If comprehensive Sex Ed in schools is wrong, I don’t want to be right
To the father who thinks teaching his son about the clitoris is “grubby”: I hope you’re planning to give him comprehensive sex education yourself, at home, lest he just learn this shit from the internet himself at some stage. Seriously, teaching children about basic anatomy is not grubby. Apparently it’s ok to teach them how “babies are made”, which I assume requires details about anatomy (fallopian tubes! uterus! penis!), but not about the clitoris(also an anatomical structure)- I can only assume because you would then have to talk about sexual pleasure, because that’s pretty much what the clitoris is all about. Heaven forbid children learn that sex (and sexual acts) can be pleasurable! And not just for men! What’s this,
Children as young as 12 are being taught about oral sex and told it’s acceptable to play with a girl’s private parts as long as “she’s okay with it”.
It included a question-and-answer session that focused on, “I have learned that my girlfriend has a thing called a clitoris. I really want to play with it. Is that okay?” The answer was: “Yes, if you ask her and she’s okay with it.”
Consenting to sexual activities, gasp! I mean, “she’s okay with it” isn’t a full-strength example of enthusiastic consent (I would prefer “she’s pretty damn excited about it!”), but it emphasizes the basic concepts of asking explicitly about a sexual act and obtaining active consent.
I assume this is the point where the horrified parents would chime in and say “but my 12/14-year old is too young for this kind of graphic information”. Well, honestly, whether someone is old enough (legally, emotionally, psychologically, whatever) really isn’t an argument that will sway my opinion in this debate. You think your twelve year old is too young to know about oral sex? Chances are that if they’re curious, they would find out somehow anyway, and if they aren’t curious they wont go out and start road-testing the option just because they know it exists. Even when I knew my friends were actually doing that kind of stuff (at ages 13/14/15), and had heard all about it from them, it didn’t make me run off to rip the pants of the nearest guy. You think your 14 year old is too young to learn how to put a condom on a penis? I learnt how to do that in sex ed when I was 14 or 15 (though it was a majestic wooden phallus, not a black plastic one. Snicker.) and it was many a year after that before I ever put that knowledge into practice (though not for lack of interest…). Knowing how to do it didn’t mean I felt like I had to go right out and start condom-ing every dick in town, it just meant that when the time came I had the knowledge. And you know what, people who think 14 is too young to learn how to put a condom on? There were 2 or 3 girls who left my class in 5th form because they were pregnant- they would have been having sex at 14 or 15 for this to happen. You can’t deny that people that young are having sex, and that if they’re going to have sex they should at least have as much knowledge as possible. As much as you may hate the idea of your 14 year old being sexually active, it may happen, and certainly does happen: Family Planning reps are on record on this issue saying New Zealanders as young as 12 are sexually active. Just because your idea of a good age for your child to have sex is 16 or 18 or “when they’re married”, doesn’t mean that this is a realistic or sensible attitude.
And as for the idea that schools might be going into too much depth with sex-ed classes, and encroaching on what should be the parents’ job; well, I hope the parents who feel this way are planning some extremely detailed birds and the bees talks that cover everything a child could want to know and don’t misinform them about anything (“condoms fail 50% of the time!” “abortions give you breast cancer!”). Personally, I know one guy who’s parents did not give permission for him to attend sex ed in schools, and clearly failed to take up their ‘parental role’ when it came to educating him themselves: he only learned at the age of 18 or 19 that women don’t urinate and have their period “through the same hole”; i.e. that the vagina is not what a women urinates out of, and there’s actually more than one hole down there. Oops.