I would not dodge the questions on sex—on the contrary, one ought to be glad when a spontaneous opportunity arises to speak honestly and clearly on the subject since it simply will no longer do to send the girls out into the world without having taught them about sex.
But one must choose [the topics] carefully, avoiding sultry eroticism. However, teaching the elementary facts of life and their meaning, honestly as well as realistically, is far from dangerous.
Of course, should you have totally ignorant children among your students, even this may precipitate a crisis; you have to know your class and treat them accordingly.
Saint Edith Stein
Letter 122 to Mother Callista Brenzing, O.Cist. (excerpt)
18 October 1932
Note: Mother Callista was a member of the Cistercian convent at Seligenthal, whose sisters functioned as educators.
Stein, E. 1993, Self-Portrait in Letters, 1916-1942, Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Discalced Carmelite, translated from the German by Koeppel, J, ICS Publications, Washington DC.
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