Friday, September 12, 2008

Obama, the Illinois Sex Education Bill 0099 and the SIECUS Guidelines - Is this "Age Appropriate" Education?!

The New York Times on Wednesday lambasted the McCain campaign over a television ad it recently aired claiming Barack Obama had supported legislation in Illinois to teach sex education to kindergarten students. The Times went on to say that the ad was distorting the facts:
"The proposal [legislation] called for “age and developmentally appropriate” sex education. The McCain campaign is largely recycling old and discredited accusations made against Mr. Obama by Alan Keyes in their 2004 Senate race. At that time, Mr. Obama stated that he understood the main objective of the legislation, as it pertained to kindergarteners, was to teach them how to defend themselves against sexual predators."

“I have a 6-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old daughter, and one of the things my wife and I talked to our daughter about is the possibility of somebody touching them inappropriately, and what that might mean,” Mr. Obama said in 2004. “And that was included specifically in the law, so that kindergarteners are able to exercise some possible protection against abuse, because I have family members as well as friends who suffered abuse at that age.”

It is a misstatement... to maintain, as the McCain campaign advertisement does, that Mr. Obama favored conventional sex education as a policy for 5-year-olds. Under the Illinois proposal, “medically accurate” education about more complicated topics, including intercourse etc., would have been reserved for older students in higher grades.
However, the Illinois bill clearly states as follows:
The program established under this Act shall...shall include age appropriate instruction in grades K through 12 on the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread of HIV..., [and] sexual abstinence etc.
Is this "age appropriate material" for kindergarten students? Don't think so.

Obama claims that he "understood the main objective of the legislation' was to teach Kindergarteners how to defend themselves against sexual predators", but that is mere sophistry on his part. Because, clearly, that was not the main objective of the bill.

The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the US [SEICUS], in its "Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education for Kindergarten through 12th Grade", states that [PDF file] sex education courses should be appropriate to the "age and developmental level of the students". Sound familiar? The Obama campaign even sent the SIECUS guidelines to MSNBC when asked about this issue last year. SIECUS, like Obama, also recommends that teachers talk with students about inappropriate touching etc.

However, SIECUS also recommends that the following be taught to students, ages 5 through 8:

Reproduction requires that a sperm and egg join. Vaginal intercourse – when a penis is placed inside a vagina – is the most common way for a sperm and egg to join.

Babies usually come out of a woman’s body through an opening called a vagina.

Human beings can love people of the same gender and people of another gender.
Some people are heterosexual, which means they can be attracted to and fall in love with someone of another gender. Homosexual men and women are also known as gay men and lesbians.

Two people of the same gender can live in loving, lifetime committed relationships.

Touching and rubbing one’s own genitals to feel good is called masturbation. Some boys and girls masturbate and others do not. Masturbation should be done in a private place.

The most common ways for a person to get an STD [sexually transmitted disease] is to participate in sexual behavior or share a needle with another person who is already infected with an STD.

SIECUS also states as follows:
While the Guidelines contain... messages for a comprehensive program, specific information is often left out. For example, the Guidelines suggest that students in early elementary school [ages 5 - 8] learn that “Each body part has a correct name and a specific function,” and that “A girl/woman has breasts, nipples, a vulva, a clitoris, a vagina, a uterus, and ovaries.” They do not, however, explain the specific function of each of these parts to students or educators. It is the responsibility of educators to fill in this information when necessary.
Pray tell, is this the kind of "age... appropriate sex education" the New York Times wants to give 5 year old children?: 1. Penises being placed inside vaginas, 2. Masturbation; 3. Catching STD by participating in sexual behavior with others; 4. two people of the same gender can live in loving, lifetime committed relationships?!
SEICUS, Obama and the New York Slimes can talk all they want about "age appropriate" sex education - the fact of the matter is, it isn't "age appropriate"!

I bet you're probably wondering what kind of "age appropriate" stuff they recommend teaching 9 and 10 year olds. Don't even ask! You don't want to know!

Also read Obama on Sex Ed in Kindergarten: "It's the Right Thing to Do"


bswen said...

There is no "fact" in your opinion that this curriculum is not age appropriate. By the time a child is eight they are, especially girls, on the verge of entering puberty. I, for one, believe it entirely appropriate for my children to understand the facts of sex and acceptable sexual behavior before they become sexual beings. Get over yourself, talking about sex is OKAY, it won't hurt our children! It will help them live sexually healthy lives and help them make decisions based on fact, because I guarantee you that children aged 5-8 are learning about sex from somewhere else besides schools - I, as a parent, think it's best they learn the truth from trusted sources. And if you disagree as a parent, well there are provisions in the SIECUS guidelines that allow any parent to take their kids out of the sex education curriculum for any reason.

Anonymous said...

bswen... if you want your little innocent Kindergartner, who can't even read yet, and who isn't even developmentally or emotionally ready to learn about masturbation and vaginal intercourse, then teach it to your child yourself. You are the minority. Normal people who are trying to raise respectable children do not want this taught to their children. And if you try to tell me your little Kindergartner already knows or "should" already know this stuff, I say you are a liar and we should think twice before letting you around ANY children.

Anonymous said...

... and there's a BIG difference between an 8 year old and a 13 year old entering puberty... 5 years difference. I'd hardly say an 8 year old is "on the verge" of puberty. Do you even have kids? puh-lease.