Essay on Sex Ed (v.2)

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by scott3x, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. scott3x Banned Banned

    Messages:
    3,785
    Did an essay, actually a short presentation at my college, concerning sex ed and an even more controversial subject that I believe is related to it. As is clear to anyone who's in the same province, I live in Ontario, Canada. Thought I'd share it here...

    **************
    On April 21st this year, I read that our premier Dalton Mcguinty had decided that Sex ed should become more detailed [24 hour newspaper]. I read that his plan was that in Grade 3, students would learn things such as gender identity and sexual orientation. One person who was particulary upset about this was Dr. Charles McVety, president of Canada Christian College [parentcentral.ca]. He stated:
    “Now, most adults do not question their gender identity. But we’re now going to teach little Johnny to say, ‘Well, I’m male on the outside but maybe I’m a girl on the inside’. This is unconscionable to confuse an eight year old’s mind with this type of indoctrination of a special-interest agenda”.

    McVety doesn’t object to sex education as a whole. Rather, he favours the declining abstinence only education method.

    I also learned that his new sex ed program would also give teachers the freedom to talk about things such as same sex parents and masturbation in Grade 6 [Metro News]. Again, however, some conservative groups, self describing themselves as “family focused”, were not impressed. They accused the government of “corrupting young minds with sexually explicit material”. McGuinty’s counter was that kids would learn about such topics anyway and that it would be better for them to learn these things in school rather than from questionable sources. The conservative groups were undeterred. The material was “bordering on the criminal”, they stated.

    I’m curious to know what people such as McVety would think of a report I read on the internet recently [Humanism by Joe]. It talks of a specific group of christians, the Catholic Church. Specifically, it addresses the issue of priests sexually molesting children. He points out that the Church has acknowledged that 13,000 credible accusations of sexual abuse have been made against Catholic clerics since 1950. He then goes into why this might be. The author explains that there is strong evidence that this widespread problem is caused, at least in part, by the Catholic Church's clerical celibacy requirement and its other sexually repressive doctrines. In fact, statements by Dr. Jay Feierman support a link between sexual repression and pedophilia. As a psychiatrist who has met with hundreds of pedophilic priests at a Catholic treatment center in New Mexico, and who edited the book “Pedophilia: Biosocial Dimensions”, Feierman is in a position to recognize this connection.

    The author of the article further states that people who are concerned about the problem should therefore urge Catholic leaders to reexamine and modify their teachings about sex. Personally, I don’t think we should limit ourselves to catholics; after all, they’re certainly not the only christian group to be sexual repressive, nor is sexual repression something that is exclusive to Christianity. Given this fact, I think that McGuinty is on the right track.

    I think that McGuinty realized that his drive to change things was done too soon. A few days after his announcement that the sex ed curriculum would be changed, the liberals decided to go back to the drawing board concerning the revision of the sex ed curriculum [Charles McVety’s religious right wins victory in Ontario]. I’m fine with that. I just hope that the issue isn’t left on the back burner, because of the enormity of what’s at stake by keeping young people in the dark concerning sexual education.
    **************
     
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. visceral_instinct Monkey see, monkey denigrate Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,913
    I agree with teaching kids about those things. Those issues are real, and it is far better for kids to learn about them properly from adults they can trust rather than hearsay and urban myths from other kids.
     
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. scott3x Banned Banned

    Messages:
    3,785
    Well I'm glad we agree on this

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. Doreen Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,100
    I tend to agree and I dislike the conservative objections, for the most part. I do have a couple of objections however to sex ed. They taught me so much crap in school - take the version of US history for example - that I shudder a little at the thought of even more delving into things like sex by teachers. Second, there is no neutral stance - on anything - on sex. So whatever they teach will be politicized, given the

    I have information that should be in your head and later I will test to see if it is there

    pedagogy that is still the rule out there.

    Just as I shudder at the idea of my children being taught the versions of US history I was taught, I would shudder at my old gym teachers - who were the health ed teachers - taking on sex. Amazingly, they were much better at sex ed than gym. From my perspective that is. They went from drill seargents to politically correct teachers - albeit still with goonlike pedagogy - while walking down the hall from the gym to the classrooms.

    I think, in the US, there is a deep tension between parental rights and school rights and (very few seriously consider) children's rights.

    The false dilemma is that we need to allow these people or only those people to stuff ideas into children's heads

    instead of taking a more PBL - problem based learning approach - approach, not that this would be simple.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2010
  8. scott3x Banned Banned

    Messages:
    3,785
    Just because they can teach things badly doesn't mean they should give up on trying to teach things right

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    .

    Sexuality is indeed quite controversial, but I don't think that the solution is shying away from the subject. Society will never come to an agreement on the subject if it refuses to try to come to an agreement on it.

    You may take some comfort in the knowledge that sex ed has been getting better, atleast in some places. As to where this may not be the case, I think it's safe to say that we should aim for better sex ed, not its elimination.

