PO Box 55045, Phoenix AZ 85078-5045
Promoting Intimacy and Other-Centered Sexuality
COPYRIGHTED 1997 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED - MAY BE REPRINTED OR QUOTED FROM ONLY IF CREDIT IS GIVEN LIBERATED CHRISTIANS, MAILING ADDRESS IS SHOWN AND WE ARE SENT A COPY OF PUBLICATION.
A Mother Supports Child Sex Education
And Many Other Articles About Sex Education in U.S. vs. Europe
Give sex ed the go-ahead
Source: The Arizona Republic Newspaper
My sixth-grade daughter brought home a permission slip.
I got vicariously excited, thinking it would be for a science excursion to the Scripps Institute to dredge up creatures from the ocean, or maybe a social-studies jaunt to Washington, D.C., to marvel at the Lincoln Memorial and wander the Mall.
But no. It wasn't even for a trip to the Phoenix Zoo.
The permission slip was requesting authorization to teach my daughter Human Sexual Growth and Development.
In case your parent didn't sign one, I'll translate: It's sex ed, folks.
Why does the school need permission to teach something that is, inarguably, the most basic thing in life? I mean, even in the Garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve were forbidden to eat the fruit, they were allowed to have sex. I think they were encouraged to. When did it become dirty?
Think what would happen if math became hush-hush, and a permission slip were required to teach fractions. No kid with one third a brain would ever bring such a slip home.
And what about English? Maybe we ought to rethink teaching our kids that. Those pesky participles always have seemed a little risqué to me. Who knows what they're doing when you close the textbook - dangling, maybe?
My daughter has known about the birds and the bees (and the boys) since she asked me at the wise old age of 5. 1 can still envision her that day, straddling our coffee table, her chubby little-girl legs swinging, her young face curious as she asked me the Question.
She'd been homing in on it for weeks, getting closer and closer to Human Sexuality and Reproduction. Not that she would've had the slightest idea what those words meant.
Being a rather bold mom, I answered her, leaving out the birds, bees and barnyard animals. I figured it was simpler to stick with our species.
She was more than mildly surprised. Her legs stopped swinging, her mouth gaped and her eyes widened for a long moment before she asked, "Are you serious?"
I couldn't help it: I laughed. Giggled, really, just like a schoolgirl.
"Yes, I'm afraid I am."
She started giggling then, in her squeaky young voice, full of mischief and sounding like she was awaiting the punch line.
"You're serious?" she asked again, between giggles.
It took awhile, but I managed to persuade her that what I'd explained was true.
For those of you who think she was too young to hear the answer, I can say only that she was old enough to ask the question.
I can imagine the fear some parents have: "If youngsters know about sex, they're more likely to engage in it."
Well, here's a news flash: The Galapagos tortoises at the Phoenix Zoo have never had a sex-ed course, and they frequently engage in sex. In slow motion, granted, but it's sex. And all the schoolchildren can watch - the tour bus stops near there.
And let's don't even mention baboon behavior.
Power of knowledge
Clearly, the act of sex is not something that requires lessons. The consequences of sexual intercourse, however, do. If teens are uneducated about their bodies, are they going to be able to act more intelligently than the baboons?
Vatican Sex Education Guide Continues To Support Sexual Ignorance
In February 1996, the Vatican issued a sex education guide it says will help Roman Catholics save their children from sin! Compiled by the Pontifical council for the Family after several years' study, the 60-page book calls masturbation a "grave disorder," characteristic of immaturity, for which there is no moral justification. Some of its other "wisdom" includes telling parents not to let children come into early contact with realistic and graphic scenes of childbirth. Girls could be frightened about having children, it says.
Before adolescence, parents may gradually explain the "immoral character of abortion". By late adolescence, they can move onto natural birth control and "God's plan for procreation," the guide says. Erotic material should be kept well out of reach, it adds. Of course our reaction is...this kind of teaching is what is creating many of the sexual problems or our society. Someone should also give the Vatican the message that we don't need to promote procreation. Mankind has learned procreation far too well with millions starving to death.
Sex Education Experiences Of Educator - Misinformation Children Have
Post by a Nurse, sex educator for hospital and churches. It is unbelievable what the children misbelieve. One 14 year old girl said boys "have to have sex" or they get sick.
Another 14 year old who was having her 2nd abortion in 6 months told me she didn't believe in birth control pills because "they mess up your body," and condoms, diaphragms, and other methods made her feel like she was planning to have sex. It wasn't romantic that way. 10 year olds say they know about sexual intercourse but want to know more about oral sex. And parents refuse to believe their kids are this sophisticated and misinformed about sex.
A 15 year old HIV positive girl said she didn't need protection because she, and all her friends, had anal intercourse to avoid pregnancy and "keep their virginity".These were not ignorant ghetto children but from middle and upper class families.
A sex education program the poster worked with sounds excellent. It evolves 10 to 13 year olds with their parents. The facilitator presents the FACTS without moral judgements. "Homosexuality is simply when a person prefers to have sex with someone of their same sex. Some people think this is a dreadful sin. Others see it as just another lifestyle." But the program has stopped due to the arguments by the Christian Coalition about what is being taught - therefore little is taught and kids get AIDS!
