Jewish World Review May 6, 2005 / 27 Nisan, 5765
Veggie porn in school?
The sex educators in Montgomery County, Md., have devised a film
for 10th-graders that features a young lady putting a condom on a cucumber.
You do wonder, when you read about these things, why they stop there.
After all, if the assumption is that kids are too stupid to know
how to unroll a condom unless it is demonstrated for them, then why would
they be smart enough to know that it goes on a penis and not on the contents
of the vegetable bin in the refrigerator?
But guess what? They are indeed worried about that. Wendy
Shalit, in a City Journal piece dating from 1998, described a New York
teacher's guide that urged ninth-grade health teachers to unroll condoms and
stretch them out onto "two fingers."
A "teacher's note" reads, "Make sure that learning disabled and
all students understand that a condom goes on the erect penis, and not on
the fingers as demonstrated." It's impossible to satirize these people. For
this, we are taking valuable class time away from American history,
literature and science?
Most states derive their sex-ed curricula, in whole or in part,
from the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, a
group with a decidedly liberal view of these matters. SIECUS promotes sex ed
starting in kindergarten, when children should be taught the proper names
for body parts and the difference between good touch and bad touch.
In New York, kindergarteners also learn the difference between
transmissible and non-transmissible diseases, the terms HIV and AIDS, and
that "AIDS is hard to get." But the 5- and 6-year-olds are not left in the
dark. Teachers tell them how people get AIDS, along with the information
that "it feels good to touch parts of the body."
I wonder: Do even New York parents want their kindergarteners
instructed on the mechanics of HIV transmission and offered early initiation
into the pleasures of sexual touching?
Montgomery County was sued by two parent groups. It wasn't just
the erect cucumber to which the parents objected. The school board was
modifying its sex-ed curriculum (already a document spanning 14 pages) in
ways that even that Kerry-supporting, nuclear-free, recycling county found
hard to take.
At one time, the new curriculum was going to feature information
on flavored condoms. There's something that will help the trade deficit! The
cheery young lady who protects the cucumber also advises her audience of 14-
and 15 year-olds that abstinence is the surest way to prevent pregnancy,
but, "Buying condoms isn't as scary as you might think."
Read that, and then try to take seriously the sex educators'
claim that they are merely providing information for teens not
encouraging early sexuality. It's impossible to know how much of an effect
sex ed has on kids' decisions, but it is interesting that even SIECUS
acknowledged back in the '90s that sex ed had not succeeded in reducing teen
pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases at all.
Indeed, as Shalit observes, it's possible to make at least a
prima facie case that sex ed may have done the reverse. A 1991 study in
Family Planning Perspectives found that instruction on contraceptives was
"significantly correlated with an earlier onset of sexual activity."
If sex ed were merely the birds and the bees, anatomy and a few
cautionary notes about sexually transmitted diseases, even most
traditionally minded parents would not object. But quite often the sex
educators are much more ambitious. Montgomery County's school board also
proposed (before backing down in the face of protest) to teach kids that
homosexual experimentation was normal. Even the revised curriculum still
contains tendentious statements like, "Most experts in the field have
concluded that sexual orientation is not a choice," and, "American families
are becoming more complex, and the greater variety of households encourages
open mindedness in society."
Middle- and high-schoolers would further be invited to explore
their own sexual identity. They'd be introduced to the idea of transgendered
individuals and advised that "biology is not destiny."
It took a lawsuit to suspend the march of this brave new world
in Montgomery County. A federal judge ruled on May 5 to grant a 10-day
restraining order against the school board.
Do you know what's happening at your child's school?
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