Grade 7: New 2015 Sex-Ed Curriculum

Here is the link to the Ontario Curriculum doc from which this section was pulled from:


Human Development and Sexual Health

C1.3 explain the importance of having a shared understanding with a partner about the following:

  • delaying sexual activity until they are older
    • (e.g., choosing to abstain from any genital contact; choosing to abstain from having vaginal or anal intercourse; choosing to abstain from having oral-genital contact);
  • the reasons for not engaging in sexual activity;
  • the concept of consent and how consent is communicated; and,
  • in general, the need to communicate clearly with each other when making decisions about sexual activity in the relationship
  • Teacher prompt: “The term abstinence can mean different things to different people. People can also have different understandings of what is meant by having or not having sex.
    • Be clear in your own mind about what you are comfortable or uncomfortable with. Being able to talk about this with a partner is an important part of sexual health.
    • Having sex can be an enjoyable experience and can be an important part of a close relationship when you are older. But having sex has risks too, including physical risks like sexually transmitted infections – which are common and which can hurt you – and getting pregnant when you don’t want to.
    • What are some of the emotional considerations to think about?”
  • Student: “It’s best to wait until you are older to have sex because you need to be emotionally ready, which includes being able to talk with your partner about how you feel, being prepared to talk about and use protection against STIs or pregnancy, and being prepared to handle the emotional ups and downs of a relationship, including the ending of a relationship, which can hurt a lot.
    • Personal values, family values, and religious beliefs can influence how you think about sexuality and sexual activity.A person should not have sex if their partner is not ready or has not given consent, if they are feeling pressured, if they are unsure, or if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.”

C1.4 identify common sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and describe their symptoms

  • Teacher prompt: “Common sexually transmitted infections include human papillomavirus (HPV), herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and hepatitis B.
    • Some have visible symptoms but most do not, so it’s hard to tell if you or someone else has an STI.
    • All STIs can have a significant impact on your health.
    • What are some symptoms of an STI?
    • If an STI has no symptoms, how can you find out if you have it?”
  • Student: “You can see some STIs, such as pubic lice or genital warts, and other STIs have symptoms such as redness or pain while urinating. Even if you don’t see or experience any symptoms, you should be tested by a doctor if you are sexually active. Depending on the STI, tests can be done by taking swabs from the cervix, vagina, or urethra or by taking urine or blood samples.”

C1.5 identify ways of preventing STIs, including HIV, and/or unintended pregnancy, such as delaying first intercourse and other sexual activities until a person is older and using condoms consistently if and when a person becomes sexually active

  • Teacher prompt: “Engaging in sexual activities like oral sex, vaginal intercourse, and anal intercourse means that you can be infected with an STI. If you do not have sex, you do not need to worry about getting an STI. (By the way, statistics show that young people who delay first intercourse are more likely to use protection when they choose to be sexually active.)
    • If a person is thinking of having sex, what can they do to protect themselves?
  • Student: “They should go to a health clinic or see a nurse or doctor who can provide important information about protection. People who think they will be having sex sometime soon should keep a condom with them so they will have it when they need it. They should also talk with their partner about using a condom before they have sex, so both partners will know a condom will be used. If a partner says they do not want to use a condom, a person should say, ‘I will not have sex without a condom.’ If you do have sex, it is important that you use a condom every time, because condoms help to protect you against STIs, including HIV, and pregnancy.”
  • Teacher prompt: “HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a serious viral infection that can be controlled with treatments. HIV attacks the cells in the body that help to fight infections until they are no longer able to do their job.
    • With treatment, the damage that HIV does to the body’s immune system can be slowed or prevented. But HIV infection cannot be cured. The only way to know if you have HIV is to get an HIV test. Today, when people get tested for HIV early in the infection and access HIV treatments, they have the opportunity to live a near-to-normal lifespan.
    • HIV can lead to AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), a state of health in which a person’s immune system has been weakened by HIV and the person can no longer fight other infections. It is common for a person with AIDS to develop other infections, such as pneumonia or some kinds of cancer. HIV can be transmitted whether or not someone has symptoms of the infection. However, HIV treatment can reduce the amount of HIV in someone’s body to the point where it is much less likely that HIV will be transmitted.
    • HIV transmission results from specific activities and does not occur through everyday contact with someone living with HIV/AIDS. What are some of the ways a person can be infected with HIV, and what can be done to prevent the transmission of HIV?”
  • Student: “HIV is transmitted through contact with bodily fluids – semen, blood, vaginal or anal fluid, and breast milk. HIV cannot live outside the body. For you to be infected, the virus must enter your bloodstream. That can happen through the sharing of needles as well as through unprotected sexual intercourse, which is the most common method of infection.
    • To prevent the transmission of HIV, avoid behaviours associated with greater risks of HIV transmission, like vaginal or anal intercourse without a condom and injection drug use. It is very important that you use a condom if you do have sex. Avoid sharing drug use equipment or using needles that have not been sterilized for any purpose, including piercing, tattooing, or injecting steroids.
    • One of the best things you can do to stop HIV is to stop the stigma that is associated with having the infection. Gossiping about someone with HIV or avoiding everyday contact with them makes it more challenging for people to tell others that they have HIV or to get tested for HIV. These things make it easier for HIV to spread.”

