Friday, October 24, 2008

A new low

Is Britain determined to destroy itself?

Perhaps not, but the currently ensconced Labour government seems to be hell-bent on doing so.

From Yahoo! news:

'Give young children sex education'

Primary school children should get basic sex education, a Government review is expected to find.

The study is likely to recommend a shake-up of lessons to combat concerns that current teaching of the subject in England is too patchy.

Schools minister Jim Knight is due to present the findings later, as well as the Government's responses.

The review is expected to say that sex education should be compulsory in all schools.

This could include teaching young children basic classes on the human body and relationships, with more detailed information being given as a child moves up through school.

Last week Mr Knight told MPs he had received "strong recommendations" for making sex education compulsory in all schools but said it had to be done without "sexualising young people too early".

International evidence suggests that teaching certain aspects of sex and relationship education before puberty has a "positive effect" on issues like teenage pregnancy, Mr Knight said.

Britain has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in Europe and figures suggest rising numbers of young people are catching sexually transmitted diseases.

Current rules say pupils must be taught the biological facts of reproduction, usually in science classes, and every school must have a sex education policy.

But there is no statutory requirement for teaching about relationships and the social and emotional side of sexual behaviour.

Although Melancholicus is a teacher, at least part-time, his charges are not children but young adults (with a sprinkling of mature students older than himself). Since he is not yet married, he has no children of his own. Consequently he has no experience of dealing with primary school age children other than his memories of having been one himself about thirty years ago.

He would like to know more about the state of innocence (or lack thereof) that Catholic primary school teachers find in their charges, and the degree to which they may have been corrupted by the moral and cultural degradation of our society, a degradation more advanced today than when Melancholicus was in primary school circa 1980.

One thing at least is certain: it is unnecessary to disturb young children with lessons detailing sexual acts which will only confuse and frighten them. Melancholicus’ own innocence was preserved until puberty, as was right; and, having had the mechanics of sexual intercourse explained to him experienced a certain sense of significant discovery, almost a rite of passage, and felt privileged to be growing up. But his brother and sister (both younger) discovered the facts of life about the age of nine or ten, before they were ready, one through the accident of watching daytime TV (!), the other through the ministrations of some ‘expert’ invited for that purpose to visit her (Catholic) school.

Both, incidentally, were shocked and disgusted by their discoveries, as one can only expect from children of that age.

The story quoted above finishes with an observation which, though particularly telling regarding the thoughtlessness of this Labour government, nonetheless fails to mention that there is also a moral dimension to the exercise of human sexuality in addition to “the social and emotional side”.

There is only one potentially positive aspect to this story. It is impossible to live in western society and not be aware of the omnipresence of sexuality and eroticism in books, in magazines, in advertising, on the radio, on the television, on the internet, everywhere in fact, not excluding shop windows on the high street. Ostensibly family programmes on both radio and television broadcast well before the watershed may contain some quite advanced sexual content (BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live has trespassed more than once in this area—and it is aired on Saturday mornings between 9 and 10am). Consequently, it is not a source for wonderment that children growing up today are by and large much more knowledgeable about sexual matters than Melancholicus’ generation was in the 1970s. An increasing proportion of today’s children have been sexualised early anyway, and may often be more knowledgeable about adult matters than their years would warrant. If there is to be early discussion of sex in schools at all, it ought best to focus not on explicit depictions of popular sexual acts (many of which are little more than perversions anyway) but on attempting to inculcate a sound moral sense in these young souls, and a reverential respect for persons of the opposite sex and for what is one of God’s greatest gifts to fallen man.

But of course Melancholicus is dreaming. This Labour government will certainly not attempt to impart a responsible and moral approach towards human sexuality in those children already sexualised early by exposure to inappropriate media, much less ever mention God or recommend abstinence until marriage. No, it will prefer instead to go to great lengths (and expense) to instruct young innocents of both sexes how best to utilise this or that contraceptive device, or to perform this or that sexual act, even to the extent of the “homosexual technique” mentioned in this famous episode of Yes, Prime Minister:

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