It’s scandalous that schools are showing very young children videos of adults expressing sexual desire and experiencing sexual pleasure, including genital intercourse. Although no other species in the animal kingdom hides copulation from their young, it’s scandalous that civilized human beings are utilizing modern audio/visual technology for accurate, balanced, and comprehensive sex education. But wait. In reality, schools are not providing access to such videos to children. Why not? Why is sex kept a secret from children?
Hypothesis #1: Accurate, balanced, and comprehensive sex education would distract future adults from focusing on spiritual matters.
This is the historical justification for sabotaging children’s healthy sexual development, and a religious agenda is still part of what some scholars (e.g. Howard Gardner) call the “hidden curriculum” in schools today. The early Christian Church even included a sect that advocated the physical castration of priests. As a young man St. Augustine considered joining such a sect. But this hypothesis is disconfirmed by counter-evidence. There are individuals who are sexually uninhibited but nonetheless true believers and preach the wisdom of Jesus of Nazareth. (See Professor Polyamory’s blog in the right column under Blog Roll.) Although it seems intuitive that the more we focus on the body, the less we will focus on the spirit, there is no valid evidence that focusing on the spirit is fostered by mental castration. As far as we know, the opposite may be true: “inhibiting” healthy sexual development in childhood may actually foster the creation of hypocrites, and interfere with an adult’s capacity to sincerely focus on spiritual matters.
Hypothesis #2: Accurate, balanced, and comprehensive sex education would distract future adults from focusing on commercial production and consumption, and thereby harm the economy of communities and nations.
This hypothesis likewise fails due to counter-examples, such as my own personal experience. Despite my early exposure to sex and lack of sexual inhibition, I have always been highly materialistic, constantly looking for ways to increase my disposable income in order to buy the latest toys and gadgets, as well as useless but fascinating antiques. I’ve also spent tens of thousands of dollars vacationing in exotic places (45 U.S. states and 20+ foreign countries), instead of merely staying home and enjoying orgasms. Although my early sex education was not accurate, balanced, and comprehensive, there is no reason to believe that better sex education in schools now would lead to the creation of adults who are less eager producers and consumers of non-sexual products and services in the future.
Hypothesis #3: Accurate, balanced, and comprehensive sex education would distract future adults from the need for self-defense and national defense, thereby leaving us vulnerable to attack and invasion.
My personal experience again demonstrates the contrary. Despite being sexually uninhibited since birth, I developed a great interest in arms and weaponry very early in life, and eventually became a proficient handgun and rifle marksman who competed against and occasionally beat U.S. military-trained marksmen. Although I wasn’t enthusiastic about volunteering for military service, that was because of the difficulty of being guaranteed a place in Officer Cadet School, rather than any lack of enthusiasm for military service itself. I’ve also worked as a successful firearms dealer and junior rifle club leader, promoting the shooting sports in my community. I have also had a life-long dedication to unarmed self-defense and physical exercise, and even now at a fairly advanced age I can still outperform many young men in calisthenics.
Hypothesis #4: Accurate, balanced, and comprehensive sex education would distract future adults from higher learning and purely intellectual interests.
As a teacher for more than 20 years I have watched many children grow up, and my frequent observation is that the most sheltered children whose parents diligently “protected” their sons and daughters from sex education, have not turned out to become scholars in any sense. Quite the contrary, hiding sex from children seems the surest way to produce a generation of young people who are sexually dysfunctional as well as being wholly superficial and even anti-intellectual in every field or topic. This hypothesis is also refuted by my own character: my early exposure to sex and lack of inhibition have not prevented me from becoming a life-long learner and regular consumer of non-fiction books, scholarly journals, academic conferences, and professional web casts. If anything, my early exposure to sex seems to have cultivated my intellect.
Hypothesis #5: Accurate, balanced, and comprehensive sex education would create future adults who are less dependent for gratification on institutions and elites, and thereby create adult citizens who are less vulnerable to manipulation and control.
This hypothesis is consistent with the primary function of modern schooling. In the distant past education took the form of apprenticeship training for a specific craft or trade. In English-speaking countries churches offered the first organized instruction outside the home or workplace for indoctrination into religious dogma. Initially there was resistance to the idea of government providing free schools to the poor masses, and that resistance was overcome only with the rise of the threat of revolutionary movements spreading in continental Europe in the 19th century, hence the perceived need to indoctrinate English children politically against “foreign” ideas, beyond any need to train young people for future jobs.
Although there are now many competing interests against school reform, the hypothesis that government-directed schools seek (whether successful or not) to control and manipulate children is the most plausible explanation for anti-sex education. The widely acknowledged failure today of conventional schools (even among “successful” students who have been “well-schooled”) to cultivate citizens who are able to think independently and creatively, lends support to a sinister and conspiratorial rationale for opposing sex education, and calls for a re-evaluation of the traditional goals and values of schooling.
In a future post I will consider the confused content and methods that traditional schools are burdening children with instead of utilizing modern audio/visual technology for accurate, balanced, and comprehensive sex education. It’s hard for me to imagine that effective sex education someday could be worse than what traditionally inhibited teachers and parents are already doing to children every day in the here and now to “distract” children from sex.