C2.4 demonstrate an understanding of physical, emotional, social, and psychological factors that need to be considered when making decisions related to sexual health (e.g., sexually transmitted infections [STIs], possible contraceptive side effects, pregnancy, protective value of vaccinations, social labelling, gender identity, sexual orientation, self-concept issues, relationships, desire, pleasure, cultural teachings) [PS]

  • Teacher prompt: “Thinking about your sexual health is complicated. It’s important to have a good understanding of yourself before getting involved with someone else. It’s not just about making a decision to have sex or waiting until you are older. It’s also about things such as:
    • your physical readiness;
    • safer sex and avoiding consequences such as pregnancy or STIs;
    • your sexual orientation and gender identity;
    • your understanding of your own body, including what gives you pleasure; and
    • the emotional implications of sexual intimacy and being in a relationship.
    • It can include religious beliefs.
    • It includes moral and ethical considerations as well, and also involves the need to respect the rights of other people.
    • Can you explain what is meant by a moral consideration?”
  • Student: “A moral consideration is what you believe is right or wrong. It is influenced by your personal, family, and religious values. Every person in our society should treat other people fairly and with respect. It is important to take this into account when we think about our relationships, sexual behaviour, and activities.”
  • Teacher: “Like any other decision, a decision about sexual health requires you to look at all sides of an issue. How can you do that?”
  • Student: “You need to consider the pros and cons of any decision you are making, and how those decisions will

C3.3 explain how relationships with others (e.g., family, peers) and sexual health may be affected by the physical and emotional changes associated with puberty

  • (e.g., effect of physical maturation and emotional changes on family relationships, interest in intimate relationships and effect on peer relationships, risk of STIs and/or pregnancy with sexual contact)
  • Teacher prompt: “How can the changes experienced in puberty affect relationships with family and others?”
  • Student: “Adolescents may be interested in having a boyfriend/girlfriend. They may feel ‘grown up’, but still get treated like a kid, and this sometimes leads to conflicts with parents. They may want more independence.”

Personal Safety and Injury Prevention

C1.1 describe benefits and dangers, for themselves and others, that are associated with the use of computers and other technologies (e.g., benefits: saving time; increased access to information; improved communication, including global access; dangers: misuse of private information; identity theft; cyberstalking; hearing damage and/or traffic injuries from earphone use; financial losses from online gambling; potential for addiction), and identify protective responses

  • Teacher prompt: “What are some ways of protecting your safety when using a computer at home or in a public place?”
  • Student: “Everyone should be aware that anything they write or post could become public information. If you do not want someone else to know about something, you should not write about it or post it. You should never share your password. If you are a target of online harassment, you should save and print the messages you received and get help from a parent, teacher, or other trusted adult.” •
  • Teacher prompt: “Sexting – or the practice of sending explicit sexual messages or photos electronically, predominantly by cell phone – is a practice that has significant risks. What are some of those risks? What can you do to minimize those risks and treat others with respect?”
  • Students: “Photos and messages can become public even if shared for only a second. They can be manipulated or misinterpreted. If they become public, they can have an impact on the well-being of the persons involved, their future relationships, and even their jobs. There are also legal penalties for anyone sharing images without consent.”
    “You shouldn’t pressure people to send photos of themselves. If someone does send you a photo, you should not send it to anyone else or share it online, because respecting privacy and treating others with respect are just as important with online technology as with face-to-face interactions.”