"I offered to do the program for willing parents through a PTA. You would have thought I was offering to sacrifice the children."
Many teenagers of Christians would not dare try and talk about their true feelings about sexuality with their parents because they have heard the abstinence line so many times. Since they get no meaningful education unless the schools provide it. I have heard of many teenagers that would run away from home and have an abortion before they would ever tell their parents they were pregnant. I've even had teenagers E-mail me on Prodigy saying I am the only Christian they are comfortable asking sharing their honest feelings about sex and asking serious questions. That is what the sexual repression of Christianity has done to many teenagers.
What If Food Were Treated Like Sex
Just think what would happen if we were brought up in a society in which attitudes about food were as negative as our attitudes are about sex! Both are natural and needed to fully nourish the body, mind and spirit. What would happen to you if your mother's face reflected painful discomfort each time you took a bite of food; if you had to eat by yourself in the dark; if you were given the message that your mouth is repulsive; if you were not allowed to talk about food or admit you were hungry; if you heard sermons about the evil of eating and the sins of yearning for meat or sweets; if you could never share a meal with another person until you were in your mid-20s and married; if even fantasies about food were laden with guilt! It is safe to guess that in such a society stomach ulcers, appetite disturbances, bizarre oral desires, diarrhea, and constipation would be quite as common as sexual problems are today. Guilty, fearful, emotional attitudes about sex, are instilled by caring loving parents with the best of intentions. From "Making Sense of Sex" by Dr. Helen Singer Kaplan
U.S. A Mystery to Swedes
Different view of abortion and sex education with a far better result. The religious right objecting to Elders as surgeon general is widely discussed in Sweden as an example of what is so weird about America and our immature ideas as discussed in USA Today 8/10/93
The U.S. is one of the most sexually repressed countries in the industrialized world yet we have a teen pregnancy rate that is the highest. 10 times higher than Japan in fact, and growing at 5% a year. American inner-city girls begin displaying their expanding abdomens as a badge of honor as early as age 12, although 80% of teen pregnancies are unintended. Only 50% of the 70-80% of sexually active teens use contraception. Nine of 10 juvenile jail inmates are products of single-parent homes. In some ethnic groups, 80% of babies are born into poverty.
While abortion is the backup answer to unintended pregnancy among the highest socioeconomic groups, it is meeting increased resistance for the poor. The American policy is save the $350 for an abortion so we can pay $35,000 in welfare and child support payments for an unwanted child. The direct medical and indirect social costs of teen pregnancy approach $50 billion per year, the cost of shattered lives is incalculable higher.
HOW DIFFERENT IN SWEDEN! - There motto is "every baby should be wanted," and one or two children family is the norm. Not 5-10 so mother can get more welfare payments! Sweden's sex education in schools considers the reproductive system just as important as the digestive, respiratory or nervous systems. Sex education starts in kindergarten; it is more formally introduced in third grade. Upon graduation from elementary school Swedish children are completely familiar with the anatomy and physiology of reproduction, family planning, sexually transmitted diseases, contraception, abortion and the importance of responsible parenthood. Swedish teens are as sexually active as ours, but pregnancy due to failure of contraception is usually followed by abortion, which is available to all regardless of income. But the incidence of teenage pregnancy, abortion, STDs and AIDS is far lower than in the U.S.
Congress should recognize that sex education is just as important as sanitation, chlorination , immunization, pasteurization and fluoridation as a public health and quality of life issue. In America we flaunt sex in ads, TV soaps and movies but hypocritically refuse to acknowledge that it even exists. Abstinence is an viable option just as responsible teen age sexuality is an option and in fact probably a better more mature option. We need more caring, intimate, loving, giving to each other sexuality, vs. the tease and titillation due such an immature, sexually repressed society.
Even Catholics going against the Churches stand 52% believe sex outside of marriage is NOT morally wrong, 59% support abortion rights, 87% support artificial birth control, 48% homosexuality not wrong (Gallup 8/93, error margin 7%).
Disabled Need Sex Also!
In Denmark, Danes have decided that citizens who are disabled need sex too, and should have equal access to prostitutes. To that end, some cities have arranged for social workers to escort disabled people to prostitutes for 30 minute visits. A city official explained, that sexual help to a physically or mentally handicapped person offer him/her a much higher quality of life and help uplift spirits.
Latin Culture's More Mature View
Although much of Latin America is devout Catholic women are looked upon very differently. They hold their mothers in much higher respect. This is why many have long three part names which includes both mother and father's last name. When married may ad "de" in name to show new married name but also retain family name. They carry mothers name out of love and respect. Prostitution allows Latin's to remain respectful of female relatives (would never "hit" on them sexually), but be able to express their sexuality without fear or the hang-ups of Americans. Prostitutes are sort of the steam valve in the society. For example, in Mexico, prostitution while not actually legal, a women practicing the noble profession of pleasing men, must be registered. She obtains a heath certificate and must be checked for diseases once a month. She is only arrested if she does not registered and has a health certificate. Most Mexicans respect prostitutes as professionals. They serve a worthwhile purpose. If only the U.S. were as mature.
