BOSTON – Supporters of “comprehensive” sex education have a way of making their preferred curriculum seem logical and harmless.
In Massachusetts, for instance, the Senate passed a bill on Wednesday calling for “medically accurate and age appropriate” sex education.
One newspaper said the legislation would require schools “to teach about both abstinence and contraception, as well as healthy relationships.”
That’s not the kind of language that is going to stir a great deal of opposition, among citizens or their elected representatives.
“When the average legislator sees this till, it seems innocuous enough, but it involves some pretty obscene stuff,” said Andrew Beckwith, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, which will lobby against the bill in the state House in January, following the legislature’s holiday recess.
The devil, as always, is in the details. The fact is that SB 2048, which was approved by the Senate 32-6, forces all Massachusetts schools districts that teach sex education to use a curriculum deemed appropriate by the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
But a sampling of that curriculum immediately raises the question of age appropriateness. What’s appropriate to state bureaucrats may not sit well with a lot of parents or local school board members.
In fact, a lot of people would probably be shocked by what the state wants children to learn at very young ages.
One sex education guide getting the thumbs up from the state is titled, “Get Real: Comprehensive Sex Education That Works,” published by Planned Parenthood. Here are a few examples of its lessons:
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One explains that a dental dam is “placed over the vulva or anus during oral sex. It says people can also use non-microwavable saran wrap.”
Sixth-graders need to know that for what reason, exactly?
Another describes a scenario where “Brittany’s girlfriend wants to have oral sex with her. Brittany really likes her girlfriend, and her friends say that having oral sex will bring them closer together.”
Another tells about how “Erika and Cameron use condoms as their method of birth control. So far, they’ve used a condom every time they’ve had vaginal intercourse, but Cameron wants to see what it feels like without a condom. He asks Erika if they can try it just once without a condom and says he can pull out before he comes.”
Yet another lesson “discusses the use of an internal condom that is inserted into the anus. It is said to act as a barrier, but warns that it may slip out of place during vaginal or anal intercourse. It warns that it may be difficult to insert.”
There doesn’t seem to be much of an emphasis on saying “no.” That’s because, according to many experts, “comprehensive sex education” is built on the presumption that all teens will have sex, and there is nothing morally objectionable about it.
“This all comes from a philosophy that treats sexual activity among teens amorally,” said Andrew Beckwith, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute. “The only concern is preventing disease and unwanted pregnancy. There is no moral component to it at all.
“They believe that children are sexual beings. They have no problem with allowing 11-year-olds to have anal sex, just so it’s done safely.”
Under current law, Massachusetts school boards, in consultation with parents, have the right to determine their own sex education curriculums, based on what they believe is proper and age appropriate for the children of their communities.
They are free to choose to Planned Parenthood standards, or put more emphasis on the wisdom of abstinence.
SB 2048 takes away that freedom, which is a major point of objection for Beckwith and his allies.
“What the legislation does it take control from school boards and give it to a state body that believes anal sex is appropriate for 11-year-olds,” Beckwith said.
While there will certainly be a lot of support for the legislation in the state House, with its overwhelming Democratic majority, Beckwith says there is hope of defeating it.
“The battle over this bill is in the House, as it has been in prior years,’ Beckwith said. “We definitely have some conservative representatives who will expose this bill for what it actually does to children and schools.”