Sex Ed for Kids

HEADLINE:  Ontario government announces return to 1998

sex education curriculum in schools.

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I’m a thirteen-year-old girl, just finishing grade eight.  I like to send pictures of myself to friends, sometimes without clothes on.  My friends say they like them.  But now I think I’m in trouble.

sexting

I’m a fifteen-year-old boy in grade ten.  At night in my room, I look at porn sites I find online.  Sometimes, I pretend I’m one of the guys fooling around with those girls and I do what they’re doing.  Nobody knows and it feels great.

FACT:  The 1998 sex education curriculum is notably silent on such topics as sexting, masturbation, and online pornography.

I’m a thirteen-year-old girl and I have a boyfriend who wants to make out with me.  He says if I don’t wheel with him, he’ll find somebody else, so that’s what we do.  It would suck to be alone.

I’m a fifteen-year-old boy and I wish I was dead.  Everybody hates me.  They call me names and say awful things about me online.

cyberbullying

FACT:  The current sex education curriculum, which is being scrapped, begins to discuss strategies to deal with peer pressure and bullying as early as grade two.

I’m a thirteen-year-old girl and I nearly freaked when I started bleeding down there the first time.  I thought I was dying.  One of my friends told me get used to it, it’s going to be there for the rest of my life.  I can’t believe it!

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I’m a fifteen-year-old boy with pimples all over my face, and people tell me I stink all the time.  And I don’t have any hair on my legs like my friends do.

FACT:  The 1998 sex education curriculum is notably silent on such topics as menstruation, the physical changes associated with puberty, and the reproductive system.

I’m a thirteen-year-old girl with a friend whose parents let her drink at home.  When they’re not there, we raid their booze and have a party.  My friend adds water to the bottles so nobody knows.

I’m a fifteen-year-old boy and I can’t wait for the weekend when me and my friends get high.  We know a guy who gets weed for us easy-peasy.

toking

FACT:  The current sex education curriculum, which is being scrapped, begins to deal with substance abuse and healthy living as early as grade one.

I’m a thirteen-year-old girl and I don’t like boys.  Some of my girlfriends feel the same way, so kids call us lesbos or dykes.  What’s that about?

friends1

I’m a fifteen-year-old boy and I can’t stand queers.  Me and my friends laugh at them, call them names, post pictures of them online.  It’s hilarious.

FACT:  The 1998 sex education curriculum is notably silent on such topics as gender identity, sexual orientation, stereotypes and assumptions, and understanding of self.

I’m a thirteen-year-old girl and I think I’m in big trouble.  I can’t tell my boyfriend, and for sure not my parents, but I think I have an infection or something in my privates.

I’m a fifteen-year-old boy and all the guys are making fun of me ‘cause I haven’t done it yet with a girl.

shy

FACT:  The current sex education curriculum, which is being scrapped, begins to discuss sexual health, sexually-transmitted infections, pregnancy prevention, and delaying sexual activity in grade seven.

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The 1998 sex education curriculum was developed twenty years ago for a previous generation of students.  It is so outdated that, in all its verbiage, there is but one single mention of the internet.  Its defenders appear to believe that all the information young people will need to grow into well-adjusted, healthy, well-informed adults will be imparted to them by their parents.

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If only every child had parents informed enough and willing to doing so.

The current sex education curriculum, which is being scrapped, may not be perfect, but it is far and away superior to what we had before.  But don’t take my word for it; you can examine an overview of it at this safe link—

https://www.ontario.ca/page/sex-education-ontario#section-2

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Although well beyond the age of having children of my own in our public school system, I am alarmed by what our recently-elected government in Ontario is doing to future generations with this misguided step into the past.

sex ed3

I always thought it was the truth that would make us free.

