Curriculum Overview

The following is a summary of the human sexuality outcomes from the Alberta Education Program of Studies

Grade 4

Students explain how development and puberty are connected.

  • Puberty is a period of rapid growth and progression from childhood through adolescence to adulthood.
  • Puberty marks the beginning of the life stage of adolescence.
  • A growth spurt can be an indicator of the beginning of puberty.
  • Puberty prepares the human body for reproduction.
  • Puberty prepares people to function as adults, with healthy
    • bodies
    • choices
    • relationships
    • thoughts
    • emotions
  • Differences in physical characteristics can occur during and after onset of puberty.
  • The progression of puberty can be experienced in unique ways.
  • Physical changes in puberty can include
    • growth of body hair
    • skin changes
    • voice changes
    • sperm production
    • menstruation
  • Puberty can result in social-emotional changes, such as
    • increased intensity of feelings
    • friendships becoming more important
    • emphasis on body image
    • wanting to fit in and be liked
  • Some cultures have different celebrations that recognize the transition into puberty.
  • Adolescents may have questions about puberty and its associated changes.
  • Puberty can be supported using credible sources, such as
    • parents or caregivers
    • health professionals
    • counsellors
    • spiritual leaders
    • Knowledge Keepers
    • Elders
  • Changes to hygiene practices include
    • using deodorant or antiperspirant
    • showering or bathing more frequently
    • changing clothes regularly

  • Puberty can allow individuals to take on new roles and responsibilities and experience new learning opportunities.
  • Puberty is a process of maturation that includes physical and social-emotional changes.
  • Awareness of changes that happen in puberty can support mental health and emotional well-being.
  • Cultural traditions can mark the transition from childhood to adulthood. 
  • Sources of support are available for adolescents during puberty.
  • Puberty can require changes in personal hygiene practices.

  • Recognize that puberty marks the beginning of a new life stage as individuals move toward becoming mature adults.
  • Describe changes that happen during puberty.
  • Explore how transitions into puberty are acknowledged in different cultures.
  • Recognize that First Nations, Métis, or Inuit entry into puberty can be accompanied by ceremony that supports the ongoing transition into adulthood.
  • Identify credible sources in the community to support individuals through the changes that occur during puberty.
  • Identify how personal hygiene practices may need to be modified as the body changes.

Grade 5

Students connect puberty to the capacity for human reproduction.

  • Each part of the human reproductive system serves a specific function.
  • The human reproductive system and other body systems are interconnected.
  • Human reproduction occurs when a sperm cell and egg cell join together (fertilization) and implant in the uterus (implantation).
  • Changes in puberty include
    • change in functioning of the testicles and ovaries
    • maturation of the reproductive organs
    • appearance of secondary sex characteristics
    • production of hormones
  • Menstruation is the monthly cycle that prepares the body for a possible pregnancy.
  • The female reproductive system includes ovaries that contain egg cells.
  • Ovulation occurs when an egg releases from an ovary.
  • Hormonal changes regulate the menstrual cycle and ovulation.
  • The egg travels to the uterus and is released with the lining of the uterus, if unfertilized.
  • Fertilization is more likely to occur at a specific point in the menstrual cycle.
  • The male reproductive system includes testicles that produce sperm.
  • Sperm travels through the vas deferens and is combined with other fluid to produce semen.
  • Positive health practices during puberty include
    • engaging in physical activity
    • eating nutritious foods
    • reducing stress


  • Well-being is supported through knowledge and awareness of human reproduction.
  • Human reproduction includes a sequence of biological processes.
  • Puberty signals changes in a person’s reproductive capability.
  • Puberty is often associated with the processes of menstruation and sperm production.
  • Positive health practices during puberty support a healthy reproductive system.

  • Identify the components of the human reproductive system.
  • Describe the functions of the components of the human reproductive system.
  • Describe how physical changes during puberty affect reproductive capability.
  • Describe the processes of menstruation and sperm production.
  • Identify positive health practices during puberty.

Grade 6

Students investigate human reproduction from fertilization to birth.

