Sex Ed School: This YouTube channel teaches kids as young as 9 about masturbation, sexuality and gender

Sex Ed School, hosted by Nadine Thornhill and Eva Bloom, experts in the field, is a Canadian YouTube channel that has garnered a lot of attention for its innovative approach to sex education.


                            Sex Ed School: This YouTube channel teaches kids as young as 9 about masturbation, sexuality and gender

The whole birds and the bees talk does not cut it anymore when it comes to navigating the complicated maze of sex education and adolescents are turning to the internet for advice. Most of them, unfortunately, turn to pornography for information but we know how that can go spiraling down super quick. Abstinence-only is not sex education is also sometimes the only sex ed available. And in other parts of the developed world, youth don't have access to any formal sex education at all. 

But what if it didn't have to be a hurdle that they needed to cross and could be taught to them without censoring reality so that they stepped into their teens armed with the information they need? Sex Ed School just does that.

Kids playing the "ovary game" (Louise Pollard)

Sex Ed School, hosted by Nadine Thornhill and Eva Bloom, experts in the field, is a Canadian YouTube channel that has garnered a lot of attention for its innovative approach to sex ed. It doesn't just teach about the birds and the bees, it also gives valuable information on gender, consent, masturbation, sexual orientation and the like. Funded by Canadian non-profit Shaw Rocket Fund, its target audience is 9-to-12-year-olds.

The reason why they decided to aim the information at young children was that there is a need for them to hear it from an authentic source, Louise Pollard, the producer of Sex Ed told MEA WorldWide. The younger kids are heading into their puberty years, but there’s that lovely sweet spot where they still have that natural curiosity rather than being too self-conscious like some older kids might be, she explained.

It doesn't just teach about the birds and the bees, it also gives valuable information on gender, consent, masturbation, sexual orientation and the like. (Louise Pollard)

A former health and physical education teacher and a mother of four, whose youngest just turned 13, she was inspired to create something that was brave enough to put kids in the picture, instead of just hearing from the educators. And the YouTube channel has done just that.

They have guest speakers who come and share their knowledge on the channel, including drag queens and transmen. "Today’s kids are smart and savvy and our goal is to build on an inquiry-based learning model whereby the kids share what they know and, more importantly, share what they need to know," she said, adding that their main focus is the health and safety of the kids. 
 
The key is in normalizing the conversation rather than dramatizing it, making them more of everyday conversations rather than this tense buildup that often many parents and educators have about one defined talk, she said, like an open door.

They have guest speakers who come and share their knowledge on the channel - from drag queens to transmen. (Louise Pollard)

The response from the kids has been overwhelmingly positive, she says. "Our hope is that people can use our content as a model when approaching certain topics with their own children," she said. 

But, the channel received backlash recently from conservative and religious groups — especially the episodes that featured a transman named Kaleb and the drag queen duo Fay Slift and Fluffy Soufflé.

Kaleb shared his story about finding his identity, hormone therapy and having a double mastectomy in one of the episodes called 'Gender'. Pollard says that Kaleb's who is a regular speaker on sexuality education and Fay Slift who is a kindergarten teacher brought in some very important lessons about inclusivity. "We also hope that queer kids who may be watching will benefit seeing other queer folks on our show, as we know social acceptance is imperative to their mental well-being," she said. 

As for the haters, she said, "The only recent criticism has been the result of our content being taken without permission, rebranded, and re-edited to distort the content. It's unfortunate, she says, but it won't stop them.

Watch the episodes here.

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