Sex education for tots is in the headlines. Last month it was a policy in Provincetown, Massachusetts making condoms available to first graders. Student requests were to be kept secret and parents’ objections ignored.
Now the news is from Montana. If the Helena school district has its way, kindergarteners will learn about “reproductive body parts”: the penis, vagina, breast, nipples, testicles, scrotum, and uterus. Ten year olds will be taught that “sexual intercourse includes but is not limited to vaginal, oral, or anal penetration”. Two years later they will discover this may involve “the penis, fingers, tongue or objects”.
Have these people lost their minds? To the contrary. All these maneuvers are entirely consistent with the sex education programs supported by President Obama. Moreover, the administration would like taxpayers to fund their export to the rest of the world.
Who came up with the notion that it’s necessary to teach the world’s children about high risk sex acts their parents never heard of? The usual suspects: Planned Parenthood and the Sexuality Education and Information Council of the United States (SEICUS, a private organization). These groups portray themselves as guardians of our children’s health; they claim to provide students with all the information and skills they need to make smart choices. Their curricula, they declare, are comprehensive, age appropriate, ideologically neutral, and medically accurate. They give children the same message as parents: you’re too young – wait until you’re older.
If only it was so. The priority of this industry is not sexual health, but sexual freedom. Their objective is not for students to delay sexual behavior and remain free of infection, but for them to be open, from a tender age, to just about any form of sexual activity.
Let’s get this straight. There is no evidence that knowing the anatomy of male and female genitalia is vital to the well-being of young children. And the “one size fits all” approach, mandating that children learn about intercourse or same sex attraction at a particular age, is contrary to the principles of child development.
Children are not miniature adults. Introducing them to new information that cannot be easily assimilated can be distressing. A young child has his own theories about where babies come from, based on what he already knows; he may think his sibling came from a store or the hospital, or that his mother consumed some particular food or drink.
There’s nothing wrong with that. “Parents should respond to the needs and curiosity level of their individual child”, says the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, “offering no more or less information than their child is asking for and is able to understand”. In other words, let him be.
The sex ed oligarchy ignores this wisdom. And while insisting that first graders be taught “human beings can love people of the same gender and people of another gender”, and expecting third graders to “define HIV/AIDS”, these “experts” omit critical biological facts from the one group that actually needs sex education: adolescents.
Among other things, middle and high school students are not taught that:
* Intimate behavior causes the release of a brain chemical that promotes feelings of attachment and trust, even if you are with a stranger.
* A girl’s immature cervix increases her vulnerability to genital infections. HIV aside, girls and women carry 80% of the burden of negative consequences from early sexual behavior and multiple partners.
* Faeces are filled with dangerous pathogens. Oral-anal contact is associated with serious infectious diseases such as salmonella, shigella, and hepatitis A, B, and C.
* The physiology and anatomy of the anus is vastly different from the vagina. Regarding HIV transmission, anal intercourse is at least twenty times more dangerous than vaginal intercourse.
* As stated on condom wrappers, breakage is more likely to occur during anal intercourse
How do “comprehensive” sex educators justify the omission of these life-saving facts? How do they boldly claim that their curricula are medically accurate, and their sole priority the health of children? I don’t know about Montana, but where I come from, that’s called chutzpah.
The administration wants to see programs like Helena’s go global. This year, thirty-nine House democrats introduced H.R. 5121, the Global Sexual and Reproductive Health Act of 2010. It calls for comprehensive sex education in developing countries using US taxpayer funds.
How do we fight this madness? Like hundreds of parents, grandparents, teachers, and clergy in Helena are – by standing up publicly and insisting that sex education, like all health matters, be based on biological truths, not social agendas. By reminding authorities that this is a war against disease, not social injustice. And by proclaiming loud and clear: “my child’s innocence is precious. You try and take that away, and you’ll be sorry.”
Miriam Grossman, MD is a child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist and the author of You’re Teaching My Child What? A Physician Exposes the Lies of Sex Education and How They Harm Your Child (Regnery). She is a scholar in residence at World Youth Alliance.