Liberal Sex Ed and Rational Opposition
Sexual Education is often a go-to topic used by liberals to attack conservatives as being unreasonable and uneducated. The cliché of the sexually lacking ignorant Christian opposition is well known. It is equally accepted as truth that people, in general, were repressed and unhappy until liberal sexual liberation flooded the cultural mindset and freed them all. The argument over abstinence – only education implies that the only choice parents have is to accept whatever sexual education is presented or hope their kids don’t have sex. The problem, however, is not in the nature of sexual education, but the agenda behind it.
In a piece mocking conservative opposition to sexual education beginning in kindergarten, Thinkprogress.org defended the program stating, “…students will receive age-appropriate information about wellness, anatomy, puberty, and sexual health that’s tailored for every grade.” This is used to demonstrate that clearly conservatives are being irrational about the whole thing. Why would anyone oppose discussing wellness, puberty and sexual health that are “appropriate” for each grade? What does modern psychology think appropriate is? Psychology Today, in an article titled Is Your Child’s Sexual Behavior Normal? states, “…the vast majority of children, from a young age, derive enjoyment from genital manipulation… As long as children are nurtured through this time and taught to cherish their sexuality without flaunting or exposing it indiscriminately, it can be a healthy experience for the child.” Stopitnow.org, a website reporting to prevent sexual abuse of children, openly discusses children under age 5 enjoying sexual activity with peers.
The same Psychology Today magazine defines pedophilia as a combination of abnormal sex hormones and possibly experiencing sexual abuse as a child. It even implies witnessing sexuality may cause the potential pedophile to imitate. It opines, “The prognosis for pedophilia is difficult to determine. For pedophiles, these longstanding sexual fantasies about children can be very difficult to change.” At no point does the liberal mindset behind both concepts connect the dots to see how aggressively asserting children hold valid and equal – to – adult standards of sexuality and pedophilia could be associated.
As Breeanne Howe discusses in an article, Planned Parenthood recently engaged in discussing Sadomasochism, bondage and other “kinky sex” with a young girl. While there has been outrage over this specific and controversial event, in general liberalism has no moral opposition to the concept. Writing in 2012 about the book Fifty Shades of Grey, Debby Herbenick, a sexual health educator at the Kinsey Institute, defended BDSM(Bondage/Discipline/Dominance/Submission/Sadism/Masochism) stating: "Like many, many other sexual behaviors, BDSM is part of a normative sexual experience that feels healthy and enjoyable to many people[.]"
Dan Savage, a well-known liberal sex advice columnist tweeted in response to Breeanne Howe’s post: “@breeannehowe seeking out kinky sex in the absence of info about consent, reality vs. fantasy, etc. That can have disastrous consequences.” and “Some young people are into BDSM. Shouldn't they have access to info about safe BDSM practices?” Just as Richard Dawkins stated in 2013 that his own sexual contact with an adult when he was a child was not harmful and described the perpetrator as expressing “mild pedophilia”, Savage tweets in defense of Planned Parenthood stating: “…some kids are kinky. If you talked to kinksters you would hear from kids who were tying themselves up at 13…”
The driving issue is not whether adults should participate in BDSM or if it is right or wrong. It is ironic that the “rape culture” obsessed left would be so enthusiastic about sexual practices that are driven by the domination and intentional application of pain to the sexual partner often involving violent and humiliating actions. But, as in all consensual sexual activity, freedom does not restrict this with adults. The underlying problem is that the acceptance of this activity as being part of adult sexuality is not enough for liberal thinkers. Because liberals focus on “educating” adults on the possibilities of sexuality, they assume dominion over children in the same area. This is what conservatives oppose.
Sexual education is always described as teaching kids about their bodies, diseases, protection and healthy sexuality, but as we can see liberals define those terms differently than an average person might. The agenda liberalism promotes is the idea that sexuality is fluid, amoral and absolutely natural in all of its forms. Children experience sexuality early and should be taught to embrace it fully without question. Parents should encourage exploration and as long as everyone is fully knowledgeable and protected the experiences thereafter will be wonderful and healthy. To deny children access to this is to set them up for dangerous experimentation, exploitation and emotional damage. The assumption is that because liberal thinking people view the world exclusively through sexuality, all people do and therefore everyone must be provided the fullest access to liberal sexual theory as an absolute.
The key piece that is missing, however, is personal responsibility. Where is the individual in all of this? Are we purely driven by various sexual impulses that can only be expressed through mindless action? Assuming every single theory on sexual development by liberal psychology is true, why are we bound to it? Liberalism seems to define itself by its lack of control over its environment. In order to survive one must be surrounded by warnings, labels, education, protections and emotional support. There is simply no concept that a person can choose differently.
Underlying the belief of child sexuality, pedophilia, and teenagers engaging in BDSM is that they simply have no other option available to them and must simply do the best with what they have been programmed with. Sexual education has always been driven by the demand that “kids will have sex anyway!” In 2011 the Heritage Foundation linked to an article about teen sexual behavior stating: “The toll that early sexual activity takes on youths’ physical and emotional well-being and the association of abstinence with greater academic achievement all signal the importance of promoting the upward trend of abstinence through family, community, and public policy.” It also concluded that “…numerous studies have documented the impact that parents can have on their children’s sexual behavior. Youths whose parents discuss the consequences of sexual activity and monitor them more closely are less likely to be sexually active, and teens who feel that their parents would strongly disapprove of their becoming sexually active are less likely to contract a sexually transmitted infection.”
It is important to recognize that if a young person respects themselves and is actively building their future they are less likely to take risks or allow themselves to be devalued. Abstinence is not about denying a person sexuality, it is about empowering a person to choose sexuality with purpose. We are free to explore sexuality as we choose, but why can’t that include experiencing sex in a meaningful or spiritual way? Young people have the opportunity to define their entire lives based on how they view themselves in the present. Why do we assume sexuality is the only lens they have available to them? Conservatives do not oppose sexual education, they just simply do not want their children, or children in general, exposed to the liberal version of it. Young people deserve to be more than the sum of their sexual impulses.