Sex educator reveals most common question asked by children

Stock image of the letters 's' 'e' and 'x' on wooden blocks
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A sex and relationships educator has revealed the X-rated question she's most often asked by curious kids: and no, it's not, 'Where do babies come from?'

Speaking to ABC News, Sydney-based Rowena Thomas - who has provided local schools with sex education workshops and resources for over 20 years - said instead of good-old-fashioned sexual intercourse, kids these days are more fascinated by '69'.

For the uninitiated, '69' is a colloquial term for a sexual act, the details of which can be found on the likes of Urban Dictionary should you be inclined to research - NSFW, of course.

Thomas told the outlet youngsters will ask her what the naughty number means "nearly every day", noting students will often approach a parent or trusted adult for explanations of terms they don't understand - mostly in order to avoid being out of step with their peers.

"So parents think that immediately they have to go into talking about oral sex, but that's not what the kids are asking. The kids are just curious, the number 69, 'what on earth does it mean?'" she added to ABC News.

The query will often appear in Thomas' question box, an outlet for curious but shy or embarrassed students to anonymously ask their burning sex-related questions - painting a picture of what the younger generation do know, and what they really, really don't.

Other questions Thomas has received include "Can sperm drown?", "Is it normal to have public hair at the age of 10?", "Why is there different types of sex [sic]?", "What happens in your body that makes you have a bonur [sic]?", "Should I be scared if I have seen porn?" and "How do I teach myself how to love myself?"

"Not every kid is watching porn, but a couple of kids in the class are watching porn, you can tell in nearly every class," Thomas said. "They get shown stuff, they get air-dropped pictures, they're maybe at a friend's house and they want to fit in.

"Parents aren't talking about it because they don't think that their nice child would watch pornography - very nice kids watch pornography because they're curious."

She added that parents, caregivers and supervisors should approach such topics calmly and attempt to validate the child's curiosity, rather than shutting it down.

"Every child is definitely mature enough to be talking about this stuff, in an age-appropriate way, according to where you think your child is at," she advised.

"We [also] need to be talking about the dangers of pornography, just like we talk about the dangers of swimming in a rip or riding a bike without a helmet."

A recent New Zealand study indicated 75 percent of boys and 58 percent of girls aged 14 to 17 had viewed porn and one in four 17-year old boys watched regularly. Many young people first discover porn by accident, often at a very young age: in the study, 25 percent of the young people had seen porn by 12 or under.