Yes, it should be, and it should be discussed a bit earlier than it was when I was at school. Some parents don't talk to their kids about sex at all, or not clearly or thoroughly enough. I remember a girl in my dorm on school camp freaking out about getting her first period because her parents hadn't talked to her about it yet and they hadn't covered it in school yet either (they left that until high school, even though many girls get their periods before they hit high school).
I think as well as the basics about sex and birth control both sexes should be taught about periods and how a woman's cycle works in a lot more detail than we got. So many women have no idea when they ovulate, which is kind of useful later if and when you want to conceive. Teaching the boys this stuff as well (they could be segregated while they have the talk if they get too embarrassed and giggly but they still need the same info) would mean boys who would understand what their girlfriends, sisters, mothers etc. were going through and vice versa. Girls should also be told the stuff about wet dreams etc. that they tell the boys.
I realise it's a bit more controversial but it would be nice if female anatomy were discussed a bit more thorougly too. My high school biology text book had an illustration of a cross section of a penis but there was no equivalent picture of a clitoris. It wasn't until years later that I found out that the clitoris is so much bigger than the little bit you can see on the outside. It's quite a big organ, just mostly internal. And apparently the basics don't always get covered since I have met teenagers who didn't know that there were three "holes" down there, not just two, or the correct terminology to use for parts of their own bodies. And people still believe the myth about the hymen being destroyed when a woman has intercourse for the first time when actually it just stretches a bit, and doesn't have to bleed or hurt at all if the couple are careful and gentle. I know I've linked to this channel on AA before but I'm going to do it again because it's awesome. Laci Green's videos are on sex and related topics are really informative and easy to understand. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qFojO8WkpA
Oh and consent. They definitely need to discuss the importance of consent. Both sexes need to know that both parties need to be ready and willing to have sex, that consent can be withdrawn at any time, that a girl never owes a boy sex regardless if he's spent a lot of money on her or they have been flirting or whatever, that having sex once doesn't mean it's okay to rape a girl because she's no longer a virgin, etc. etc. Sorry, this has turned into a bit of an essay. I just think this stuff is really important and isn't given enough time in schools.
Discussing sexting sounds like a good idea. It's a tricky subject, not something that was around when parents of highschoolers today were young. Technology brings a lot of new pitfalls, but new resources too (like the videos I mentioned).
It would be great if parents could teach this, but as not all will it is an important part of life which should be known, not only about anatomy but about consent and birth control issues as well. Sexting is a relatively new concept for me, and I think that it along with other uses of technology and how far reaching it can be is important to convey, they need to understand that what they send to one person could end up on the internet for anyone to see and many probably don't think about that beforehand.
Absolutely!!! Parents can only do so much. Teachers have access to so many more books, resources and guest speakers. Plus, sex education is usually taught within the curriculum of science or families. Teaching within the school environment allows children to learn that it is a natural part of growing up and is something that should be discussed openly. If it was left solely to parents to discuss, in some cases, it wouldn't be discussed, and may be seen as bad. Even now, if parents have a good enough reason, their children can be excused from sex education classes and sent to the library. It would be sad for these children to be excluded when all their friends will be there. I would hate for my children to be part of this ignorant, clueless society such as was the type when my parents grew up. They knew nothing of what to expect on their wedding night and they were scared. Sex should not be something to be fearful of. It should be joyous, pleasurable ,knowledgeable and fun.
Yes, I think it is a very important component of education that is often neglected but is necessary for our future to make the right decisions and use the right equipment in case they decide to start early with relationships.
It needs to be discussed in more detail. I had no idea what sex 'was', thankfully I had an organic introduction you might say, but others aren't so lucky, , or confident enough to remove themselves from a situation because they have no idea what's going on.
Both parents and the education system have a responsibility to educate young adults, definitely.
The physical and mechanical aspects of sex & reproduction should absolutely be taught in all schools, along with awareness of the right to say "No" and be respected for that.
Otherwise, all remaining moral & philosophical views on the matter should be expressly excluded in all PUBLIC schools, given Australia now constitutionally endorses "religious freedom" and has other statutes applying to equal opportunity/discrimination and freedom of association.
PS I think that an explanation of birth control methods should also be included as part of that education in all schools, including reference to how some of those can reduce the probability of disease etc, but it should stop short of prescribing what contexts (from a social rather than physical perspective I mean) they should be used, because that starts to creep into the morals/values/philosophies area. The exception would be in a private school where you pay to have the choice as to what religions/values/philosophies are "preached".