Parents truly have a right to be not only outraged but also greatly alarmed about sex being taught to their children. Full disclosure regarding what sex education is really about and what it does to kindgarten/schoolchildren is long overdue.
After years of study of the matter and experience as a social worker, I am convinced that all classroom sex education is bad, full stop. This is because it is such a sensitive issue that it needs to be left to parents. Sex as a subject for schoolchildren has now become a juggernaut, out of control, and the brakes have to be applied, quickly and sharply for the good of all schoolchildren.
It is harmful because children are literally at the mercy of the classroom teacher, as it is up to each teacher really as to what is taught. Sure, they have "guidelines" to follow but can teachers use their own resources and "innovate" in line with their own point of view?
Their "philosophy of life" may not correspond to that of parents. Philosophy, ethics, definitely concern instruction about how anyone should conduct themselves sexually.
It is not really a matter of what is acceptable but of what is good or harmful for the child. Relatively speaking, few schoolchildren are engaged in sexual activities despite claims to the contrary. Those who are should be encouraged to desist. In my experience, problems can be blown out of proportion. The ever increasing call for teachers to act as social workers as well has proved to be too much of an expectation.
The majority of parents/teachers would still wish to discourage schoolchildren from being sexually active. Those schoolchildren who need advice, need it on a one to one basis. This sort of assistance is far more effective, just as other medical matters are also discussed in privacy.
Natural bashfulness, embarrassment, guilt, all play parts in the process of coming to terms with whatever children have done contrary to their parents instructions. They do not need more incentives or encouragement to experiment in areas they are just not equipped to properly comprehend.
My research has revealed that behaviour modification was a major reason for sex education as a response to more and more graphic sexual activities becoming the subject of TV, movies and advertisements as "sex sells".
Such exposure was said to increase children's interest in sexual matters. Therefore, the solution was to compound the problem even more by exposing the children to more sex as captive classroom audiences.
The positive claims made for sex education have not been proven and are invariably made by those with a vested interest. In the final analysis then the reality is that parents still retain the most influence over their children.
They must reassert themselves by refusing permission for their children to attend any sex education classes. They need not be afraid of exercising their God given rights by sending a letter to the principals of each school their child attends. In terms of the Education Act they can withdraw their children from all classes concerned with sex education - regrettably, this fact is not always made clear to parents.
Ideally there should be an opt-in clause for children at school as opposed to an opt-out clause. It is, to me, self-evident that some, at least, parents who are essentially in favour of sex education, would be appalled to find that their 12 year olds were to be taught about oral sex and clitoral stimulation.
Schools should be obliged to mail a letter to each parent outlining exactly what is proposed to be taught in an upcoming topic of sex ed. By this method, of full disclosure, more parents would be alerted to the dangers and be moved to act to protect their children.
- Diane Taylor is a social worker who has researched the topic at university including the ethics of sex-education and how character needs to be properly formed by parents, supported by their schools.By Diane Taylor