29 Sep An Awkward but Important Talk
September 29, 2016
Parents, now that the school year is underway, we need to have a talk about sex education. While this may be an awkward subject for some parents, it is more important than ever that we and our children become comfortable talking about this together.
If your children are in Jr. High or High School, chances are they may be expected to take a sex-ed unit sometime this year. Please read today’s alert before you sign that parental permission slip.
Today’s UFI contributor Megan Kunz offers an honest review of a prominent sex-ed program available worldwide, and although your school may not be using this exact curriculum, it may be similar in content. We join Megan in urging parents to know what your children are being taught, “and be involved enough that our own beliefs about such a critical and impactful aspect of our children’s lives take precedence.”
What else can you do?
• Be like the hundreds of parents in the state of Nevada who attended school board meetings and spoke up against an inappropriate sex-ed program in their state — and stopped it.
• Work with other parents to review the textbooks in your school or district. You may even offer your services to the school board to preview books before the district purchases them.
• Consider letting your child take their Health class online, or better yet, teach it at home.
Parents, you are still the number one influence in your children’s lives – above teachers, peers, even the media! So please have a talk with them about sex education. It may be awkward at first, but the more you talk the more natural it will become, and it is so critically important.
Plain Jane Sex-Ed, or Illusive Tool to Sexualize Our Children?
by Megan Kunz
Those of us who went to public school can probably vividly recall the blush-inducing sex education that older students told us to watch out for as we entered fifth grade. Back then, the topics typically covered normal changes that would occur to our bodies during puberty, what sexual intercourse is, and some information regarding STI’s and pregnancy risk. It was awkward, but pretty benign.
However, today, International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is reaching across the globe to replace traditional sex-ed with their version of “Comprehensive Sex Education” (CSE), entitled “It’s all One.” IPPF claims that this curriculum is “to enable young people to enjoy—and advocate for their rights to—dignity, equality, and healthy, responsible, and satisfying sexual lives.” Unfortunately, this curriculum goes well beyond what a typical “plain Jane” sex education entails. As United Families International has previously reported, “This new comprehensive sex education curriculum not only trains students in ‘pleasuring themselves and others’ but it is well-constructed, comprehensive, and highly effective manual for training your children to become gender and sexual rights activists.”
Consider these purposes of the “It’s All One” curriculum. A primary goal is to normalize all types of sexual relationships, including same-sex relationships, so that children can be led to believe there is nothing wrong with any form of sexual expression. In this normalizing effort every type of sexual behavior is seen as appropriate so long as it is “pleasurable.”
In doing so, the curriculum goes well beyond basic anatomy and understanding of human sexuality, and describes techniques and practices many parents would likely be concerned about their children engaging in: “Sources of sexual pleasure may include fantasies, words, reading, watching a film, caressing, kissing, or genital contact.” Watching a film? There is only one type of film IPPF is endorsing here – pornography, which is unacceptable in many homes for a range of important reasons. Most of us do not want our children told that pornography is an acceptable way to enhance sexual pleasure.
Further, according to “It’s all One,” if you don’t have a sexual partner, it’s no problem. Self-stimulation is “an important way that people learn about their bodies and sexuality.” It is “a safe sexual behavior” that “is neither physically nor mentally harmful.” This is a pretty broad claim, considering there is plenty of research that states otherwise, not to mention a broad spectrum of opinions within families regarding the appropriateness of such behavior.
The curriculum also contains a section on “Interpersonal Relationships.” It sounds harmless (and, really, it should be)… until you get to the dating advice. After condoning sexual exploration with a dating partner, IPPF explains, “… love is not always part of sex. Even in the absence of love, sex partners can share trust, respect, care, and pleasure.” Not only are our children being told that it is perfectly fine to engage in sexual activity while dating (with no caveat that children should council with their parents on the matter), but they are also being told that this type of relationship can be totally casual – love is not required. To take this one step further, students are urged to “talk about whether or not they will have sex partners outside their relationship.”
Sadly, this is just the tip of the iceberg. This curriculum is loaded with information that is far beyond what any school or educational system should be teaching children. An additional section on abortion lists the vast number of reasons a woman might want to abort her unborn child, such as “They don’t want to become a parent at the time of the pregnancy,” or “their relationship with their partner is becoming difficult.” As with the other sections there is no mention of discussing the ethics or morals of this practice with parents. There is also no reference, whatsoever, of the option of adoption rather than choosing abortion.
Basic sexual education is one thing, but sex education that disregards a parent’s wishes and beliefs is another. Parents should plan to be the ones to talk to their children about sex, in the context of their family’s beliefs.
While this curriculum is being pushed worldwide, we don’t have to settle for it. We do not have to allow our children to be manipulated by organizations who want to sexualize them in their youth, muddy their commitment to family values, and disconnect them from their parents.
So what can be done? States vary in their involvement with regards to mandated sex education, and decisions regarding what is taught trickle all the way down to the local school board. All of us can advocate for family rights by being involved in our own school district’s decisions regarding sex education curricula. While we do not currently have a nationally mandated sex education curriculum, this may not be the case in the future – consider the President’s recently mandated protocol for schools to allow either gender the use of any school bathroom (which was recently blocked). We should take advantage of the opportunity to be involved at the local level while it is still an option.
Most of all, we must know what is going on in our own children’s lives. We must know what they are being taught, and be involved enough that our own beliefs about such a critical and impactful aspect of our children’s lives take precedence.
Megan Kunz graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marriage and Family Studies from Brigham Young-University Idaho. She has written for Power of Moms and interned with Learn.Do.Become. While she is passionate about defending the family, she spends the bulk her time these days homeschooling her four young children and trying to keep pace with her busy family.