Mona Charen

The sex educators in Montgomery County, Md., have devised a film for 10th-graders that features a young lady putting a condom on a cucumber. You do wonder, when you read about these things, why they stop there.

 After all, if the assumption is that kids are too stupid to know how to unroll a condom unless it is demonstrated for them, then why would they be smart enough to know that it goes on a penis and not on the contents of the vegetable bin in the refrigerator?

 But guess what? They are indeed worried about that. Wendy Shalit, in a City Journal piece dating from 1998, described a New York teacher's guide that urged ninth-grade health teachers to unroll condoms and stretch them out onto "two fingers."

  A "teacher's note" reads, "Make sure that learning disabled and all students understand that a condom goes on the erect penis, and not on the fingers as demonstrated." It's impossible to satirize these people. For this, we are taking valuable class time away from American history, literature and science?

 Most states derive their sex-ed curricula, in whole or in part, from the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, a group with a decidedly liberal view of these matters. SIECUS promotes sex ed starting in kindergarten, when children should be taught the proper names for body parts and the difference between good touch and bad touch.

 In New York, kindergarteners also learn the difference between transmissible and non-transmissible diseases, the terms HIV and AIDS, and that "AIDS is hard to get." But the 5- and 6-year-olds are not left in the dark. Teachers tell them how people get AIDS, along with the information that "it feels good to touch parts of the body."

 I wonder: Do even New York parents want their kindergarteners instructed on the mechanics of HIV transmission and offered early initiation into the pleasures of sexual touching?

 Montgomery County was sued by two parent groups. It wasn't just the erect cucumber to which the parents objected. The school board was modifying its sex-ed curriculum (already a document spanning 14 pages) in ways that even that Kerry-supporting, nuclear-free, recycling county found hard to take.

 At one time, the new curriculum was going to feature information on flavored condoms. There's something that will help the trade deficit! The cheery young lady who protects the cucumber also advises her audience of 14- and 15 year-olds that abstinence is the surest way to prevent pregnancy, but, "Buying condoms isn't as scary as you might think."

Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
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