I am fully aware that many of these kids are anything but “innocent,” being exposed to sexual issues a hundred different ways every single day, among their peers, through the media, and online. But I have no doubt that many of our schools could do a much better job of pointing them towards morality more than encouraging then to have “safe sex.” (If you say that the schools have no business teaching our kids morality, then why are they teaching them immorality, or at the least, condoning immorality?)
Returning to the new curriculum being introduced in New York City, the New York Post reported that some of the workbooks include these assignments (as you read this, ask yourself if this will encourage or discourage teen and pre-teen sex; what follows is extremely graphic, even for adults):
High-school students go to stores and jot down condom brands, prices and features such as lubrication.
Teens research a route from school to a clinic that provides birth control and STD tests, and write down its confidentiality policy.
Kids ages 11 and 12 sort “risk cards” to rate the safety of various activities, including “intercourse using a condom and an oil-based lubricant,’’ mutual masturbation, French kissing, oral sex and anal sex.
Teens are referred to resources such as Columbia University’s Web site Go Ask Alice, which explores topics like “doggie-style” and other positions, “sadomasochistic sex play,” phone sex, oral sex with braces, fetishes, porn stars, vibrators and bestiality.
Is it any comfort to parents that the Department of Education still encourages abstinence as the best choice? As noted by child and adolescent psychiatrist Miriam Grossman, “Kids are being told to either abstain or use condoms -- that both are responsible, healthy choices.” She also notes “that the [text]books minimize the dangers that pregnancy can still occur with condom use, and that viruses such as herpes and HPV live on body parts not covered by a condom.”
According to a staggering report released by the Centers for Disease Control in 2008, at least one in four teenage girls has a sexually transmitted disease, which means that, at best, the schools are teaching the students how to have less risky sex, similar to playing Russian roulette with fewer bullets.
Are we just going to sit idly by?
(Part Two of this article will follow shortly.)
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.