Mark Holmberg on earlier sex ed is a sign of the times
RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - Public school sex education has been tricky subject since it began 90 years ago, during the Roaring 20s after soldiers with STDs returned from the Great War and spread the diseases.
But until the AIDS epidemic 30 years ago, sex-ed was largely restricted to the high school level.
Since then, there’s been a push get younger children – in grade school – information about sexuality, birth control and the prevention of disease and abuse.
President Obama and many others have argued that sex education here should begin as early as kindergarten, as many countries have done.
Proponents point out that countries that do this have lower teen-birth rates and STDs than we do. Our rates are among the very worst in the developed world, although I would argue that’s because we’re a wealthy, selfish society that has lost its moral backbone. There are few accepted standards of decency any more.
Which is why our out-of-wedlock births have doubled in just the past generation – up to about 40 percent of all births. More and more, schools do the parenting.
The new proposed guidelines are far milder than the kindergarten plan. Teach kids about body parts and the simplest concepts of reproduction by the end of second grade.
By the end of the fifth grade they should know details about reproduction and sexual orientation. Remember, these are just proposed guidelines, and you should be able to opt-out.
I can hear some of you yelling at your TV: That’s too young – and that should be the parent’s job!
Yes, you’re right. But times have changed at crazy rate since the old black and white sex-ed films were made. You’ve heard the stories of children sexting, I presume?