Izabela Moszczeńska’s Conception of Sex Education for Young Children

Article Polish OPEN
Babik, Marek (2016)
  • Publisher: Edukacja Elementarna w Teorii i Praktyce
  • Journal: Elementary Education in Theory and Practice (issn: 2353-7787, eissn: 1896-2327)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.14632/eetp_39.6
  • Subject: Education | sex education; the history of sex education; Izabela Moszczeńska; pioneers of sex education in Poland; elementary education | pedagogika | edukacja seksualna; historia edukacji seksualnej w Polsce; Izabela Moszczeńska; pionierzy edukacji seksualnej w Polsce; edukacja elementarna

The aim of this article is to discuss the conception of sex education for young children put forward by Izabela Moszczeńska in her book How to Talk to Children about Sensitivities. The book was published in 1904, and was widely discussed in educational circles at the beginning of the 20th century. Analysis of the source materials show that the conception of sex education proposed by Izabela Moszczeńska was well-considered and systematic. It referred to the that time knowledge and indicated specific practical solutions which could be applied by parents when explaining the facts of life to their children. Her conception of sex education can be summarised in four points:1. Working with a child should primarily inspire parents to consider what kind of image of sexuality they want to transmit to their child. Child sexuality ought to be presented in the context of procreation, as well as of parents’ responsibility for their child’s education. The purpose of such an approach is to prepare the child for its future roles in the family and in society.2. The recommended method for working with a child is to give a talk that refers to scientific studies and examples derived from nature.3. Working with a child ought to be based on frankness and truthfulness.4. The scope of thematic information for a child should be based on their own interests, as revealed verbally in the questions they direct to their parents (the mother).Moszczeńska’s educational proposal was directed at parents from the bourgeois intelligentsia. There is no mention of any recommendations for parents from the less wealthy spheres of society. 
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