  • Pregnancy can occur as a result of sexual intercourse.
  • Pregnancy can be confirmed by a test.
  • Abstinence means choosing not to have sexual intercourse.
  • Any sexual activity always requires consent.
  • Self-control can support decision making related to human reproduction.
  • Different types of birth control can have varying levels of effectiveness and risks.
  • Sexual activity can expose individuals to the risk of sexually transmitted infections and blood-borne infections.
  • Some birth control measures can lower the risk of sexually transmitted infections and blood-borne infections.
  • Factors that influence reproductive decisions include
    • age
    • financial preparedness
    • health
    • family, caregiver, and community supports
  • The length of pregnancy is approximately 40 weeks and is divided into three stages called trimesters.
  • A child born before 37 weeks of pregnancy is called a pre-term birth.
  • Fetal development during pregnancy can be adversely affected by
    • poor nutrition
    • smoking
    • alcohol use
    • drug use
  • Supportive health practices during pregnancy can include
    • eating nutritious foods
    • engaging in physical activity
    • getting adequate sleep and rest
    • attending early and consistent medical visits
  • Reproductive health information can be provided by credible sources, such as
    • parents and caregivers
    • health professionals
    • teachers
    • spiritual leaders
    • Knowledge Keepers
    • Elders
  • There are diverse traditional, cultural, and religious beliefs regarding reproductive health.

  • Pregnancy is a natural human process.
  • Abstinence is the most effective way to prevent pregnancy.
  • Sexual activity without consent is sexual assault and can have physical, emotional, social and/or legal consequences.
  • Birth control and natural family planning can help prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.
  • In Canada, individuals have the right to make decisions about reproductive health and can decide if, when, and how often to reproduce.
  • Fetal development occurs in stages throughout a pregnancy.
  • Supportive health practices can enhance reproductive health, a healthy pregnancy, and safe childbirth.
  • Credible sources can provide accurate information on reproductive health and support healthy reproductive decisions.
  • Traditional, cultural, and religious beliefs can affect understandings of human reproduction.

  • Identify effective ways to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.
  • Examine factors that can influence decisions related to reproductive health.
  • Examine fetal development in each of the three trimesters.
  • Examine factors that can adversely affect fetal development.
  • Identify health practices that support a healthy pregnancy.
  • Identify credible sources of reproductive health information.
  • Consider ways that human reproduction can be influenced by traditional, cultural, and religious beliefs.

Grade 7

W-7.3 Examine the human reproductive process, and recognize misunderstandings associated with sexual development.

W-7.12 Identify the effects of social influences on sexuality and gender roles and equity; e.g., media, culture.

W-7.13 Examine the influences on personal decision making for responsible sexual behaviour.

W-7.14 Examine abstinence and decisions to postpone sexual activity as healthy choices.

Grade 8

W-8.3 Recognize and accept that individuals experience different rates of physical, emotional, sexual and social development.

W-8.7 Determine the signs, methods and consequences of various types of abuse; e.g., neglect, physical, emotional, sexual abuse.

W-8.12 Identify and describe the responsibilities and consequences associated with involvement in a sexual relationship.

W-8.13 Describe symptoms, effects, treatments, prevention for common sexually transmitted diseases; i.e., chlamydia, HPV, herpes, gonorrhea, Hepatitis B/C, HIV.

W-8.14 Identify and describe basic types of contraceptives; i.e., abstinence, condom, foam, birth control pills.

Grade 9

W-9.3 Apply coping strategies when experiencing different rates of physical, emotional, sexual and social development; e.g., positive self-talk.

W-9.7 Evaluate implications and consequences of sexual assault on a victim and those associated with that victim.

W-9.12 Determine ‘safer’ sex practices; e.g., communicate with partner, maintain abstinence, limit partners, access/use condoms/contraceptives properly.

W-9.13 Identify and describe the responsibilities and resources associated with pregnancy and parenting.

W-9.14 Develop strategies that address factors to prevent or reduce sexual risk; e.g., abstain from drugs and alcohol, date in groups, use assertive behaviour.

Career and Life Management (Grades 10, 11 or 12)

P11 Examine the relationship between commitment and intimacy in all its levels

  • identify expectations and commitments in various relationships
  • examine a range of behaviours for handling sexual involvement
  • describe how personal values play a role in relationships
  • explain the role of trust and ways to establish trust in a relationship
  • develop strategies for dealing with jealousy

P12 Examine aspects of healthy sexuality and responsible sexual behaviour

  • explain the ongoing responsibility for being sexually healthy
  • examine a range of behaviours and choices regarding sexual expression
  • describe sexually healthy actions and choices for one’s body, including abstinence
  • analyze strategies for choosing responsible and respectful sexual expression
  • describe the ways in which personal values influence choices
  • assess the consequences of being sexually active
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