By Patricia Pitkus Bainbridge
Director, Respect Life Office
Parents hope and pray their children will be safe when they are away from home. While the concern typically is for their children’s physical safety, parents today have to be concerned about their moral safety as well. Unbeknownst to many, there are purveyors of immorality lurking in school classrooms, after school groups, and other places kids frequent. Parents must make every effort to know what is being taught to their children—especially in the realm of human sexuality—whether that teaching is direct or implied.
It is no longer safe to assume that nice sounding programs are harmless. It is no longer safe to assume that agencies and individuals assigned to teach our children and teens understand what is best for them. Gone are the days when parents could send children off to school and other activities and be assured that adults, materials, and programs would not violate traditional values including those that recognize that sexual activity outside the bonds of marriage is wrong.
Today, there is a powerful, well coordinated effort aimed at indoctrinating young people with a totally different message about human sexuality. Young people are told that times have changed and that there are no rights or wrongs with sexual activity as long as the participants “consent” and that they are “responsible.” In appealing to the natural desire of young people wanting to be viewed as “adults,” the purveyors of this message seduce them into believing this “new way of thinking.” One of their methods is to convince schools to adopt “comprehensive sex education” programs.
The forces behind the indoctrination
In Illinois, the well-organized, well-funded effort to get comprehensive sex education in every school is
led by a group calling itself the “Illinois Campaign for Responsible Sex Education (ICRSE).” Their website admits that it is a “joint project of the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Heath and Planned Parenthood/Chicago Area.”
The Caucus laments that “. . . much of the curricula that’s currently available is abstinence-only and many teens are getting incomplete or inaccurate information. A comprehensive sex education program provides young people with the information they need to be safe, make informed choices, and act responsibly.” What they propose (and are doing in many schools) is anything but responsible.
There’s no surprise here. Planned Parenthood and its ilk have been trying to re-define human sexuality for more than 80 years. The effort in Illinois is basically no different than in other states. They offer disinformation and factoids in an effort to gain access to our children. Once they have that access, they begin their indoctrination.
Don’t be fooled. Comprehensive sex education is the brain-child of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS)—which was founded by former PPFA personnel. It is now advocated by many individuals and organizations that push contraception and abortion.
What do they teach children?
According to PPFA and SEICUS publications, the following are just some core concepts of comprehensive sex education:
- sexuality education must be started in kindergarten and continue through 12th grade
- boys and girls should be taught together
- teen sex is “normal” and must be “consensual, mutually satisfying, and safe’”
- “students should make the decision to either abstain from sexual activity or use condoms and other forms of contraception”
- there is nothing wrong with teens or pre-teens having sex as long as they contracept and use condoms
- “condemning all nonmarital sex in unrealistic and irresponsible”
- if a girl gets pregnant and chooses abortion, her parents have no right to be notifiedabstinence can be a positive choice for teens, but so can a wide variety of sexual activities
- abstinence-only programs are “dangerous and irresponsible”
A few examples
PPFA’s brochure, “Human Sexuality—What Children Need to Know and When They Need to Know It (2004)” outlines what they want children to know. The following are just a few of those irresponsible ideas:
By age 5 “children need to know a woman does not have to have a baby unless she wants to”
By ages 5-7 children need to know:
- “that sexual identity includes sexual orientation — lesbian, gay, straight, or bisexual. . . [and they need to know] the basic facts about HIV/AIDS.”
- “that people experience sexual pleasure in a number of ways”
By ages 8-12 preteens need to:
- “know that sex is pleasurable, not only a way to have a baby”
- “be able to protect against sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancy”
- “know what abortion is [and] about assisted pregnancy — that a woman does not need to have sex to get pregnant”
- “know that contraceptive options are available including emergency contraception”
- “know how to get contraceptives”
- “be able to name a variety of contraceptives [and] discuss safer sex”
Ages 13-18, teenagers need to:
- “know about the range of difference in sexual behaviors and relationships, including abstinence, marriage and domestic partnership, and opposite- and same-sex partnering
- “know the advantages, disadvantages, facts, fallacies, and effective use of contraceptive methods
- “be comfortable in asking about and obtaining contraception
In a further attempt to trivialize sexual activity, it is defined as “sex play.” The message implied is: Hey! It’s fun! It’s just another recreational activity! The “cool” kids are doing it! Why not join in the fun?
Children and teens eventually become so desensitized to all matters of a sexual nature, that it becomes easier and easier for them to engage in progressive sexual activity.
Clear and present danger
The comprehensive sex ed pushers want to take something that was designed by God for the good of marriage and society and reduce it to mere “play.” Some of the recommendations given to children (in comprehensive sex ed classes) about specific sexual practices and ways to avoid pregnancy are so vile, that even with the warning at the beginning of this article, I choose not to identify them in this context.
The “values free” messages given by the peddlers of comprehensive sex ed is in direct opposition to the beneficial teachings of the Church. Much of what is taught is also medically inaccurate and serves to harm, not help children and teens.
What’s a parent to do?
First, be aware of what is being taught to your children. Do not be fooled when you are told that an “abstinence based” or “abstinence plus” program is okay. These programs are just comprehensive sex ed in disguise. Illinois law allows parents to opt out their children from these programs. Exercise your right to do so. Teach your children the truth.
Parents need to carry out their God given duty to teach their children about chastity and self-mastery.
The parents’ behavior must model these virtues and children need to understand that parents believe their children can control their behaviors.
Catholic youth leader, Brandon Jubar, gives excellent advice when he writes, “The goal is not to make morality conform to a teen's way of thinking. The goal is to teach our teens to think critically and make good, moral choices that conform to the teachings of the Church — which are the teachings of Christ.”
As Janice Shaw Crouse of Concerned Women for America writes, “Today, sadly, there are far too many teens with broken hearts and incurable diseases because adults are unwilling to state categorically that sex is meant exclusively for marriage.”