Monday 8 September 2008

Sense and sensibility

Recently, I came across this piece in the CF News log. When I was in Huddersfield I became aware of the mindless way in which sex education was foisted on young people in both Catholic and State schools, just as it had been in the early 70s when I was at a Catholic Grammar School in Leeds. Here Dr. Philip Ney speaks with sense and sensibility on sex-education:
I am a retired professor of psychiatry, having taught in 5 universities in different parts of Canada, Hong Kong and New Zealand. I have also run child and adolescent psychiatric units. I have been on school boards. It is from a review of the literature and from my experience that I write this brief opinion.
1) There is no particular need for 'sex education.' For many centuries there was no sex education, yet children were conceived and their parents enjoyed the process. Discovery of each other and what is pleasant in bed, on the wedding night and thereafter, is an important part of the exciting and unique pleasure that bonds the couple.
2) Sex education inhibits pair bonding. To educate young people about something that comes naturally robs them of the spontaneity and joy of sex that is vitally important for pair bonding and thus family stability.
3) The more sex education, the more sexual self-consciousness. There is substantial evidence that the more sex education, especially on technique, the more the couple is sexually inhibited. The greater the emphasis on sexual performance, the less communication and interpersonal intimacy there is.
4) The more sex education, the more sexual activity. It is quite conclusive now, that the more sex education, the more sexual activity and all the problems that go with that. The introduction of sex education is well correlated with the increase in abortion, STDs and boy-girl interpersonal problems. Good education gives people the desire to try it out or learn more experientially. Paradoxically, in that respect, current forms of sex education are good education but have the wrong results.
5) The earlier the sex education, the younger children explore sex and try various sexual techniques. Present evidence makes it possible to also conclude that the earlier the sex education, the earlier the sexual behavior. Thus sexual education is sexual titillation.
6) In preventing disease and pregnancy, sex education has been a failure. Sex education has had the opposite effect in preventing young people from engaging in 'risky sexual behavior.'
7) The idea of 'safe sex' has failed. Frightening children with the dangers of 'unprotected sex', drugs, fast driving, alcohol, etc. for many children has the paradoxical effect of increasing their interest in trying it.
8) The reliance on condoms has been dangerously misleading. There are sexually transmitted diseases (eg. Human Papilloma Virus) for which condoms offer no protection. The most effective use of the best condoms offers 87% protection from lethal HIV, transmitted by anal intercourse. Condom use has failed particularly in Africa. Condom use creates the false impression of safety, thus encouraging sex, when there is a 13% (at least) chance of dying as a result.
9) There is nothing in sex education that cannot be part of a more effective general health education. Everything of value in sex education can be integrated with the necessary knowledge of how the body and mind work. We found that by using the young person's curiosity and letting them discover how their heart, lungs etc. work, gives them a natural desire to protect something very precious - their body and mind.
10) The sex industry profits from sex education. There is an enormous sex industry that financially profits from natural biological drives and makes billions on fashions, condoms, contraceptives, etc. It is understandable they contribute to the sex problems.
11) Sex education creates mind absorbing conflicts and preoccupations. Exposing children to sexual titillation (sex education) creates conflicts and preoccupations that interfere with their mental health, education and personal development.
12) Sex education tends to result in mental images that interfere with the appreciation of nature and art.
13) No sex education teaches the beauty and hazards of pair bonding. To my knowledge there is no sex education program that informs kids about inadvertent pair bonding. Humans are made one flesh through sex. Thus many kinds of sexual behaviour create life long pair bonds. These interfere with the intimacy and durability of a later committed marriage. Statistics indicate that the more 'premarital' sex the more extramarital sex.
14) Many kinds of sex education, including 'chastity' education, leave a young person with the impression that any kind of sex except vaginal intercourse is okay when it is not.

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