In my home province of Ontario (which is up in Canada, for those who don’t know), the Ontario Ministry of Education has updated the sexual education curriculum. The last time it was updated was 1998. Unfortunately, there has been an uproar from parents who deem the changes too explicit or not the kind of material they want their children exposed to. Mostly, it has been religious groups that have been the most vocal, but it also seems that some parents want their children to be under-educated about something as serious as sexual health and education.
I was hearing a lot of stuff back and forth about what was being taught, so I thought I would have a look for myself. I went to the Ontario Ministry of Education and downloaded a PDF of the curriculum for grades 1-8 to see what all the fuss was about. What were they teaching that would piss off so many parents?
The biggest stink I heard was about kids in grade 1 learning about identifying various parts of male and female genitalia. There were rumours flying around were about graphic pictures to be used, which has since been refuted. I mean, c’mon, graphic pictures?! Seriously? Who believes this shit?! It seems that from what I read, its pretty standard stuff. And honestly, if I had kids in school, I’d want them to know the proper names for things, instead of doing what parents usually do, like calling a penis a “pee-pee”, or a vagina a “who-who”, or some other stupid bullshit like that.
As I skimmed through the curriculum, especially towards grades 7 and 8, I noticed two things of interest.
The first thing I noticed was the emphasis on communication about sex with elders or people you trust. It talked about respecting yourself and others with regards to sex, as well as understanding one’s feeling about sex. They also talked about abstinence from sex, and the consequences of having sex (pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted diseases).
The second thing I noticed was a curriculum that taught students about “gender identity” (IE: male, female, transgender, transsexual, intersex), “gender expression”, and “sexual orientation” (IE: heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual), as well as other identifying factors that could help “individuals of all identities and orientations develop a positive self-concept.”
Now I know that different teachers will teach differently, but if they followed this new curriculum closely, it seems like they would be teaching some pretty important things about sexuality that need to be taught these days.
Some of the parents seem to think its all going to be about graphic sex, and saying that having sex is ok. Well, I hate to break it to those parents, but those kids probably already think its ok to have sex, and are willing to try it out to see what happens. Wouldn’t those parents want their kids to have better knowledge about sex, so maybe they wouldn’t go around exploring?
Personally, I think it is the conservative-minded parents objecting to their kids learning about gender identity and such. After all, if they are God-fearing people, then they would fear homosexuality the most! It didn’t help that there were more rumours going around that kids taking the course would engage in homosexual activity…
I have to sidebar this for a second and ask, who in their right FUCKING mind would think that this would happen in school? I mean, this isn’t France or Lolita’s School For Horny Kids. This is a regular, public school! I don’t know who is stupider, the person who created the rumour, or the complete morons who believed it! ARGH!
These Right-wing conservatives probably fear that their kids will “get gay” just by learning about it in school. They believe their children should never learn about, understand, or, heaven forbid, accept homosexuals, transgendered, transsexuals, or any one else that is too different from them.
Seriously though, if religious parents don’t want their kids in these updated sexual education classes, then they should have the right to pull them from class. After all, this is a free society. I just feel sorry for those kids who will be stunted in their knowledge of one of the most important things in our lives, knowledge of reproduction. The reason for their stupidity? Their parents, who believed rumours and feared what they are afraid to talk to their own kids about.
Currently, there are parents protesting in front of schools about this new sexual education curriculum while their kids stay at home, not getting an education, and probably surfing the internet wondering what the fuss about this sex stuff is all about. Maybe, by causing this stink, these moronic parents are allowing their kids to find frighteningly ease-to-access porn sites so they can learn about the sex the entirely wrong way.
Way to go closed-minded, prudish parents, you just screwed up your kids even more.