Sex education in the schools isn’t new. As John Moore pointed out in his Post column yesterday (“Hide your kids. The liberals are coming”), Ontario’s more graphic additions, hastily rescinded to accommodate Christian and Muslim critics, were mere “tweakings” to a well-entrenched model.
Taken for granted in Moore’s column was the notion that early sex education — tweaked or untweaked — was a good idea to begin with.
Unless countered by vigorous instruction at home, no children in the last several decades have left school believing their sexuality has a higher purpose than giving them bodily pleasure. From adolescence they have been encouraged by sex educators — no, pressured — to maximize sexual pleasure (but with condoms!), and made to feel abnormal if they prefer chastity to sex without love or commitment. What’s so good about that?
John Moore scoffs at the idea that sex ed programs are designed by “activists,” but that’s only because he likes what they’re teaching. If he didn’t, he too would call them activists. Sex educators are pushing an ideology that is to sex what multiculturalism is to race. In fact what sex education in the schools promotes should be called multisexualism.
Multiculturalism teaches that all cultures and religions are equally worthy of respect except Christianity and whiteness. Multisexualism teaches that all sexual behaviours and lifestyles are of equal social worth, except those that refuse to detach morality from sexuality.
The multisexualist attitude is epitomized in the person of Dr. Brock Chisholm, a Canadian soldier and psychiatrist, who became the first director of the World Health Organization in 1946. A pioneering advocate for sex education in the schools, Chisholm thought that the greatest obstacle to children’s self-realization was the concept of “right and wrong.” From his perspective, sex education was necessary to overcome “the ways of elders — by force if necessary.” There’s a political name for that. Begins with T.
Human beings are the only creatures for whom shame, guilt and modesty (especially in girls) are instinctive. We are also the only creatures who assign certain behaviours to the realm of the private, and certain to the realm of the public.
Schools are by nature an artificial construct. They were designed to transmit objective knowledge about subjects that are amenable to collective learning: literacy, numeracy, history, scientific data and the arts.
Sexuality is different. When children of both sexes absorb information from a relative stranger about deeply private feelings and behaviours in a group environment — when the private is made public — they are being co-opted into a rudimentary form of collective voyeurism, which, even when earnestly accompanied by exhortations to responsibility (condoms!), is inherently titillating and a licence to breach natural modesty boundaries.
In her 1999 book, A Return to Modesty, Wendy Shalit recalls the results of sex education in her Grade 4 class, from which her mother asked she be excluded after the teacher insisted on explaining to the class what “69” meant. Shalit says she was very happy to read in the library to escape the mortification she felt during such discussions, but noted that in the locker room after every sex ed class, the boys would unmercifully tease the girls with the knowledge they had picked up. “ ‘Erica, do you masturbate’? one boy would say to one poor pigtailed victim … ‘It’s really natural, you know.’ ” What is instructive in the anecdote is that the boys never teased Shalit because she was presumed to be ignorant. Mystery between the sexes at that age facilitates the protective modesty and privacy nature intended.
If multisexualism was such a great idea, we should know it by its outcomes. Adults who’ve been through the multisexualist mill should be sexually happier, more well-adjusted, more fulfilled than the adults of my generation who learned only the basic mechanics of human reproduction in “hygiene” class (in single-sex groups). But although obsessed with voyeuristic sexual entertainment (sex ed, j’accuse), young adults today don’t seem any happier than those practising “family values.”
Strangely enough, it was the very same people that were not exposed to multisexualism who agreed as adults decades ago that the state had no business in the bedrooms of the nations. So the very lifestyles multisexualists are at such pains to glorify in the classroom today came about through the efforts of those who were not exposed to sexual education as we know it. Children need to learn to treat everyone with respect in word and behaviour in general. The state should have no place in the early, and unnatural, sexualization of children.