From the Desk of Tori Black:
August is upon us and soon our children will be returning to the classroom.
Are your kids ready? Are you ready?
These days preparation for school is about more than new shoes and backpacks. You need to arm your children with the knowledge and tools that will protect them from a world of misinformation and misdirection that can truly damage them and have long-term consequences for their lives. These harmful ideas come from so many sources, including teachers and curriculum.
One of those pernicious subjects is comprehensive sexuality education (CSE). Now, lest you conclude that the folks at UFI are a bunch of prudes who shy away from the facts of life, please know we do believe in the need to teach children, even young children, in age-appropriate ways about human sexuality. And we are here to warn you that the CSE promoted at the United Nations and by groups like SEICUS and Planned Parenthood, who have the ear of governments and education associations around the world, is just plain bad for kids and families.
Last year at the UN Commission on the Status of Women, the UFI team met with delegates eager for alternatives to the CSE being forced upon them. We shared with them sexual risk avoidance (SRA) programs that are excellent, truly comprehensive, and respect the health and well being of children and families.
Do you know what your schools are teaching? It’s time you do…
Tori Black, President
Curiosity Kills the Cat
Why Comprehensive Sexuality Education Does More Harm Than Good
by Grace John
As a child, my parents and I had a very important talk. Just down the street there was a large creek. Because of the time of year, the water was very high. My parents didn’t want me to go near it. Not totally understanding the situation, my little mind raced with questions:
What is a creek?
Where is it?
Why can’t I go near it?
They explained to me that a creek was basically a small river, but if I got caught in it, I could drown.
Not too long after that discussion, my neighbor friend told me she wanted to go to “this cool river her brother had found just down the hill from her house.” The creek.
In any other circumstance, I would have asked my parents first, but remembering our previous conversation, I decided not to broach the subject with them (as I knew the answer would be “no”) and we wandered through the oak brush, down the hill, to the creek.
I was having so much fun. I figured that since I knew it was dangerous, I could just be careful and everything would be fine. As we were hopping across rocks in the river, I kept slipping into the rushing water. Luckily for me, I was able to pull myself to safety, but I was scared, cold, and wet as I wandered home. My mom had been calling for me for hours. Busted.
My parents had the best intentions when they told me about the creek. They wanted me to be safe. Looking back, I think it sparked a curiosity in me that put me in a dangerous situation that I didn’t fully understand. Simply knowing about the potential danger I was in was not enough to save me from the consequences of my dangerous choices.
Sending the wrong message
Likewise, Comprehensive Sexuality Education is killing our children’s innocence and initiating a dangerous curiosity in children who are not ready for such information.
“Bodies can feel good when touched.”
“Touching and rubbing one’s own genitals to feel good is called masturbation.”
“People often kiss, hug, touch, and engage in other sexual behaviors with one another to show caring and to feel good.”
These are direct quotes from the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SEICUS) Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education for children ages 5 to 8. SEICUS is a national nonprofit organization that pioneered comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) in the U.S. and has had close ties to Planned Parenthood from its inception.
We have become a culture that places so much emphasis on sex. The sexual revolution made virtually nothing off-limits, including teaching young children about sexuality. CSE today focuses on sexual pleasure and how it is experienced. In it’s Exclaim pamphlet, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) declares:
Young people are sexual beings. They have sexual needs, desires, fantasies and dreams. It is important for all young people around the world to be able to explore, experience and express their sexualities in healthy, positive, pleasurable and safe ways. This can only happen when young people’s sexual rights are guaranteed.
While IPPF believes adults should approach their children’s sexuality in a “progressive” manner, meaning encouraging adolescents to “autonomously exercise their rights,” a study conducted at college campuses across China indicates there is a better approach. It found that societal expectations regarding sexual activity among youth have a profound impact on behavior. The study found that students reported having their first sexual intercourse is between 19 and 20, much older than in western cultures. The Chinese place a strong emphasis on family and education, two things that could very possibly play a significant role in the delay of sexual activity among young people. This calls into question the type and timing of CSE for young children.
Kids – dealing with a hyper-sexualized culture
Western culture has evolved into a dangerous environment for young children. Subliminal, sexual messages are present in almost everything they view and hear. Messages of sex and autonomy are filling their minds and sexualizing them with little guidance or intervention. Electronic devices and easy access to pornographic images and information make this evil ever-present.
In this hyper-sexualized culture, the information IPPF wants to force upon our children is too much of bad thing. As former director of New York City public schools health education Dr. Fred Kaeser has said regarding six year olds:
“…kids that age really don’t care a whole lot about sex, they just want their curiosity quelled and things put into context for them. As parents, we neutralize the onslaught of this highly sexualized world for our children when we answer their questions and act proactively by helping them make sense of the sexual messages they encounter.”
An unholy alliance
Children are going to get curious. That is natural. What is not natural is unnecessarily exposing young children to sexual information that will pique their curiosity and get them involved in risky sexual behaviors at an early age. Facilitating that early sexual initiation is an unholy alliance between influential United Nations agencies such as UNESCO, UNFPA, WHO, and UNICEF, which are committed to the implementation of CSE, and IPPF which designs CSE programs. IPPF is all about:
“Ensuring that all young people understand that they are entitled to sexual pleasure and how to experience different forms of sexual pleasure is important for their health and well-being.”
Teaching children “how to experience different forms of sexual pleasure” goes beyond learning about human development, intimacy and reproduction. It reinforces and feeds on the hyper-sexualization Dr. Kaeser warns against.
A better way
Don’t subject your children to CSE with its bad track record. Insist on the use of effective programs that include parents in the process of sexual education. There is a better option for our children. It’s called sexual risk avoidance (SRA). SRA programs teach medically accurate and age appropriate information regarding health and sexual intimacy, including contraception, but they do so while encouraging students to wait for sex.
“SRA education reduces teen sexual activity by approximately 50%. SRA education decreases sexual initiation, increases abstinent behavior among sexually experienced teens, and/or decreases the number of partners among sexually experienced teens.”
As you prepare for your children to return to school this fall, make sure you know what your schools are teaching your children about sexual intimacy. Sound sexual education with an emphasis on family that involves parents is what will most empower young children and their developing sexuality.
Curiosity can kill the cat, but we have the power to protect our children and our families from those who through the use of comprehensive sexuality education are dumping fuel on an over-sexualized culture.
Grace John is 22 years old. She graduated earlier this year from Brigham Young University-Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Marriage and Family Studies with an emphasis in Advocacy and Policy. Since graduation, she has been employed by Utah Youth Village as an Associate Family Teacher. She loves the outdoors. The mountains are her favorite place and if she had her way, she would always be on top of a mountain. She is incredibly passionate about relationships and the family and has dedicated her education and career to protecting it.