The Top Ten Reasons to Do Sex-ed at Home . . . #4

Happy Summer!  Here’s reason #4 for conducting sex-education at home:

Because you’ll help your kids avoid confusing, mixed or immoral messages in school sex ed programs.

Today’s student sex-ed programs bear no resemblance to the type I endured in junior high SexEd(a.k.a. “middle school”) in 1966-67 or to the type the Peanuts gang had in 1986.  As a 13-year-old Catholic school student I went to a single-session, secular sex-education seminar held at the town hall for all the local 7th & 8th graders regardless of what schools they attended.  I believe it was arranged by the public school superintendent.  Students had to be accompanied by a parent, so Mom & I carpooled with a friend & her mom.  At the town hall we were directed to the “girls only” presentation in the first floor main room which had a stage . . . the “boys only” presentation was down in the stuffy windowless basement where, at the time, I thought all boys belonged. . .

The main room was already packed with nervous, tittering girls; the moms were relegated to the back of the cavernous hall.  The only seats my friend & I found were way back near the parent section, too far from the stage to see or hear well.  There were two speakers: one was a very young, dreamy-looking male doctor, the other a middle-aged, bespectacled Roman Catholic priest(!)  Dr. Dreamy spoke to us girls first.  With only a rickety, freestanding blackboard and his soft, barely-amplified voice, he overviewed male & female reproductive anatomy, the menstrual cycle, conception and birth . . . the lecture took about an hour.  I tried to be attentive, and I didn’t take notes; there may have been a single sheet handout, but I can’t recall.  Meanwhile in the basement, the priest was explaining to the boys why sex was sacred and reserved only for marriage.

In the second hour the speakers switched places . . . that’s when I discovered that Reverend White was a heavy chain smoker . . . at least when extremely uncomfortable talking to 200 early adolescent girls about saving sex for marriage.  (Smoking inside public buildings wasn’t prohibited back then).  During the ride home, my friend & I sat silently in the back seat while our moms raved about the program— how thorough it was, how well-attended, and how wonderful that it included the spiritual context.
But how successful was the profailgram at instilling accurate information?

The next day at school during recess, my friends & I were discussing the sex info—and Dr. Dreamy—when someone mentioned an older, unmarried girl in town who was pregnant. Stunned, I blurted out “But that can’t be. God wouldn’t grant a baby to someone who’s not married!”  While I got the “marriage is God’s plan for sex” message, apparently I misunderstood or couldn’t hear key points about the presentation’s reproductive biology.   Despite my ignorance & confusion, most of my friends agreed w/me.  We all got straightened out two years later in biology class.

I’m not advocating that we go back to this woefully inadequate style of sex-education, but too many of our school systems have swung to the opposite extreme of information overload without moral context and without regard to what’s appropriate at what ages.  A recent example involves a poster displayed on a classroom wall in a Kansas middle-school:
The article linked above states, “The poster, entitled, How Do People Express Their Sexual Feelings? lists sex acts such as: Oral Sex, Sexual Fantasy, Caressing, Anal Sex, Dancing, Hugging, Touching Each Other’s Genitals, Kissing, Grinding, and Masturbation.”  Constantly in view and touted by authorities as sex-ed curriculum material, the poster conveys to impressionable middle-schoolers that all the activities are acceptable and morally equivalent.  No reference is made to age or marital status.

More subtle is the redefinition of terms such as marriage, family and gender in many school curricula that shifts attention away from God’s intended meanings.  Only home-based sex-education can provide clarity, consistency and a context of biblical virtue.

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