The Result Of Our Puritan Attitudes: More Abortions
The U.S. has less birth control choices than other developed nations, said Dr. Malcolm Potts, professor of public health at the University of California and one of the world's leading authorities on family planning.
Furthermore, the contraceptive techniques available in the United States cost more and are harder to obtain. Although U.S. teenage girls have about the same number of sexual contacts they have as their counterparts in Britain, Canada and the Netherlands, U.S. teenage girls ages 15-19 have 96% more pregnancies - of which 80% are unintended- and 113% more abortions, according to the Alan Guttmacher Institute in New York
The reasons for this high U.S. unwanted pregnancy rate is:
Ignorance from lack of sex education and shame from a so sex negative culture for unmarried's as compared to a much more open attitude in Europe. In the U.S. parents want to just think sex is not happening, resulting in millions of unwanted pregnancies.
Unavailability of birth control pills without a complete exam and often concerns about parents reaction. Often in our sex negative culture parents just try and teach abstinence and ignores the fact that teenagers are going to be just as sexually active as probably their parents really were but will not admit. Also the highly effective RU-486 abortion pill is available in France, Germany and England but is not available in the U.S.
"A country that started off with a Puritan attitude that 'sex is wrong','sex is bad','sex is dirty outside of marriage' set the stage for turning sex into a political and moral issue, rather than a simple factual, informational issue," said Dr. Mary Lake Polan, chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Stanford University.
In many European countries, sex education is widespread, and birth control methods are easily available at little or no cost. But in the United States, young people get mixed messages that glamorize sexual attractiveness but provide little information about contraception. TV networks, for example, refuse to carry condom ads.
We fill young people with messages and ads of tease and titillation using sex to sell everything from cars to beer. Yet we expect them to be celibate and provide little sex education or how to share meaningful loving sexual intimacy.
Maximum Pleasure Sharing Is Learned Not Natural
Need to Teach Teens & Adults
The Church would rather have teenagers die of AIDS, than admit sex does and will take place among Christians outside of marriage and help with real sex education, distribution of condoms etc. Teaching abstinence as the only answer is absurd, it won't work and may be doing more harm than good in teaching sexual maturity - which should be each giving sexual pleasure to the other as God wonderfully made our bodies to experience.
Maximum sexual pleasuring techniques is a learned skill. Only the very basics come naturally which are not always the most enjoyable. But when we have been taught that sex is so dirty that we must save it for marriage, and then only have one partner, how do we learn maximum pleasure sharing? Sexual pleasure sharing is learned just as walking and talking is learned, by experience and practice.
Often we fear our sexuality based on society pressures, religion or past unpleasant experiences. Therefore, we are often unable to experience and learn the full beauty of sexual pleasure sharing. When we think of sex, we usually only think of intercourse. Whole body sexuality can be even more loving and intimate with no concern about disease. For women, intercourse is often not the best way for maximum pleasure, but many men do not know how to give a woman maximum pleasure. Tantra sex techniques can also be very intimate and wonderful.
Having our naked bodies caressed all over and warmly held with love and affection is as vital to our emotions as eating and drinking is to our health.
We do not "give ourselves away" by sharing sexually. When we share knowledge, we each gain more, the knowledge we share is not reduced but expanded through reaction and sharing with others. Likewise in sexual sharing we don't lose it, we share it and grow and find more and more meaningful experiences. If at some point an exclusive relationship is desired, such as in marriage, sexual pleasure in that relationship will be enhanced by previous experimentation and experiences with a selective but wider range of trusted intimate friends.
More On How Americans Teach Young Guilt About Sex
Our repression of sexuality yet our exposure to tease and titillation presents a very confusing picture to our youth. Sex becomes a mystery and a problem, instead of a joyful, wonderful part of life. In most other cultures sex is not such a taboo. Children are raised with a natural comfortableness with nudity and sexual behavior. In many cultures, children are taught to explore their bodies. When they discover what turns them on, their elders rejoice. Children are often allowed, even encouraged in playful exploration of sensual pleasure.
In America we show our children every form of violence on television. But God help the kid who accidentally walks in on his parents sharing sexual pleasure. We drive our children's natural curiosity underground. We load their natural exploration with taboos and our own guilt and shame. We do everything to create a negative image of sex for fear they may actually try it...maybe even before marriage! How terrible! After marriage they are supposed to just know naturally how to please their partners with no experience or training. Many children become adults, incapable of appreciating one of the richest sources of pleasure and communications we have.
A wonderful book, Sex Without Shame: Encouraging the Child's Healthy Sexual Development, by Alayne Yates, tells ways to affirm, encourage and enhance a child's erotic development so that later the child has full knowledge, confidence and a solid sense of self-worth as a sexual person. The exact opposite of what the Church tries to do.
Return To Section Contents Page
Back To Home Page
Copyright © 1998, Liberated Christians, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.