REVIEW OF PRE-SCHOOL CHILDREN BOOKS IN TERMS OF SEXUAL DEVELOPMENT AND SEX EDUCATION

Abstract

Author(s): ├ťmit DEN?Z, Ay?e G├ľZ├ťTOK

Children are closely interested with their bodies. A pre-school child feels a strong desire to know about himself/herself as much as the world around him/her. Interest of a pre-school child in sexual matters starts at the age of 3 and continues until age of 5-6 with a strong curiosity. In the study, it was aimed to review the books with sexual development and sex education content prepared for the pre-school children. In the qualitative study where pre-school children books were reviewed in terms of sexual development and sex education, especially the books which might be within the context of sexual development and sex education in the pre-school period were determined. While reviewing the books, properties of the children books and approaches necessary for sexual development and sex education were listed within the guidance of literature. The books were discussed after being evaluated within proper criteria. The right approaches, scientific misinformation and gender stereotypes in the books in relation to sexual development and sex education are the emerging results. It was determined that the books contain expressions and visuals which are believed to create basis for the occurrence of gender stereotypes or to give learnings directly on this topic. In the children books, the characters which are interested in the topics related sexual development are mostly drawn as girls and the events occur in a way that the difference between the sexes can be perceived as a superiority or inferiority. The expressions which are considered to include sex apartheid and send subconscious messages that males are superior especially in occupations were found. Encountering of children with gender stereotypes in books and other sources may cause them to learn girl/boy and woman/man difference just the way society wants them to do so in many aspects. Such learnt information may cause children to experience obstacles in their potentials and performances related to their sexes from time to time and to face with sensations which cause many obstructive and disorderly feelings such as inadequacy and guiltiness.

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