The NEA among others have come out with new guidelines for teaching sex education to our children. While the report doesn't specifically say this, I doubt that this will be opt-in.
Lets begin with what will be taught to your 5-7 year-olds:
They should be able to properly name both male and female anatomy, they should be able to talk about all different types of families, and show respect for these families. They also need to be able to talk about and demonstrate how media influences how boys and girls think and act.
They should be able to define sexual orientation, and be able to name parents or adults that can help them understand sexual orientation.
Apparently, the worry is that right now, only about 3.1 hours is spent talking to elementary school children about HIV/Aids, pregnancy, and STD prevention. Silly me, I didn't think I needed to talk to a five-year old about STD prevention. I am so out of it.
Here is one of my favorites:
By completion of the eighth grade, the report says, students should be able to “[d]ifferentiate between gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation,” “[e]xplain the range of gender roles,” and “[d]efine emergency contraception and its use.”
Upon completion of middle school, students should be able to “[a]nalyze external influences that have an impact on one’s attitudes about gender, sexual orientation and gender identity”; “[a]ccess accurate information about gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation”; “[c]ommunicate respectfully with and about people of all gender identities, gender expressions and sexual orientations”; “[e]xplain the health benefits, risks and effectiveness rates of various methods of contraception, including abstinence and condoms”; and “[d]escribe the steps to using a condom correctly.”
I am not naive enough to think that kids don't have questions about sex or are not tempted to experiment. Their bodies are changing and many kids hit puberty in the eighth grade and they start to have sexual feelings. I get that. I also get that kids are much more advanced in many areas then I was at that age. But I will tell you, the very last thing I wanted to talk about, let alone participate in at that age was the down and dirty details of sex. I was horrified whenever anyone brought it up. I wasn't ready at that age, plain and simple. I get that not all kids will be like that, but there will be children who are just not ready for these types of conversations and to force it upon them is abusive.
And by the time they graduate from high school students should be expected to “[d]efine emergency contraception and describe its mechanism of action” and “[a]ssess the skills and resources needed to become a parent.”
Also included in the guidelines are the following: “Compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of abstinence and other contraceptive methods, including condoms”; “Access medically-accurate information and resources about emergency contraception”; “Compare and contrast the laws relating to pregnancy, adoption, abortion and parenting”; and “Describe potential impacts of power differences (e.g., age, status or position) within sexual relationships.”
Well, at least they are willing to talk about adoption over abortion and abstinence. I guess I should take some comfort in that. But never fear, the NEA, in all of its infinite wisdom, has partnered with Planned Parenthood and GLSEN to help write these guidelines. Thank heavens, they contacted the experts in giving our children moral guidance. /sarc.
You can read the report here to get a gander at the glossary they provide. Ooh, can't wait. Bedtime reading.