordinator of the ProSex – Projeto Sexualidade (Sexuality Project) from Institute of Psychiatry from Faculdade de Medicina da USP.

Time of discovery cycle – 7 to 9 years of age

  1. Understanding the human body
  2. Many changes – puberty
  3. I like my body
  4. Man and woman
  5. How babies are born
  6. Yes, I can ask for help

Sex, love and responsibility cycle – 10 to 12 years of age

  1. Sexuality and love – what it is, what it is not
  2. Man and woman – body and behavior
  3. I am this way – body and self-esteem
  4. Sexual behavior – decisions
  5. Conception, pregnancy and birth
  6. Rights and citizenship – sexual abuse and exploitation

Issues of adolescence cycle – 13 to 15 years of age

  1. I am an adolescent – so many changes!
  2. Adolescence – time to know yourself and to relate to each other (self-esteem, self-knowledge and relationships)
  3. Adolescence – a time of discoveries!
  4. Adolescence – love in the time of prevention (contraceptive methods)
  5. Adolescence – growing up also means having the courage to say no
  6. Adolescence – a time to learn and practice tolerance (different, but not unequal)

We start having more ties of affection with our students. They want to come to us more often, the relationship changed, and they trust us to ask questions.

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I live near school and I took a leave of absence due to health problems. In the meantime, an 11-year-old girl just had her first period. She was scared and began to cry because her clothes were stained. The boys in the class calmed her saying that she just had to remember what I had explained and that it was normal… They found a jacket for her to tie around her waist, covering the stain, and accompanied her home so that she could change her clothes. Then, they ran to my home to proudly tell me what had happened and what they had done. In communities where men do not respect women, I was deeply moved to see how the boys behaved with their classmate.

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The theoretical framework for this project is fantastic. We had already discussed some subjects with the children, but I assure you that it was not with the knowledge and skill we gained from the project. Children need this information – it was an extremely important project for the CCA – Child and Adolescent Center. I feel very privileged to have participated in this training.

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The Sex Education project produced changes in the children, making them trust us, their educators, more. This alone made it worthwhile, but it offered even more. Parents also got closer, praised and thanked us, because many of them did not know how to pass on this type of information. Our children need this information a lot.

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All educators unanimously say that the use of off-color and offensive terms decreased a lot – not just referring to the genital area, but in general – which surprises everyone.

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It broke taboos. Before they almost never talked about sexuality and now children feel safe and can freely talk to us. I grew a lot with the project. Today, I know that I can discuss this subject with the children.

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More than just an opportunity for the children… this course changed us educators. It was really worthwhile!

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As supervisor I have visited many services and I only hear praises for the work – with great repercussions. I believe in the work and I believe in the partnership!

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There was a change in the children. They discovered themselves. They take better care of themselves, wash their hair. Their self-esteem also changed.

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Adolescents do not have the conditions to take care of a baby because a baby cannot do anything alone. This would hamper the mother’s studies. Having a baby is a serious thing, it requires a lot of responsibility, and takes up all one’s time. There is no time for movies, parties, or going out with one’s boyfriend. So, before having a child, it is important to think about whether we are ready to be a mother or father.

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The internet is a means of communication, which people use to send and receive messages, but chat sites are not always good because there are people who can say they are 11, 12 years old, but are actually in their 30s or 40s and are pedophiles.

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