18 May Your child’s school, Sex Education, and You
Your child’s school, Sex Education, and You
In a recent victory for parents of Canadian school children, it was the parents that decided what their children would be taught, not teachers, not “educational experts,” not politicians, and definitely not the bureaucrats that run the Ontario education system.
Some type of sex education has been a part of that province’s education system for over 30 years, but this past January the ministry of education released a revised curriculum for students in grades one through eight. This curriculum included such topics as homosexuality, gender identity and sexual orientation””and here’s the punch line””being taught to third graders (ages seven to eight in Canada). Masturbation would be taught in grade six and oral and anal sex in grade seven.
This new curriculum caught the attention of “experts” in the U.S. Elizabeth Schroeder, executive director of Answer, an organization based at Rutgers University providing and promoting comprehensive sexuality education. Ms. Schroeder was thrilled:
“I thought this is so fantastic that someone is finally setting the stage that, to be comprehensive, sex education cannot start in high school or even middle school – you have to start early because everything is a building block.”
“I was so excited. Then when I saw they changed their minds, I thought: Oh great, why don’t you just move down here. That’s what we do in the States, kow-tow to parents groups and religious leaders instead of sticking our feet in the ground and saying ‘We are the educational experts.'”
In the last sentence of that quote is the crux of the situation; it reveals a disturbing attitude on the part of the educational establishment. Who does have the final say in what your children are taught? One thing is for certain, if you are not aware and involved in the schools, it won’t be you.
The good news is that these Canadian parents were aware. Although the media blamed the “rethinking” of this sex ed curriculum on the “religious right,” it was the parents who contacted their schools, organized writing campaigns, and protests against the proposed curriculum. Those familiar with Canadian politics acknowledge that the “religious right” in Canada is not strong enough to have the power to squelch this revised curriculum; it was engaged parents who decided they were in charge of their children’s education.
Comprehensive Sex Education vs. Abstinence Education
The usual tired lines regarding the need for “comprehensive sex ed” rather than abstinence education filled the Canadian media: “We’re not teaching anything that children don’t see every day on the TV or internet.” “We’re just trying to teach medically accurate information.” “Parents want us to teach comprehensive sex ed to their children.”
Unfortunately our children are subjected to much questionable material through the popular media. That is no reason to immerse them in more questionable material while at school. As for the charge of abstinence education not being “medically accurate,” the opponents of abstinence object to this medically accurate information being taught: condoms and contraception regularly fail; many STDs cannot be prevented through the consistent use of a condom; pre-marital sex is associated with elevated risks of suicide, depression, substance abuse, anxiety, and dating violence. We have provided you with more research below.
The comprehensive education advocates even admit that they are not teaching “safe sex;” in fact they have changed their mantra of “safe sex” to “sa fer sex.” They know premarital sex is not safe. These statistics come from Planned Parenthood’s own research organization, The Guttmacher Institute.
Nearly 50% of teenage girls become pregnant while using the contraceptive pill and over 70% become pregnant while using condoms
One in every five teens using condoms becomes pregnant within one year
1 in 5 adolescents currently have an STD
What do we know for sure? Abstinence is 100% effective. We also know that abstinence education works. A recent study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine also gives support to the effectiveness of abstinence education.
What do parents want their children taught?
Zogby Polls (2004, 2007) give us some clue as to national attitudes :
91 percent of parents want schools to teach that “adolescents should be expected to abstain from sexual activity during high school years.”
79 percent of parents want teens to be taught that they should not engage in sexual activity until they are married or at least in an adult relationship leading to marriage.
68 percent of parents want sex education programs to teach that “individuals who are not sexually active until they are married have the best chances of marital stability and happiness.”
91 percent of parents want teens to be taught that “the best choice is for sexual intercourse to be linked to love, intimacy, and commitment. These qualities are most likely to occur in a faithful marriage.”
What should you, as a parent, be doing?
1. The summer is a great time to go to your school district offices and ask to review the Sex Ed curriculum. Please find out who authored the program. If you find that Planned Parenthood Federation (PPF) or any of its affiliates have been involved in the program’s development, this should be a huge red flag that this is a program that is “Comprehensive Sex Ed” or working its way toward that. Politely express your concerns and then get involved in changing the curriculum to match your values.
2. Volunteer to be a parent volunteer or representative for all curriculum review and approval committees””not just for sex education.
3. Don’t turn any part of your children’s education over to someone else without full awareness of what is being taught. Review your children’s textbooks. Ask lots of questions.
As parents, we have to remember there are many different motives when creating sex education curriculum for our children. Most are well intentioned, but some definitely are not, as this quote from a former Planned Parenthood employee reveals: “We had a whole plan to sell abortions and it was called sex education: breakdown their natural modesty, separate them from their parents and their values and become the sex expert in their lives so they’d turn to us.” Constant vigilance is the key to protecting our children.
Kudos to the Canadian parents who were vigilant and got involved. We’re encouraged and hope this information empowers you as well. While we can appreciate your education professionals, there will always be a limit to their knowledge of what is actually best for your child, because no one knows your child better than you; no one cares more about your child’s future than you.
Your relationship with your child is life long, not one that ends with the formal educational process. As parents, our direct responsibility and desire for our children’s adult success and happiness must play into the educational process. By being aware of what our children are learning, we can work with education professionals to create the optimum educational situation for our children. Walt Disney once said that out greatest natural resource are the minds of our children. Parents have the greatest responsibility and claim on developing that natural resource!
Stand up for the family, and traditional values by supporting UFI!
Sixty-five percent of unmarried students who engaged in casual sex did so in the context of illegal drug or alcohol use. Catherine M. Grello, Deborah P. Welsh, and Melinda S. harper, “No Strings Attached: The Nature of Casual Sex in College Students,” The Journal of Sex Research 43 (2006): 255-267.More Research on Schools and Sex Education
- Condoms are NOT a primary prevention against genital Human Papillomavirus (HPV) (CDC Report to Congress, 2004).
- “[A]dolescents who received information on condoms were twice as likely to have participated in genital play, oral sex, and vaginal intercourse as those who had not received formal contraceptive education. Melina M. Bersamin et al., “Promising to Wait: Virginity Pledges and Adolescent Sexual Behavior,” Journal of Adolescent Health 36 (2005): 428-436.
- A nationwide study found that compared to those who marry as virgins, men are 63 % more likely and women 76 % more likely to divorce if they have had sex before marriage. Edward O. Laumann et al., The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994), p. 364. *This study from University of Chicago is regarded as the most authoritative and carefully designed recent survey on sex.
- Condom use has increased over the last 25 years, yet the spread of STDs has risen to epidemic proportions. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tracking the Hidden Epidemics 2000: Trends in STDs in the United States, 2000, at http://www.cdc.gov/nchstp/od/news/RevBrochure1pdftoc.htm
- Condoms failed to prevent the transmission of the HIV virus between 15 percent and 31 percent of the time. Dr. Susan Weller, “A Meta-Analysis of Condom Effectiveness in Reducing Sexually Transmitted HIV,” Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 36, No. 12 (1993).
- Planned Parenthood’s own Allan Guttmacher Institute states that in the prevention of pregnancy, condoms will fail 25.8 percent of the time when used by children under the age of 18. Ranjit, Bankole, Darroch and Singh. “Contraceptive Failure in the First Two Years of Use: Differences Across Socioeconomic Subgroups.” Family Planning Perspectives 2001, 33(1);25.