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Gay Sex Ed. Stirs Emotions

gayeducation.jpg
Do gays deserve a place in sex education? Maryland’s Montgomery County schools recently said “Oh, yes!”.

Prudish parents protested the district’s progressive, “immoral” politics. And they may not alone:

According to a 2004 national poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and National Public Radio, roughly three out of four parents say it is appropriate for high schools to teach about homosexuality, but about half say it is appropriate in middle school.

When asked about the issue in greater detail, more than 50 percent of high school and middle school parents supported teaching what homosexuality is about “without discussing whether it is wrong or acceptable.” Only 8 percent of high school parents and 4 percent of middle school parents said schools should teach “that homosexuality is acceptable.” The survey had a margin of error of 6 percentage points.

So, parents would rather have their kids know about gays, but think it’s better to leave morality out of the picture? That’s like schooling them on slavery and neglecting to say it’s wrong: backward.

By:           Andrew Belonksy
On:           Aug 15, 2007
Tagged: , , , ,

  • 5 Comments
    • Mr. B
      Mr. B

      So, wait, you’re saying it’s backward for schools to present gayness completely objectively, without promoting a moral agenda one way or the other? I’m not so sure about that. If we’re talking health class, it would be presented neutrally like any other discussion of sex and love in health class. I think that depicting same-sex love (and sex) as normative human behavior, without trying to paint a moral compass, would be a major step in the right direction. If Queer Kid X sees that in the textbooks, s/he’s not going to feel so alienated when coming to grips with the queerness. And if Straight, Would-Be Queer-Bashing Kid Y is reading the same thing, well, then gayness doesn’t become an “alien” thing to hate and fear in the first place.

      Same would go for LGBT people history. I’ve seen a lot of completely objective depictions of Stonewall and the Gay Liberation Front–not a bunch of idealization and glamor, just the facts. And when teaching history, the facts often speak for themselves. I mean, does a recounting of the Matthew Shepard murder really need to be spelled out as “wrong”? And if various famous people’s same-sex partners were matter-of-factly mentioned the same way as other famous people’s opposite-sex partners, wouldn’t that go a long way in normalizing such instances? Kids are pretty perceptive.

      Aug 15, 2007 at 11:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. B
      Mr. B

      Should edit to add that if we’re discussing sex ed specifically, sex ed is no place to attempt to instill morals anyway–hence one of the many reasons why “abstinence only” is so problematic. The key is presenting the facts–including safer sex information–completely objectively, whether it’s about same-sex sex or not.

      If any one moral code should be preached in sex education, it’s “Respect yourself and each other.”

      Aug 15, 2007 at 11:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hisurfer
      hisurfer

      I agree with Mr. B. I am very uncomfortable with schools teaching any kind of morality – mostly because what I have seen in public schools tends towards new-agey “everyone is a special person” pablum. Three millenia of moral inquiry, ethics, and philosophy are all thrown out the window.

      That, and I still have horrific memories of our sixth grade teacher trying to instill in us boys that masturbation was normal and that everyone does it, even pock-faced hetero & married him! You thought watching Clay Aiken try to vogue made your dick shrivel … that was mild compared to listening to Mr. M talk about jacking off.

      Aug 15, 2007 at 1:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Craig Browning
      Craig Browning

      I think that schools are OBLIGED to teach about the fact that some kids will have homosexual tendencies, that most will experiment (and that this is normal) but of those that experiment (between the ages of about 9 to 25) the majority will not identify as being gay or even bi… it is quite literally “a phase” BUT, they need to show how those (roughly 10%) aren’t wrong in their sexuality and that it IS NOT A CHOICE! That’s the most important part!

      I also believe that schools need to run this same class for PARENTS so they can remove their head from their anal cavity long enough to smell something other than the Same of Sh** that’s been getting shoveled their way for generations by the bigots, religionists, and social a**holes of the world (most of whom are closet queers). I believe that dealing with Gay Children should be part of Parenting Classes both, in the High School and private sector so that supposed adults know how to deal with having a child plagued with this mode of very painful and potentially dangerous frustration.

      MORALITY has little to do with sex or sexuality when you break it down. So why do the so-called moralists focus on perversion at that level and ignore all the other immorality in our world? Like the crooked politicians, business practices, how the church is now run like a big business complete with Hollywood & Broadway fix’ns, etc.?

      If these people were genuinely “Moral” human beings, they’d see that it is less humane and far more immoral to NOT support this course of education and to do so places the blood and anguish of young and confused people who are dealing with their sexuality, onto their hands. it is they who are creating the victims!

      Aug 16, 2007 at 9:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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