Saturday, 24 April 2010

Ignorance is not bliss

The ChristoFascists are creaming themselves. Losing almost everywhere in the culture wars, they won a (temporary, it is to be hoped) victory over Ontario's proposed new sex ed curriculum.

And look who's taking credit.
McVety successfully framed the issue as whether this was too much information at too young an age, as opposed to other narratives like promoting healthy sexuality, counteracting schoolyard misinformation, preventing teen pregnancy and STDs, etc.

Let's find out about this 'too much information at too young an age', shall we?

* Grade 1 students will be taught the correct names of genitalia, such as penis and vagina, as they learn the names of other body parts. Kids will also learn personal hygiene, such as washing their hands with soap and water long enough to say the alphabet.
* Grade 2 students will be taught the basic stages of human development, and how the body changes over time.
* Grade 3 students learn about healthy relationships ("e.g., accepting differences, being inclusive ... showing mutual respect and caring"), as well as the difference between visible and invisible differences (e.g. gender identity and sexual orientation)
* Grade 4 students learn about how the human body changes at puberty
* Grade 5 students will be taught to identify parts of the reproductive system and learn more how the human body changes during puberty (e.g. menstruation) and the emotional stresses of that time
* Grade 6 student learn about the development of self-concept and the changes that come during adolescence, along with what constitutes healthy relationships
* Grades 7 and 8 students will be taught about oral sex, how to delay sexual activity, and to prevent unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.

Seems pretty reasonable and age-appropriate to me and to most of the commenters at that CTV link, but here are a couple of dissenters:
Kelty in Ottawa
While I believe there needs to be a certain level of education in school, I don't want my 11 and 12 year learning about oral and anal sex at school.

I have read the new curriculum and I do not think it is appropriate to expose children of 11 to the concept of oral and anal sex. Scrap this curriculum, it is garbage.

So what is the right age?

Age ten is okey-dokey with the Catlick Church for giving birth, but not for learning about how that happened?

And who should teach the birds and bees if not the evul sochialist school system?

Your church?

Or maybe your rapist stepfather?

Somebody better figure this out and quickly. Precocious puberty is on the rise.
A common definition for medical purposes is onset before 8 years in girls or 9 years in boys. As most children with precocious puberty have no disease, all of these definitions are somewhat arbitrary and based on social values.

And it has serious consequences, in terms of both physical and emotional health.
Earlier puberty is believed to put girls at higher risk of sexual abuse, teasing or bullying, mental health disorders and short stature as adults. Helping children control their weight is suggested to help delay puberty. Early puberty additionally puts girls at a "far greater" risk for breast cancer later in life. Girls as young as 8 are increasingly starting to menstruate, develop breasts and grow pubic and underarm hair; these "biological milestones" only typically occurred at 13 or older decades ago. African American girls are especially prone to early puberty. There are theories debating the trend of early puberty, but the exact causes are not known. "This is a review of what we know; it's absolutely superb," said Dr. Marion Kavanaugh-Lynch, an oncologist and director of the California Breast Cancer Research Program in Oakland, which directs tobacco tax proceeds to research projects. "The data indicates that if you get your first period before age 12, your risk of breast cancer is 50 percent higher than if you get it at age 16," said the report's author, biologist Sandra Steingraber, herself a cancer survivor. "For every year we could delay a girl's first menstrual period, we could prevent thousands of breast cancers."

The causes for precocious puberty in general and its current increase are far from clear but here's a strong contender:
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used in hard plastics, and is frequently used to make baby bottles, water bottles, sports equipment, and medical devices. It is also in an epoxy used as a coating in almost all food and beverage cans in most countries. Scientists are concerned about BPA's behavioral effects on fetuses, infants, and children at current exposure levels because it can affect the prostate gland or mammary gland, and lead to early puberty in girls, and possibly cancer later in life. BPA mimics and interferes with the action of estrogen, which is an important reproduction and development regulator. It leaches out of plastic into liquids and foods.

Early puberty can be difficult for boys as well, but male children do not get pregnant. Of the documented earliest births in that list, nearly all of them -- unsurprisingly -- are due to rape, often by a family member. Many of them were complete surprises to the parents who had no idea their daughters were ovulating.

Wouldn't it be a good idea to inform all children about what will happen to their bodies before it start to happen? So that maybe the kid herself can let her clueless parents know?

Just askin'.

UPDATED: via Blob Blogging Wingnut (to whom we do not link because of her puerile habit of redirecting links to fetal pr0n sites), this from LieShite: twenty years later, a 12-year-old (at the time) rape victim -- from Mexico, are ya getting this? -- says it's all groovy to bear the fruit of the crime.

Children forced to give birth -- groovy. Children being fucked by Catlick priest -- equally groovy.


croghan27 said...

Terrific column there, FH - that is definitely a 'keeper'.

deBeauxOs said...

Yes, it's one of the best so far, as a rational response to the puling and mewling of various rightwing religious zealots.

Dylan said...

Wow! You've outdone yourself Fern. Bravo!

Sex education should keep up with the stages of development of the children being taught. The importance of learning what constitutes healthy relationships is incredibly important - as some kids don't even get this modeled for them at home.

McVety is a scab on society - a real waste of skin. Too bad I don't believe in HIS version of Hell, or it would be a toasty afterlife for deceptive pricks like him.

deBeauxOs said...

Ah, but Dylan - like Scott Roeder - he believes in Hell, he just doesn't think that's where he belongs.

Won't he be surprised when his god gives him his just reward?

k'in said...

I've never, ever understood the North American generally accepted mindset that "violence is cool---sex is icky".

Spineless McGuinty caved like a house of cards. No doubt wingnut McVety's parents raised him to believe that his dangly parts are shameful. Sucks to be him.

As for McWimpy-guess he's not the "education" premier after all.

Anonymous said...

McVety went after Wynne's sexuality as a gay woman. Already that makes him a failure as a Christian. He's a Capitalist, and an End-Timer for the Zionists. Period.

Anonymous said...

What you're saying is that McVety preyed on the ignorance of the general public and made false statements about the nature of the education of school children. In so doing, he hijacked the debate on the issue and create a public stir rather than let the facts speak for themselves.

And he's a MINISTER? He's a theologian?

Aren't believers supposed to be critical thinkers? Isn't that the nature of Christian scholarship?

McVety is nothing more than the cats-paw of the christian right.

What's worse is that Dalton McGuinty caved in to this. Why was it nearly impossible for the facts to emerge into the media?

It seems that most of the media bought into McVety & Co from the very start and the people
who listened or viewed the programs didn't challenge the statements of McVety.

The whole matter is more a condemnation of us as a general public for allowing the hijacking of the discourse. It's also a condemnation of the media for allowing it to happen and not challenge in a constructive manner the positions put forward by those who would lie to the general public.

I thought that Canada Christian College was an educational institution but it seems to be filled with political activity.

Perhaps it's time to look more closely at the nature of degree-granting institutions such as CCC and rescind licences for failure to fulfill its mandate.

There are too many McVety types around and they are hijacking the public agenda for their own purposes. Since they are already on the margins of society, what they are doing is pushing themselves further to the edges of public acceptance. Meanwhile, public policy has been hurt and tax dolars wasted because some marginal people choose to lie and frame questions and public sentiment in a way to their liking.

Time to close down Canada Christian College and time to teach critical thinking in our schools so as to combat the current trend of public indifference to what passes as "news".

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