Monday, June 25, 2012

Thoughts from a thinker - regarding sex ed.

Lately I've been spending a whole lot of time reading the Thinking Housewife. Talk about information overload! She is a prolific poster on many aspects of Christian and Western European/North American culture. For the most part I highly recommend her blog, but every once in a while I came across a comment that just made my fingertips itch. Right now I plan to get in a little scratching. I'm going to schedule some of them out though so that it doesn't become an extended monologue :)

In the comments following a post about some crazy Canadian educators who think sex ed should cover ways to tell if a drunk girl is really "consenting" I found, what I felt to be, a rather disturbing statement of the hyper-conservative kind.

Mary posted the following:

Parents abdicated because they were convinced by educators that one must discuss the *mechanics* of sex with their children. This is patently absurd and most unnecessary, as obviously the human species has managed to proliferate without classroom instruction for time immemorial. There is nothing embarassing about telling children that the procreative act is beautiful and sacred and reserved for marriage; delicate language delivers the message home without awkwardness because the children are not hearing nonsense or embarrassing detail from a stranger in a classroom full of people, but they are receiving eternal truth from the person designed by God to instruct them in eternal truths; and so they are beautifully receptive to it.

Especially in this day and age when they’re bombarded with images to the contrary, it’s a actually relief for children and teenagers to be told that this is something they don’t have to worry about yet, that they can take their time and grow up; that physical intimacy is one of the goods of married people and until they are married they need not be concerned about it. They are free to wonder in innocence and look forward to something lovely and to in confidence move beyond the pervasive sexual pressure present in our society. (emphasis mine)

Frankly, I think Mary has been parenting with a bucket on her head if she thinks she can just allude to some rather pleasant "procreative act" and leave her teenaged children to a sort of pre-Christmas blissful ignorance. Heaven help the poor kids if they visit a farm, pick up a book from the library (or the bookshelf - Dr. Dobson's book for adolescents anyone?), or spend a couple hours walking around the mall. Regrettably, we live in a highly sexualized culture, but we can't just wish it away. While I think that telling kids sex isn't something they shouldn't really be thinking about (ie concerned with) for a few years it probably good encouragement, I think that discussion should be framed with the understanding that kids will get as much information as they want (and is appropriate) from their parents. An older woman I know once told me she thought a girl could get pregnant if she was wearing a swimsuit and sitting next to boy also wearing a swimsuit. We hear stuff like that and laugh, but I'm sure it probably caused more than a little unnecessary anxiety on her part.

I don't have kids yet, but I don't plan to let my daughters (and sons) wander around in an information vacuum. Kids are curious little buggers and will often keep asking questions until they get an answer. Be glad they're asking you and not running off to a librarian or the internet. I wasn't told more than the bare minimum (which I already knew thanks to the good doctor mentioned above), and when I looked for more information I didn't always find the good stuff. I'm not saying that you should sit your kids down for a full move by move discussion, but it should be more than "Tab A, Slot B, feels good, makes babies, but don't until you're married." Talk to them about temptation and chastity. Don't leave them vulnerable to someone who might prey on their ignorance. Give them a true innocence that sees the good in God's order and dismissed all mankind's perversions. And if you can't parent up and deal with a little embarrassment then at least find some Mother in Israel who can answer their questions and fears and desires with humor, dignity and wisdom. Heaven knows someone needs to do it.


I find it hilarious that she refers to a "sacred" "procreative act." Sex might be all that, but it's not only that. There's a whole lot of warmth and humor and enthusiasm and just plain old play as well. Sex is a pretty boisterous part of life and not something you pack away in dried lavender along with your first locket and Nana's lace hankies.

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