A health teacher made 8th graders read aloud explicit questions about oral sex and masturbation during a sex-education lesson at a suburban school this week, outraging parents who demanded the teacher be disciplined…. “My daughter brought it to our attention because she was disgusted with it,” said Grady Braley, father of a Wolcott 14-year-old. “There’s certain things at her age they need to know. But this was a how-to manual.” “It’s creepy, and I’d like to know why he’s still teaching.”
Me too. This is one of those stories where there are so many things to talk about, I hardly know where to begin. I guess I’ll start here, with this paragraph from the news article:
Jonathan Stacks, campaign manager for Illinois Campaign for Responsible Sex Education, gasped when he heard the details of the “frequently asked questions” read aloud in the 8th grade class. He said the material was not age-appropriate, and never should have been taught without discussing such sensitive material with parents first.
Am I the only one who did a double-take after reading this? First, he’s saying the material isn’t age-appropriate. Then, he’s saying it shouldn’t have been taught without discussing it with parents first. Huh? If it’s not age-appropriate, what would be the point of “discussing it with parents first”? Then, the article quotes Stacks as saying:
This is really getting into the aspect of pleasure . . . and the mechanics of how to have good sex. It goes way beyond what the national medical associations recommend for a comprehensive program. [emphasis added]
If you think stuff like this is happening only in the Chicago suburbs, you’re kidding yourself. Chances are it’s happening in a “comprehensive” sex-ed class at a school near you, too. The article also says:
Stacks said most Illinois schools shy away from teaching anything but abstinence, AIDS and human development, which is what is mandated by state standards. Though his organization advocates going beyond abstinence and discussing some sexual issues and contraception more openly with teens, Stacks said, “It’s really important we don’t go to the other extreme.” [emphasis added]
“Some sexual issues?” “Some sexual issues?” As I said before, I hardly know where to begin. On the Illinois Campaign for Responsible Sex Education’s links page, one of their “recommended links” for teens is Go Ask Alice!, Columbia University’s “Health Q & A Internet Service”. Just one click from the Go Ask Alice! home page takes you to a page that lists several questions. One of these questions is, “Menage a Trois?” Answering this question, Go Ask Alice! gives advice on how to arrange a threesome, and says that “there’s nothing wrong with giving it a try, as long as you’re all practicing safer sex…” (That’s just for starters. On the site, there’s much, much worse.) “Though his organization advocates going beyond abstinence and discussing some sexual issues and contraception more openly with teens…” “Some sexual issues.” Right. Now, for some background: The group Stacks works for — the Illinois Campaign for Responsible Sex Education — is a joint project of the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health (ICAH) and Planned Parenthood/Chicago Area. (Planned Parenthood, as you probably already know, is the leading abortion provider in America.) Some of you may also remember that last year, ICAH’s annual fundraiser was held at the headquarters of Playboy magazine in downtown Chicago. I took part in a protest of the event, and blogged about it here. Tickets to the event cost $75, and those who kicked in an extra $50 were also entitled one to â€œa tour of the Playboy offices and art collection[!]â€ as well as a VIP reception with Christie Hefner. Christie Hefner (the daughter of Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy), has been its CEO since 1982. It was she who decided that the company could make more money by producing increasingly harder-core pornography â€” something that even her father was reluctant to do for a long time. Bearing this in mind, reread Stacks’ remark:
It’s really important we don’t go to the other extreme.
Oh, really, Mr. Stacks? *** Last month, I gave a talk at TeenSpeak 2007 called “What Are Adults Thinking? On ‘Comprehensive’ Sex Education” that explains in greater detail the damage done by so-called comprehensive sex ed programs. You can order your copy of the talk here.