sex sells, are your kids buying?
Much ado about sex and the young ones these days.
Over at the Guardian, we have this:
Compulsory sex education for five-year-olds will be demanded today by government advisers on teenage pregnancy, as an essential step towards halving the under-18 concep tion rate by 2010.
The advisory group will ask ministers to give statutory force to sex education guidelines prepared by Ofsted. They say pupils by the age of seven should be able to compare the external parts of the human body, share their feelings and use simple rules for resisting pressure from strangers.
By 11 they should be able to express opinions about relationships and bullying, recognise their changing emotions, discuss moral questions and know how to resist unwanted physical contact.
They should understand the physical changes that take place in puberty, the need for love in stable relationships and the safe routines needed to avoid the spread of viruses including HIV.
It's one thing to teach kids the whole "stranger danger" deal, an unfortunate necessity. However, sex education and discussion of relationships, body parts, safe sex and the like should not be taught to kids who are not yet ready to even understand the concept of sex.
Witness the conversations I've had with my own kids about sex. This conversation with DJ took place when he was nine:
DJ: "So, how does the stuff a guy has down there get into the woman?"
Me: "Ummm, the guy puts it in there."
DJ contemplates my answer for a minute. Then his face scrunches up in a look of horror and appallment.
"IN HER MOUTH?? HE PUTS IT IN HER MOUTH??" The color has drained from his face.
And the one with Natalie, when she was 12:
What does it mean when they say that two people are umm....you know.....
No, I don't know. Spell it.
(sound of brakes squealing as the sound of that word coming out of my daughter's mouth makes me almost miss a red a light)
I said spell it!!!
Whatever. What does it mean?
It means they are having sex, but not in a nice, loving sex way.
Ok, so when one of the girls today said "I want to fuck him..."
(I swerve into other lane while I choke on Gatorade)
Do you really need to know this stuff, Natalie?
You said I could talk to you about anything, anytime, Mom. Remember?
Yea, you're right. So when she says that, that means she ummm..wants to have sex with him. But she might not really mean it, what she probably means is she has the hots for him.
Oh. She also said she wants to paddle his buttocks.
This is after she had the requisite sex education/health classes in fifth grade.
See, I don't think my children need to be schooled in things that aren't appropriate to their age and lifestyle at the moment. I also think that discussing blowjobs and the emotions of sex and love are best left to parents.
A five year old is not ready to learn about the feelings involved in relationships. They barely know how to share toys yet at that age without a fight breaking out.
When Natalie took the sex ed class in school (which has continued into junior high school) she was left with more questions than answers. To the school's credit, they did not delve into the morality issues involved with sex - that also is something that should be left to the parents. But their curriculum was not as complete as it could have been. Teaching a child to "just say no" is all well and good, and that experiment where they carry a sack of flour around to get the feel of having a baby is lame at best. It becomes more of a joke to see who can do the most damage to someone else's baby.
Unfortunately, we live in a society where sex is prevelant and advertisers and clothing manufacterers of the world do nothing but push sex on young children, even if subliminally.
Have you seen the clothing out there for young girls? My daughter is constantly wearing sweat pants and t-shirts from Old Navy because I can't find anything appropriate for her to wear. The shorts are all way too short, the t-shirts are too cut-off and have rude and bold sayings on them, the pants are too low-slung. When the look of sex is pushed on them, and the videos and magazines are all showing young girls looking like hookers, they accept it as the norm.
Which leads me to my favorite whipping-boy, Mark Morford.
As usual, it's hard to get a grasp on just what Mark is saying but if I read this correctly, he thinks selling sex to kids is ok. They need it for future reference:
What we do have, however, is a BushCo that actually has the appalling gall to set aside $135 mil to force kids to learn all about the joys of repressing all sexual desire and bliss and bodily exploration and sensual spiritual power in favor of abstinence until they get married and then half of them get divorced because they were so goddamn lousy in bed.
So, teens should have sex so they don't get divorced later. Genius! It's all so very clear now. Forget the other aspects of marriage and relationships in general. Forget learning about love and trust and mutual respect. You have to have pre-marital sex in order to make your future marriage(s) work. Doh! What the hell was I thinking all this time?
We are terrified of our sexuality and horrified and/or weirdly shocked when presidents do it or teenagers do it or anyone at all does it unless it's us and then it's a fun little dirty secret but we don't talk about it shhh.
Why yes, I am horrified when teeangers do it. They don't have the mental capacity or ability to see the consequences of their actions when the engage in sexual relations. They are all about the here and now, the feeling good and being able to say they did it.
That is why I am for sex ed, but certainly not before the kids can grasp the concept of sex itself.
Morford also thinks the world needs another sex idol now that Britney has become nothing but a has-been whore.
Does he not see the lesson therein? Dress like a tramp, tease like a slut, show your stuff and strut it around all day and night long in front of millions and just a few years later you'll be nothing but a trivia question or a Hustler centerfold. That's the real lesson.
It's a hormonally charged atmosphere out there. The least we can do is arm our children with some morality, not send them off into the wilderness of puberty armed with nothing more than a condom and the idea that dressing like a mini version of Christina Aguilera makes you popular. Popular, in the jargon of junior high school, means you put out. And these days, putting out is ok as long as it's just a blow job because that isn't really sex. Wonder where they got that idea from?
Let the schools teach the basics of sex education, from the physical, health and scientific point of views. But don't start it until fifth grade, when the basic concepts of sex and relationships can be understood.
Leave the morality issues to the parents. And for heaven's sake people, put some decent clothes on your daughter.