Lust and Power

In a 1976 interview for Playboy magazine, the 39th president of the United States, Jimmy Carter, said, “I’ve committed adultery in my heart many times.”  This was in response to a question about his views on the Bible’s admonitions about adultery, and was a paraphrase of Christ’s teachings in Matthew 5: 28—“I tell you that anyone who looks on a woman with lust in his heart has already committed adultery.”

carter

Many were aghast that so prominent a man would admit that, thereby damaging his political standing.  Others saw it as an honest answer from a pious man, acknowledging his imperfections.  Still others saw it as a cynical ploy—embracing both arrogance and humility—wanting to appear virtuous in the face of temptation, thus enhancing his political position.

Whatever it was, it is extremely unlikely Carter was the only man to have sinned in that fashion, although most of us would not choose to admit it.

There is obviously a difference between the so-called evil of lust and the widely-accepted blessing of love—but perhaps not so great a gap as might be imagined.  Lust is relatively easy to define: a strong, sexual desire; a sensuous appetite (regarded by many today as sinful).  Its blunt hunger can be satiated, at least temporarily, through participation in a sex act with someone else, or even alone.

Love is a softer sentiment, usually involving sexual attraction, but also embracing such emotions as friendship, protectiveness, tolerance, forgiveness, happiness, fulfilment, and mutual respect.  It is something that, although freely given, must also be earned.  In a truly loving relationship, the quest for love is never satiated, but yearned for, and given, all the more.

It cannot be disputed that the propagation of our species has relied upon the sexual attraction between men and women, their lust for each other.  If two people also found love in their coupling, that was a bonus.  Love for one another was not required in order to produce offspring.

Image result for free pictures of caveman and cavewoman

Biologically speaking, lust can drive a person to have sexual relations with more than one partner of either gender, and more than once with each.  And so it is with love.  There is no biological impediment to falling in love with, and entering into a loving relationship with, multiple partners—although obviously, no children will result from a union of partners of the same gender.

Over time, and for a multitude of reasons, monogamous marriages became the norm in our culture.  Although men and women could fall in love with more than one person, the law allowed us to marry but one at a time.  However, the standing of each person in the conjugal union was unequal.  For a long time, women were considered to be, if not the property of their husbands, at least subordinate to them.  Power resided with the men. That status has changed ever so slowly, only beginning a hundred years or so ago.

At the time the Dominion of Canada was formed, a decade before the birth of the great Republic to the south, our fathers of confederation and their founding fathers espoused equality for all.  But that noble ideal was to be applied only to the propertied classes—almost all of whom were male, white, rich, and protestant.  Others of different gender, race, wealth, and religion were scarcely considered, except as property, workers, or servants.

Money and power were all that really mattered, and both resided with men.

Thus, it continued to be possible for men who lusted after women (or other men, or children) to prey upon them with relative impunity.  Might makes right, as the adage has it, and fear can make cowards of us all.  For the victims, suffering the abuse in silence was often more palatable than facing the public shaming and loss of employment that would crush them if they complained—assuming they would have been believed in the first place.

Depressed Tenage Girl

Jimmy Carter was honest in his admission.  But I wonder, is it possible all men harbour such thoughts from time to time, even if only a relatively small number act on them?  I cast no stones at him.

I also wonder, does power corrupt only men?  Would women who come to power be immune to its seductive persuasions?  And would any act on them?

Sexual misbehaviour of any sort is unacceptable, a monstrous issue only now being brought to the broader public arena.  But I believe it is power, not lust, that is the driving force behind such behaviour.  Any of us might experience lustful feelings, just as any of us might fall in love.  But only the most powerful, the most arrogant, the most sociopathic among us would mobilize those feelings into unwanted actions, forced upon unwilling victims, solely for our own gratification.

It is as if the predators, when seized by a biological imperative, say to themselves, Because I can, I will.  And who is to deny me?

And so, it is time, as many are saying—time to expose and shame those who are found guilty of transgressions, time to re-assess the accepted perquisites of power, time to educate our young people as to what is deemed acceptable in social intercourse, time to redefine the relationship between men and women.

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It is more than time.