    Yeah. Fortunately, I think this is changing. Again, I think we could come up with far better solutions if we could simply talk more about these subjects.

    I've never been one to advocate that only one group, whether it be teachers, parents, or children's peers or internet sites, be allowed to talk on the subject. I do believe, however, that there are good ways, and bad ways, on teaching sex ed. I'm not in favour of the abstinence only model, and I think it's safe to say that that form of sex ed is on the wane in the U.S.; recently, they seemed to be trying to take it out of Ontario's catholic schools, but people such as McVety managed to stave this off for now.

    What do you mean by a "problem based learning approach"? Could you give an example?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2010
  9. Doreen Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,100
    I'm not saying they should give up, but at the same time I am expressing my reservations about how most schooling goes at educating children and views children. So when we bring up the subject of something like sex, I feel some reluctance at handing over my child to the same people who taught me history, for example.

    My point wasn't that we should shy away from it. My parents were very open with me about it and I appreciated that. It led to some humorous situations since I occasionally had questions, not much older than a toddler, in public places, but they weathered these incidents with humor. I also was not really focusing on its controversial nature, but rather on the fact that it is an intimate, important subject area and there is no neutral set of values about it. If someone teaches my kid math using poor pedagogy my kid may end up poor in math or have a complex about their ability, etc. Not a great outcome, but also in many ways not so important and one that can be remedied via tutoring. A moron teaching my kid sex might have different and deeper effects.

    For example, one real idiot of a teacher made me not want to sing for a long, long time. I thought I was terrible, despite the protests of my parents. The teacher managed to combine poor pedagogy with a way of embarrassing all but the most confident skilled children. I am still getting that experience out of my system.
    I have a yes, no response to this. In some ways I like the idea of sex ed because some children just get a lot of lies and misinformation. So what they will get in school is probably better. On the other hand.....it may be worse or unnecessary.

    Perhaps it has gotten better. I am skeptical, but I haven't been in a US school in a while.

    agreed.

    I think my hesitation comes in because while public schools in the US, are seen as secular and somehow neutral, they are not. Now the conservative religious groups have all sorts of problems with the what they see as liberal ideas or the teaching of evolution or the acceptance of gays, etc. I have no problems with any of this. However the education is not neutral and presents to my mind a false view of the world, to varying degrees. So given that one must send one's kid to school - unless one has the means to do homeschooling - one is forced to have a particular worldview aimed at one's child. I am not saying I am against sex ed, just that I am not exactly for it either in the climate of pedagogy I think still is present in schooling today.

    You could for example break the class up into small groups and give them a set of questions they need to answer. If it was history it could be about the conditions of people in 1770 in the US. The group then has to figure out where it gets its answers, how they will divvy up the tasks, what resources are likely to be accurate, how to record what they find and how to present it. So there is a planning stage, then a research stage, then a presentation stage. The teacher does not decide which facts go into their heads and issues around what authorities to trust and why and what to do with different opinions and so on are built in. The teachers do challenge certain sources, generally. But the process is much more active on the student's part. They create, in group, their own knowledge base.

    Note: the 'answers' are much less likely to be facts, but more descriptions - in a history context.

    A question might be: what were the relationships like between native americans and colonists in 1770? Rather then some insipid memorization of dates or worship of GW's military skills. Good problems also tend towards solutions that are multifaceted. So differing opinions about the relationships between the two groups would be accepted, rather than some demand that there is only one answer.

    The whole thing is really rather complicated and the above is a mere sketch but perhaps it gets across the idea.

    The shift is from

    Fact [to be inserted]----------} child brain.

    to

    letting the children deal with much more of the process. Frankly my views are even more radical since I would tend to allow the children to have a lot of control of the 'problems' also, especially in subject areas like English and Social studies.

    Math and science obviously present rather different kinds of problems, but the overall method is very similar.
     
  10. Bells Staff Member

    Messages:
    22,715
    I think it is a fair point to say that abstinence only sex education isn't working. And children do need to taught what constitute as "sex" over the whole spectrum. For their own safety, but also so they know. Girls should be made aware that oral sex is still sex and can still be detrimental to their health without the proper protection, as one example. They should also be taught about safe sex and the use of condoms, pill, and other forms of contraception. The reason being is that children, and they are getting sexually active younger now, need to know so they can make an educated choice as to whether they are ready or not.

    I agree that schools should provide the basics of sexual education. But parents also need to step up and stop avoiding the issue and discuss sex with their children and they do need to do it when the children start entering puberty, if not before. Time and again I have seen parents shrug and say the school will tell them about it and the 'I don't want to tell them as it's embarrassing and I don't want to put ideas into their heads' arguments.. It's no longer good enough. It's already in their heads and they are curious. Being open with them about sex is vital.

