Friday, September 11, 2015

Sexy time

School has just started up again so there is a lot of renewed interest in Ontario's new sex education curriculum.  Many parents are angry about the idea of their children being taught that gay people exist and that we should tolerate their existence.  They are also upset that their young ones might learn the names for their body parts, or that people should only be touched if they consent to it.

Oftentimes these objections are couched in terms of 'appropriate' ages for specific learning, but the real goal is obviously not to find an appropriate age, but rather to try to use ignorance to keep young people from having sex.  These objections don't usually aim for a slightly different age, but hope to keep the information away from children forever as a method of sexual prevention.

Which pretty obviously doesn't work.  You can look at nearly all of human history and notice that although people throughout that history often had no idea what the proper terms for their body parts were, or in fact no such proper terms existed, still people managed to have an awful lot of children at shockingly young ages.  Ignorant teenagers have been getting pregnant extremely regularly for as long as ignorant teenagers have existed, so we know that ignorance is no way to stop teenage horniness.

It isn't all just parents being terrified that their children might learn how they came into this world or what the bits of their genitals are called though.  There is a heaping helping of homophobia, and even sometimes a suggestion that the schools are forwarding 'the homosexual agenda'.  Which is pretty hilarious because the curriculum doesn't promote being straight, being gay, being bi, or anything in between.  It just tells children that gay people exist.  That's it!  Is 'the homosexual agenda' the aim to have people acknowledge that gay people aren't fictitious?  Not much of an agenda, that.

(You should know that when your argument is "I don't want my children to be taught obvious facts." you really aren't getting the entire purpose of SCHOOL.)

It is all such a maddening disaster.  I think it is important that people be able to choose to take their children out of school because we need to allow parents that freedom.  For example, I might decide that music in school is pointless and figure that Elli would learn more from field trips to a local museum.  I won't decide that, but we clearly need to let parents do that.  Unfortunately the parents that are yanking their kids from sex education aren't providing some useful alternative, they are just recoiling in fear from the notion that sex might not be hidden away like a shameful secret.

On a vaguely related topic, I am pleased to note that the latest version of Dungeons and Dragons specifically notes under character creation that characters can be any gender the player wants, including non binary and trans identities.  It also talks about gender presentation and sexual orientation, making it clear that any choice is okay and acceptable when someone is making up a character to represent them.  That gets a giant thumbs up from me.

That's right parents, the new school curriculum is preparing your children for a life of basement dwelling, fireball casting, dragon slaying nerding.


  1. I believe you wanted to use "nerdery" there at the end. The sentence cadence is off with all those "ings".

  2. I DON'T approve of how the Ontario Liberals have brutalized education labour relations but this is one thing that they got very right. I suggest calling your local MPP and telling them that you support this new curriculum. They need to hear from the rationalists. I've called both Michael Gravelle and Bill Mauro (neither of whom I voted for in the last election) and thanked them personally for this change.