C2.2 assess the impact of different types of bullying or harassment, including the harassment and coercion that can occur with behaviours such as sexting, on themselves and others, and identify ways of preventing or resolving such incidents

(e.g., communicating feelings; reporting incidents involving themselves or others; encouraging others to understand the social responsibility to report incidents and support others rather than maintaining a code of silence or viewing reporting as “ratting”; seeking help from support services; learning skills for emotional regulation; using strategies for defusing tense or potentially violent situations) [IS, CT]

  • Teacher prompt: “What are some of the consequences of using homophobic put-downs or racial slurs? How can this hurtful behaviour be prevented?”
  • Student: “Using homophobic or racist language is discriminatory. It hurts the people who are targeted and it can have harmful consequences for the whole atmosphere in the school. Sometimes, people speak without thinking about what they are actually saying and how they are hurting others. To change this behaviour, everyone needs to take responsibility for the words they use and also to challenge others who make discriminatory comments or put people down, whether in person or online.”
  • Teacher prompt: “Inappropriate sexual behaviour, including things like touching someone’s body as they walk by in the hall, making sexual comments, or pulling pieces of clothing up or down, is sexual harassment. Texting someone constantly can also be harassment. What can you do to stop this kind of thing?”
  • Students: “Don’t do it. Don’t encourage others to do it. Don’t accept it if you see it happening – whether in person or on social media. Tell the person to stop, or report them.” “Online, you can call someone on unacceptable language, but it’s better to have a face-to-face conversation about it afterwards.”
  • Teacher prompt: “A common form of harassment is spreading hurtful gossip about others. Is this type of bullying any less harmful than physical bullying? How can it be stopped?”
  • Student: “Verbal and social bullying and harassment – whether done in person, online, or through texting – are just as harmful as physical bullying. There are legal consequences for physical assault and for verbal harassment. If we hear it or see it, we should not accept it. It is up to everyone to make sure that this is not an acceptable thing to do.” •
  • Teacher prompt: “What kind of support will the person who was bullied and the bystander need?”
  • Student: “They need to be listened to and given a chance to express their feelings about the harm that has been done and to contribute their ideas about what needs to be done to put things right. They need to be given help to make sure the bullying stops. They might be afraid and may need counselling to recover emotionally from being bullied or witnessing bullying.”
  • Teacher: “Repair processes such as restorative justice might be put in place for the person who did the bullying in order to prevent the incident from happening again. Restorative justice puts the emphasis on the wrong done to the person as well as the wrong done to the community. It requires wrongdoers to recognize the harm they have caused, accept responsibility for their actions, and be actively involved in improving the situation. What has to occur before this can happen?”
  • Student: “The person who did the bullying has to admit guilt and accept responsibility for his or her actions. He or she needs to participate willingly in the process. The person who was targeted also needs to participate willingly, without feeling pressured. It is really important for their participation to be voluntary and for the process of restorative justice not to cause further harm. Trained facilitators can make sure that the restorative justice program is helpful to everyone.”

Substance Use, Addictions, and Related Behaviours

C1.2 demonstrate an understanding of linkages between mental health problems and problematic substance use, and identify school and community resources (e.g., trusted adults at school, guidance counsellors, public health services, community elders, help lines) that can provide support for mental health concerns relating to substance use, addictions, and related behaviours [PS]

  • Teacher prompt: “Problematic substance use is a term that refers to the use of substances in ways that are potentially harmful. It includes both substance misuse, which is the use of substances in ways that are illegal or not recommended medically, and substance abuse, which involves excessive use of substances despite the physical, mental, emotional, social, legal, or economic harm that this may cause to oneself or others. Problematic substance use and mental health problems are often closely connected. Many people suffer from both, although it is important to note that one doesn’t necessarily cause the other. In some cases, the causes may be quite different, or both may be caused by a common factor, which could be genetic, developmental, or environmental. For example, traumatic events (an environmental factor) can lead to both mental health and substance use problems. In other cases, mental health problems may contribute to problematic substance use: alcohol and drugs may be used as a means to cope with a mental health problem and may make the symptoms worse. Conversely, long-term drug use can lead to a loss of contact with reality and to the development of delusions and other psychotic symptoms similar to those seen with some mental health problems. What are some mental health problems that are sometimes connected with problematic substance use?”
  • Student: “Depression, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia are sometimes associated with problematic substance use.”