    Children are blasted by sex from every angle, in film, music, even video games, books.. I don't want my children learning about sex as I did.. with my PE teacher who stood there in his short shorts at the front of the room and stumbling through explaining genitalia and what sex was, the 'how to make babies' lecture was hilarious as it was embarrassing for all of us in that class and then the lessons about contraception.. I still have mental images of his letting us play with condoms and the fun to be had by all by condom balloons flying through the science lab. It was uncomfortable and it was not exactly clear.. we understood less coming out of that classroom as we did going in. And this was when we were in year 8 biology. Why our normal biology teacher was not the one to do the lessons, I will never know. For some bizarre reason the school administration decided the person to teach us about sex would be our PE teachers.. who were not equipped to do it.

    I plan to have that talk with my children. It's up to parents to make sure that our children are ready for the world and that involves sex. Yes, schools should teach it, but parents also need to take an active role in explaining it and being open about it to our children.
     
  11. Doreen Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,100
    This fits much of my own experience. There was something horribly clinical and out of context about it also. It made sex out to be something akin to a non-surgical (perhaps!?) medical intervention. I am sure some teachers handled it better, but some kind of conversation working with what children alread think is the truth and the actual lived contexts of sexual/romantic interactions seems much more appropriate. I realize this may be a can of worms - since the children's actual sexual experiences will likely come into the room - but anything else seems idiotic to me. Sex is not a similar process to intubating a patient but with a penis and a vagina. To teach sex without dealing with interpersonal dynamics and emotions is, well, loony. It is a different loony then the 'education' children get from media and from some parents, but it's still loony.

    I appreciated your story, brought me back. I can remember the same teacher talking about a cyst he had on his face, a story told with clinical deadpan and great detail that made me run out of the room to vomit in the bathroom. And I am not generally squeemish. The combination of deadpan, complete lack of affect and a rather horribly productive cyst - oh, the colors - and his overall 'vibe' was just too much.

    Needless to say he did not convey sex in a way I appreciated. Fortunately I already knew the important points.
     
  12. scott3x Banned Banned

    Messages:
    3,785


    Sounds good.

    I seriously doubt we could ever force parents to discuss sexuality with their children. Not only that, but many children feel uncomfortable discussing sexuality with their parents. It's much easier to do all the necessary education at school. If parents are good at teaching sex ed to their children, that's great, but I don't think we should ever take this for granted.

    I disagree. I don't think it's necessary that parents discuss sexuality with their children. Sure, it would be nice, but think about where you're going with this; if a parent doesn't do it, what then? Much, -much- easier to simply institute the necessary education at school.


    I think it may be that the school boards decided that the phys ed teachers should teach it, but I'm not sure. In any case, I completely empathize with the notion that sex ed in school wasn't that great a while back. I remember in my sex ed class in grade 7, we understood that the penis had to enter the vagina in order to have sex. We laughed, and were scolded for laughing. I don't remember any discussion about sexual transmitted diseases, although perhaps there was something. As poor as the education was, though, I'm glad I got it, and hope that what they get nowadays is better. I got the issue of STDs a bit later, in high school, from a teacher that I think wasn't even supposed to be teaching sex ed (a supply teacher who felt we should know I think).


    I agree that it'd be great if all parents wanted to talk to their children about sex ed and knew how to do it right, and all children were comfortable with their parents telling them. It's not the case, however, and like I said, I really don't think trying to enforce this is the way to go. Instituting proper sex ed in schools, in my view, is definitely a better idea.
     
  13. scott3x Banned Banned

    Messages:
    3,785
    I agree. I definitely think the romantic/relationship element was sorely lacking.

    Well, I think it's simply a reflection of the fact that society has a long way to go before it fixes its sexual hangups.

    Man, sounds rough.

    I can imagine.


    That's good. I only asked one question to my father concerning sex; something like "what was it like". He said it was cool, which made me happy thinking about it. But at school, I learned how taboo the subject generally was. The whole thing set up a dichotomy in me; it's good, but not to be talked about. I was 21 before I could finally talk about it with people, but by that point... well, many things had already happened by then.
     
  14. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    53,152
    Your essay is poorly written and far from comprehensive. But at least it's short.
     
  15. scott3x Banned Banned

    Messages:
    3,785
    Poorly written in comparison to what? It's not like there's a slew of articles on one of the aspects of sex ed that I brought up in the OP. But yes, it's certainly short. Emotional for me as well.
     
  16. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    53,152
    In comparison to standards I would expect of a college student. It's too conversational, too informal. Essays should not sound like a text message.
     
  17. scott3x Banned Banned

    Messages:
    3,785
    It wasn't really an essay; I realized that after I posted the OP and tried to correct it in the content. It was more of a short presentation. I also maintain that the literature on the particular angle that I bring on the subject is quite sparse and so, based on that standard, it's still quite good.
     
  18. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    53,152
    What grade did you get on it?
     
  19. scott3x Banned Banned

    Messages:
    3,785
    Hasn't been marked yet.
     

Share This Page