Friday, March 1, 2013

Charles McVety vs sex ed

I really have to hand it to some social conservatives who are so sexually repressed they recoil at the word sex.   I don't know if Charles McVety of the Canada Family Action Coalition is quite that regressed, but his playing on people's worst instincts would be comical were it not for what's at stake -- the kind of country that we want Canada to be.  Especially when it comes to personal choices.

Chuck, a televangelist, has make himself look like an idiot several times over.   He is certainly entitled to his opinion that gay and lesbian marriage is wrong.   He is definitely allowed to say that, too.   But it wasn't that long ago -- like, 2010 -- that he went on TV repeated the oft repeated lie that gays and lesbians prey on minors,  as if to say that only homosexuals are pedophiles.   Of course most reasonable people know that not to be true.  But you can't convince some people about that.

Two years ago, McVety railed against the idea of "gay-straight" alliances in schools, claiming they would force students to hear about oral and anal sex.   Of course the problem is, most kids know about it already.   They go on the Internet.   They talk to their fellow students.   Heck, in a lot of cases, their own parents have talked about their escapades into the back door, openly!

And what is so wrong with standing up for open discussion about sex, or about standing up for someone who is bullied because of their choice of lifestyle?   Some kids figure out they're gay by the time they're five or six even if they don't yet  know the word for it.

Now, the latest front.   Kathleen Wynne, the Premier of Ontario and the first openly gay chief executive of the province since its founding in 1791 as Upper Canada, now may finally do what should have done decades ago; updating the province's sex education curriculum.   Something that Pointy Head, Dalton McGuinty, should have done already while he was still Premier.  And naturally, McVety and his fellow regressives are whipping up a firestorm saying once again that this shouldn't be in schools, or if it is, that parents should have Power Of Veto ™
Why:   Three words.   Ignorance is bliss.

Where does that take us, though?

We only have to look in the States to see where abstinence only programs go when it comes to heterosexual sex amongst teenagers.   Higher rates of genital, oral and anal sex, higher rates of disease, higher rates of pregnancies.   In States where there is a frank discussion of the consequences?   Lower rates of disease, lower teen pregnancies.   And counter intuitively, the rate of people delaying their first time is actually higher than in the regressed states.

Because oral and anal contact inherently can be so much more dangerous, since there is often a lesser use of protection and in turn a much higher risk of exchanging bodily fluids through cuts, there needs to be education on reducing the risk.

Look, even the most progressive of progressives -- and I'm nowhere near there in the political spectrum -- would have to acknowledge that abstinence is the only way to stop the spread of venereal disease or a pregnancy.

But this is not an ideal world.   Kids have sex.   And they have it at younger and younger ages, because both boys and girls are starting to develop at younger ages -- mainly due to changes in our diets and in environmental factors.  Matter of fact, many girls are starting to develop at age 7 and boys at 9.   And their "first time" with someone of the opposite sex will probably be by the time they hit 13.  If they experiment with someone of the same sex, maybe earlier.

Even thirty years ago, which gives away my age (!), my classmates and I -- both sexes -- didn't start to develop until 12 or 13 and the median for losing the cherry was 16.   But we did talk about sex in the schoolyard.   Straight and gay sex.   And then as now, some of the chatter was based on facts but the rest on misinformation.   But the discussion in class, such as it was, was only about heterosexual sex.    For those in my class who were gay or lesbian and there were a couple, some use that did.

The rate of gays and lesbians in this country has likely stayed at the same rate for decades -- the difference is that now there's greater tolerance of the practice, more people who are LGBT feel comfortable in saying so.   They're not about to go back into the closet.   And as I have said previously, their families are just as valuable, just as vital, as "straight" families.

I have always thought that teaching kids values starts at home, but if those values are based on prejudice and misinformation there has to be a forum to present a more balanced view and without parental interference, so the kids can decide for themselves.  And practically the only place that can happen, is at school.

If one had to ask McVety, one would have to suppose he might say we should go back to the days when a "troubled" teenage girl had gone to an aunt -- i.e. the homes for unwed mothers -- and the father of the baby was not allowed to even have access to what he had a part in creating, let along being told where his girlfriend disappeared to.

Knowledge is power.   And the more we empower people, especially at a young age, the more we can push back at the holier than thous who claim they know better.   And even turn back the tide on disease and unwanted pregnancies -- as well as bigotry.  Premier Wynne should push forward, and not be bullied.   Straight people like me, who have an open mind, have "gotten used to it."  It's time those whose minds stubbornly closed, to get used to it as well.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't have a problem with McVety voicing his opinions. However, he has a long history of using bold-faced lies to support his opinions. When the provincial anti-bullying bill was being debated, he was saying that it would require that schools teach homosexual sex and that it would force religious groups that rent school space to teach that homosexuality is OK. Neither of which is true.

When he was opposing the withdrawn curriculum, he was claiming that teachers would be forced to teach explicit sex acts to eight year olds. Again, a blatant lie.