C2.3 explain how preoccupation with body image or athletic performance can contribute to substance abuse (e.g., misuse of supplements, vitamins, diuretics, diet pills, laxatives, steroids, or performance-enhancing drugs), and demonstrate the ability to make informed choices about caring for their bodies [PS, CT]

  • Teacher prompt: “What are the dangers of using substances to alter body shape? What is a healthier alternative?”
  • Student: “Using substances to change body shape or to control weight is dangerous because of the hazards associated with different substances. Diet pills and laxatives can cause dehydration. Steroids have many side effects, including increased irritability, aggressiveness, mood swings, acne, changes in sex organs, hair loss, and addiction. Prolonged use of high dosages can lead to organ damage. A balanced combination of healthy eating and physical activity is a safer and healthier alternative to using drugs.”

C3.2 analyse the personal and societal implications of issues related to substance use and addictive behaviours

(e.g., effect of technology dependence on school and workplace performance, personal relationships, and physical health; risks associated with chewing tobacco; effects of second-hand smoke on non-smokers and children; legal and health implications of underage drinking; body damage and reputation loss among athletes as a result of the use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs; risk of HIV/AIDS with intravenous drug use; risk of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder [FASD] as a result of alcohol abuse during pregnancy) [CT]

  • Teacher prompt: “Underage drinking is a concern in our school. Who can be harmed by underage drinking, and how?”
  • Student: “Underage drinking can be harmful to the person doing it because it can lead to legal charges and physical and emotional harm. Alcohol abuse is connected to violence in relationships and to unwanted pregnancies, so other people are hurt by it. Intoxication can also lead to taking more risks and can result in injury or death. Alcohol poisoning can even be fatal. Underage drinking can be harmful to family members and the community because of the personal injuries or property damage that can result from actions or behaviour associated with impaired judgement, including car crashes. Irresponsible behaviour can damage not only the reputation of the person involved but also the reputation of teenagers in general. Underage drinkers also risk losing the trust of their parents and other adults.”

Healthy Eating

C2.1 demonstrate the ability to make healthier food choices, using information about the role that different foods play as contributing or preventive factors in a variety of health disorders (e.g., cancer, Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, food allergies and anaphylaxis, tooth decay, osteoporosis) [CT]

  • Teacher prompt: “What you eat can contribute positively to your overall health, but it can also contribute to health problems. Eating healthy foods gives you the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients you need to be healthy. An unhealthy diet is one of many factors, including obesity, physical inactivity, smoking, and high blood pressure, that can increase the risk of illness and disease. Fruit and vegetable consumption helps protect against a variety of cancers, whereas a diet high in red meat and processed meat has been linked to an increased risk of cancer. Avoiding sticky foods and following good oral hygiene practices helps reduce the risk of tooth decay. Getting enough calcium from dairy products, calciumfortified soy beverages, vegetables, and fish or meat alternatives when your bones are growing can help prevent the development of osteoporosis in later years. Avoiding highfat foods can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and obesity. A healthy diet that follows the recommendations of Canada’s Food Guide, contains plenty of fruits and vegetables and high-fibre foods, and avoids unhealthy (saturated and trans) fats can help you maintain a healthy weight and prevent illness.”

C3.1 demonstrate an understanding of personal and external factors that affect people’s food choices and eating routines

(e.g., personal: likes and dislikes, busy schedules, food allergies or sensitivities, personal values, cultural practices or teachings; external: family budget, cost of foods, type of food available at home, at school, or in the community), and identify ways of encouraging healthier eating practices

  • Teacher prompt: “How can people make healthy food choices if their choices are limited by a dislike of certain foods, by a food allergy, by personal beliefs about ethical food choices, by cultural preferences or religious food rules, or by budget limitations?”
  • Student: “Some limitations can be removed or overcome. People often dislike certain foods without ever having tried them. We should always consider at least trying a food before rejecting it. Often we can learn to like a food by having it prepared or served in a different way. In other cases, we just have to work within the limitations. A lot of tasty food choices are available for people who are making ethical choices or following religious and cultural food rules, or who have allergies. If we have a limited budget, we can still eat well by making careful food choices. Packaged foods are usually more expensive and less nutritious than fresh foods cooked at home. Local produce can be relatively inexpensive in season and can be more nutritious than imported or packaged fruits and vegetables.”

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