See No Evil, Speak No Evil, Hear No Evil

2 04 2010

A local newspaper recently published a poll on sex education in public schools. 

Highlights:
“No teaching is better than teaching without morality.”
“I think sex education does not belong in the schools. It isn’t merely a matter of preventing pregnancy and venereal disease; it is a matter of keeping God’s commandments.”

No teaching is better than teaching without morality? Really? It’s better to have a kid completely clueless about contraception instead of explaining how to use a condom?

Sure, in an ideal world, all sex education would happen at home. Parents would be well-informed about all manner of sexual issues and be able to teach their children the basics with a healthy side of personal values. But guess what, folks? We don’t live in an ideal world.

I spent a large part of my formative years in California (obviously what led to my raging liberalism). When I was in the 3rd grade, my teacher’s wife became pregnant. Mr. Liebman thought we should all understand what was going on, so at the ripe old age of 8 I had my first exposure to sex ed. Fortunately, I didn’t particularly understand any of it, and all I recall is some animated sperm and eggs hanging out.

I had sex ed again in middle school. The only thing that stuck with me there was poor Brian Clarke having to read the paragraph on how girls’ breasts develop. Hee. Middle school teachers are so mean.

What I’m getting at here is that I had multiple exposures to sex education, and still managed to remain a virgin until I was married. Sex ed is not the problem. I have several stories I could share to illustrate that point, but sadly, these stories are from the experiences of others and are not mine to tell. I’ll just say that I know first-hand of times when even morally bankrupt sex ed would’ve been better than nothing at all.

And yeah, I have the luxury of talking about this long before my kids are exposed to it. It’s possible I’ll change my mind when they’re older, but I doubt it.

For some reason, every time I hear about the sex ed debate, I’m reminded of the whole evolution vs. creationism cage match. Obviously if you believe in creationism, anyone teaching evolution is a minion of Satan who is actively trying to drag your spawn to hell. Or, I don’t know, maybe they’re just trying to help your child make well-informed decisions. You think evolution is a bunch of hooey (despite documented evidence to the contrary)? Tell your kid. Explain to them that some people believe a certain way, but your personal beliefs and values teach something different.

We all want what’s best for our kids, and to that end, we sometimes try to limit their exposure to the world. But what happens to the child who leaves home and is suddenly faced with an onslaught of opinions and information that he’s never heard before?

Just a few thoughts I’ve been mulling over. So…release the Kraken!

I’m sorry. I’ve been wanting to say that for weeks.

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4 responses

3 04 2010
boquinha

Peter, isn’t it just too simple to use that kind of logic? It defies comprehension for some.

And I LOVE Craig Ferguson.

3 04 2010
Peter

If you had watched Craig Ferguson’s opening monologue last night, you would not be saying “Release the Kraken!” I think your brazen use of sexual imagery shows how sex ed in CA corrupted you. 😉

Oh, and one more thing: Hate abortion? The easiest way to reduce abortions is to improve sex ed and access to contraceptives. There’s some logic for ya.

3 04 2010
Boquinha

Amen.

We homeschool. We don’t fit the stereotype that exists out there about homeschoolers. We don’t hide our children in the basement, keep them from people, shelter them from the outside world, and study all of our school subjects using only the Bible. We actually choose to homeschool for family and (gasp!) academic reasons. It’s a lifestyle choice for us. We don’t look at it as better or worse than public schooling, but simply as a different academic option and one that suits us very well!

But let me say this — it’d be a cold day in hell before we would ever join some crazy right-wing, ultra-religious homeschool group. We started a group years ago that is specifically INCLUSIVE, meaning all are welcome. Our group has all kinds — Democrats, Republicans, Mormons, Pagans, Quakers, Catholics, Atheists, Agnostics, and everything in between. There’s no way I would feel right about raising and educating our kids in a bubble where everyone believes and does the exact same thing. BORING.

I once heard an ultra-conservative woman (she rather quickly left our group of her own accord feeling we are way too liberal and not a good fit for her Bible-is-literal family) say, “I teach my children based on logic. So, when we learn about evolution, I teach them, using logic, how that simply can’t be.”

WHAT?!?!?!

I *love* our group and especially love its diversity. Liberal Jenny would probably enjoy some of our conversations. They are a riot. You’d fit right in. 😛

3 04 2010
Melanie Martin

Is there anything more beautiful than a room full of quiet jr. high kids, staring at their desks and listening to words like “estrogen,” “testosterone,” “gonads,” and “pubic hair”? Thoughts like that make me want to teach 7th grade health.

Thanks for the fun blog!

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