Posted by: Ian | April 30, 2009

Playing the “abuse” card to smuggle in sex indoctrination

In today’s Guardian “sex-education activist” Heather Corinna argues that what she calls (in spite of the profile description) sexuality education is essential from the age of five to help counter abuse:

Most “sex ed” programmes for children entail basic knowledge of the body, including some of the changes puberty will soon bring and the correct names for body parts; every child’s right to privacy and personal boundaries; education for abuse prevention and identification; and the barest basics of general reproduction. Ideally, sexuality education for children should also contain some information about identity and what the wide variety of relationships between people can look like, including those who don’t fit the mould of the nuclear family or a heteronormative paradigm.

All of this can look laudable and helpful, and indeed what can be done to help reduce the shocking statistics of child abuse, and to help young women find dignity and a sense of personhood that doesn’t involve hoping the feckless spotty teenage boys want to shag you at least has the right motives.

But the stench of government ideological propaganda reeks through every word of this piece. It is not the content that is necessarily wrong – it is the assumption of moral absoluteness in the content of current sex-ed philosophy and is typical of the hectoring, paternalistic (which is just a little ironic from a feminist such as Corinna) approach which has grown up in educational, social and welfare institutions.

And, of course, parents just won’t do it right. They have all sorts of prejudices, hang-ups and wrong ideas that we need to protect our little new model citizens from. I’ll leave the last word to Ms Corinna:

We’ll sometimes hear it said that this is information that parents, not educators, should be giving children. I think it’s fantastic when parents do give this information to their children. However, this sentiment is specious at best: so many parents do not inform their children about these issues, or do so with their own bias, misinformation or shaming.

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