Moms in Babeland

Montana Sex Ed Program: Why Kids Need It

Some people in Montana are ticked off at a proposed sex ed program. Among the things they object to: young kids will learn about gay love, fifth graders might learn about sex acts, and high schoolers might be exposed to erotic art.

To illustrate why this approach, often called “comprehensive sex ed” is so important, let me share an anecdote. I am a sex-positive mom who raised two daughters in San Francisco, the gayest place on earth. I have several gay family members. We believe love is the greatest gift you can give and receive, period. In kindergarten my daughter came home weeping hysterically one day. She said some of the older kids were teaching her class a chant (with arm movements) that went “I hate gay people.” My daughter replied, “that means they all hate me, because I want to grow up and marry Flora (her best friend).”  To experience such intolerance at such a young age, in arguably the most tolerant city in the US, was eye-opening. If I can’t rely on other parents to teach their kids to respect and accept diversity, then please let the school have a shot at it.

As for 5th graders learning about sex acts—how are they supposed to learn about anatomy, contraception, abstinence, or preventing STDs unless someone, somewhere explains what the sex acts are? In my daughter’s 6th grade class there were at least two sexually active girls (a 2005 study revealed that 6% of high school kids said they had sex before the age of 13), so I’d say the timing is right on target for the program. Parents seem much more comfortable with the “where babies come from” discussion when their kids are five or six, but when the kids get to an age where they can really understand the mechanics and have the same curiosity, we really start to freak.

As for the objection to erotic art in high school. I pity the aspiring young artist who is told that all nudity in art is obscene. Let us just call Botticelli, Rodin, and Michelango a bunch of pervs and make sure all future nudes are wearing bikinis and boxers.

It just so happens that Babeland is doing a fundraiser for sex education right now, so you can learn a lot more about why this approach to sex education is important.

The other book I think all parents and politicians should read is Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Our Children from Sex by Judith Levine. She debunks several of the most prevalent fears parents have about their kids sexuality and sex education, and challenges us to offer them accurate, realistic information and images of love and sex, including sexual pleasure.

Speak out on this topic! Post a comment, send us your sex education anecdote, or link to this topic during July, and you could win a great prize! Learn more.

Related posts:

  1. Birds + Bees + YOUR Kids with Amy Lang, MA
  2. What Kids Should Be Learning in School About Sex
  3. What My Kids Learned About Sex…From Musicals
  4. Q: The kids hear so much in school the negative side effects of sex. Do you have any tips on how to offer a more pleasure-positive counterpoint?
  5. What Should Kids be Learning in School About Abstinence?

Leave a Reply