Friday, 18 June 2010

Britain Ponders Sex-Ed for Kindergarten

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A British health watchdog group has proposed that sex education be taught to children in Kindergarten, so that they will have the skills and confidence to delay sexual intimacy. The report comes from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE.) How appropriate that the acronym “NICE” is the same as C.S. Lewis used (for the fictional National Institute of Coordinated Experiments) in his horrific dystopian classic, That Hideous Strength, in which he warned of the impending dangers of soulless statism.

It is hard to imagine a sillier notion than the one proposed by NICE. Sex education has been taught in British schools for decades now. The reason for intruding this familial and religious responsibility into the state-run educational system back then was — guess what? — to help give school children the skills and confidence to avoid sexual intimacy, until the student was ready, anyway. 

This approach failed utterly. Single mothers among the young proliferated, along with STD and the other disasters of the Nanny State. The rate of unwed young mothers is now among the highest in Europe, a steep rise which occurred after the introduction of sex education in British schools. How lowering the age of sex education to children who are many years from puberty will help is anyone’s guess. 

More troubling, of course, is the idea that the state should be dealing with issues which should be between parent and child or should be part of the child’s other moral education, like in church or synagogue. The inculcation of values ought to be among the most respected rights of private citizens in a free country. This is particularly true when those instructed in values by government are too young to absorb the values objectively. How can instruction at this young age be much more than state indoctrination, especially when the subject is so fraught with private beliefs? 

Surely this is simply another way for the state to deliberately supplant the family or the church and to promote the atomization of individuals into discrete portions that a totalitarian state can swallow in easy bites. Here is a different idea: End sex education for all students for a five-year period, and encourage, instead, parents and clergy to help children learn how to approach the serious question of sex.

However, that suggestion will probably not gain much traction in an increasingly intrusive British government.

Photo: AP Images


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