Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Does Sex Ed Belong in School?

The answer to this question depends entirely on what you think sex is all about. If it is just a physiological/psychological mechanism designed to produce pleasure for the participants and babies are just an occasional inconvenience that randomly appear for no particular reason and the appearance of which can be controlled by technology, well then rock on with the sex talk to grade sixers. But what if sex is beautiful, personal, holy and centered on babies, raising children and families? Well, maybe a strictly physiological/psychological approach might be inadequate.

Barbara Kay has a brilliant column today in the National Post called "The Cult of Multisexualism." Here is how it begins:
Sex education in the schools isn’t new. As John Moore pointed out in his Post column yesterday (“Hide your kids. The Liberals are coming”), Ontario’s more graphic additions, hastily rescinded to accommodate Christian and Muslim critics, were mere “tweakings” to a well-entrenched model.

Taken for granted in Moore’s column was the notion that early sex education — tweaked or untweaked — was a good idea to begin with.

Unless countered by vigorous instruction at home, no children in the last several decades have left school believing their sexuality has a higher purpose than giving them bodily pleasure. From adolescence they have been encouraged by sex educators — no, pressured — to maximize sexual pleasure (but with condoms!), and made to feel abnormal if they prefer chastity to sex without love or commitment. What’s so good about that?

John Moore scoffs at the idea that sex ed programs are designed by “activists,” but that’s only because he likes what they’re teaching. If he didn’t, he too would call them activists. Sex educators are pushing an ideology that is to sex what multiculturalism is to race. In fact what sex education in the schools promotes should be called multisexualism.

Multiculturalism teaches that all cultures and religions are equally worthy of respect except Christianity and whiteness. Multisexualism teaches that all sexual behaviours and lifestyles are of equal social worth, except those that refuse to detach morality from sexuality.

The multisexualist attitude is epitomized in the person of Dr. Brock Chisholm, a Canadian soldier and psychiatrist, who became the first director of the World Health Organization in 1946. A pioneering advocate for sex education in the schools, Chisholm thought that the greatest obstacle to children’s self-realization was the concept of “right and wrong.” From his perspective, sex education was necessary to overcome “the ways of elders — by force if necessary.” There’s a political name for that. Begins with T.

Ah, yes, the infamous "T word" that value that dare not pronounce its name out loud. Read the rest here.

This is one of the few articles on this subject that gets past the shallow slogans and gets down to real philosophical and ethical issues. How many times have we heard over the past week that children will learn about sex on the playground so it is important for the school to "put it in context." Well, I'd be for that if that were actually what the sex ed curriculum was doing.

The problem is that the sex ed curriculum does the opposite; it totally ignores the proper ethical and traditional context in which sex needs to be understood in order for children to grow up with healthy attitudes toward it. Sex ed curriculum strips the traditonal moral and religious context away from human sexuality and thereby portrays it as merely a matter of hormones and pleasure. It deletes the family context and makes it totally individualistic. Whether it does so intentionally in every case or not is a debatable point, but the fact is that it does so.

This means, in my opinion, that either the schools teach sex ed from within the ethical and religious perspective of the parents - that is, from a traditional perspective - or if they conclude that that is not possible then then they should leave it to parents and religious institutions.
What they should never under any circumstances do is what they are doing now, namely to undermine the parents' religious and ethical beliefs in the name of "neutrality."

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