I was watching the news yesterday and there was a short report on a new sex ed manual that has been purchased by the Department of Education. I searched, albeit not very thoroughly to see if I could find any more info on this story but was unable to but what they showed was laughable. [Update: I found a mention at El Nuevo Dia]
Apparently some teachers and some parents were up in arms over this manual which was intended to be used with children from age 6 (outrageous I know) to 12 or something like that. The outrage was because the manual adressed topics such as masturbation and contraception.
The reason I tried to look for more info was that while I was watching I couldn’t pay full attention–I was busy trying to find my calendar to check the year. Yes, it’s still 2006 and my suspension depression did not cause any major temporal lapses.
When I worked with preschoolers, part of the curriculum included learning about their bodies and there was also a section on ‘personal safety.’ These four year olds were taught that they had a penis or vagina respectively. I remember I came in from a meeting once and found a little boy inside while the rest of the children were outside on the playground. I asked him what happened and he somberly explained that he had wet his pants and came in to change cause he had a penis and he had to put pants on to cover his penis. All stated very earnestly. What do you say to that? Yes, honey. You do have a penis. Good job putting pants on. Now go play. LOL
The personal safety lessons involved teaching them that it isn’t bad to touch your ‘private parts’ as long as you are in a private place and that no one else should be touching your private parts. IT was geared to preventing sexual abuse and help children keep themselves safe and healthy. The drawings were cartoons and the stories were appropriate to children their age.
Now, back to the images of the manual under discussion. The illustrations were cartoons in full color. They showed a pregnant lady with children poking her belly and seeming to ask questions. They showed two figures in bed. And they showed little girls mooning over cartoon little boys. Nothing even remotely inappropriate from what they showed.
The news did a few of the pendejos on a streetcorner interviews to see what the word on the street is. The three interviews I saw were older gentlemen. They didn’t seem particularly outraged but the reporter’s questions seemed to guide them to express at least a bit of discomfort with fragile little minds being filled with visions of masturbatory bliss.
The assumptions this outrage is based on is very troubling to me.
We assume that children, prepubescent or post, are not sexual beings and don’t have sexual feelings.
We assume that sex is negative and bad (hence ‘innocent’ little children cannot be sexual)
We assume that sexual knowledge is dangerous–one of the objections was that they might start trying to do all this stuff they learn about.
We assume that sexual education is shameful or dirty and we should protect kids from it until the last possible minute (by which time some of them are pregnant already)
We also assume that sexual education is not part of health and self-care (and I didn’t mean the masturbation bit)
And we assume that sex should not be addressed by schools or social agencies and should only be addressed in the home.
We also assume that sexual abuse is not a daily reality for way too many children (one child is too many).
The manual didn’t even include sexual orientations. Imagine the uproar if someone suggested that some boys like to kiss other boys, some boys like to kiss boys AND girls, and some boys don’t like to kiss at all (asexuality is now being recognized as a sexual orientation). Add to it gender issues, some boys feel like girls on the inside, some girls hate dresses and that’s okay… and we have a revolution on our hands. Boys would be wearing skirts and girls would be playing sports and they’d be poking pregnant ladies in the bellies and masturbating in their bedrooms. The horror.
Mandatory Suspension update:
I was a bad, bad grrl… I went to school and learned somethin’ even though I wasn’t sposta. take that! 🙂