Thinking Out Loud

November 14, 2011

Sexual Orientation: Select One from the Six in the List

A few months back here in the Canadian province of Ontario, our Liberal (so aptly named in this case) government proposed to introduce a new sex-ed curriculum which would have kids as young as Grade Three learning about things that kids shouldn’t be concerned about at that age.  Childhood is a wonderful time, and to rob a kid of his or her innocence is so unfair, though I have to admit, in typing that, I stumbled over whether the phrase “his or her” was still politically correct, but somehow to speak of robbing a child of its innocence was a grammatical load I was not prepared to carry.

Part of the curriculum would include identification of six different orientations or expressions.   Are you sitting down?  Here we go:

  1. Gay
  2. Straight
  3. Transsexual
  4. Transgendered
  5. Intersexed
  6. Two-Spirited

I would offer some definitions here for #5 and #6, but hey, you’re already online, you know how the internet works, and if you really need to, you can get those definitions.

Of course, some ministry organizations thrive on this sort of thing.  Even though the province backed off on its proposed curriculum, there are some ministries that can only function if there is a specific target.  Absent that, they would would have to do something else like… oh… I don’t know… preach the love of Jesus?  

However, at the root of sensationalism, there are always grains of truth, and if this story about a six-year-old boy is true, the people of my home province have much to be concerned about.

TORONTO — While flipping through his six-year-old son’s new student planner Monday night, Jaak Purres was shocked to see some pretty heavy words jump out at him: sex worker, female genital mutilation, Palestinian solidarity.

Most of them were plotted on a calendar marking “Days of Significance” — International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers (Dec 17), the International Day of Zero-Tolerance on Female Genital Cutting/Mutilation (Feb. 6). But their mere presence in a book stuffed in his son’s backpack and carried to and from his Grade 2 class, set off alarm bells for Mr. Purres, who sends his child to school in Toronto’s Bathurst and Lawrence area.

“I ripped the pages out so I wouldn’t have to explain [the concepts] to him,” he said. “Considering sex talk hasn’t started at that age yet, it’s maybe not appropriate to go into mutilation when they don’t understand their own genitalia.”

You can read more of this and other stories by clicking here.

As a parent, I would outraged if my son in Grade Three (or even Grade Seven) came home with this sort of propaganda in his daily planner, or was being confronted with which one of six sexual orientations he belonged to. I’d rather he was at school learning history, geography, physics and math.

And as a responsible adult, I realize that just because a particular curriculum was called off one day does not mean it won’t be re-introduced the next. Sometimes the social engineers fully expect to lose the first round, but aim to desensitize the populace in time for the second round.

But I’m also wary of those who continue to announce that ‘the sky is falling’ when, for the time being, the sky has been safely secured in place.


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    Pingback by Sexual Orientation: Select One from the Six in the List « Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans — November 15, 2011 @ 6:26 am

  2. “I ripped the pages out so I wouldn’t have to explain [the concepts] to him,”

    Heaven forbid that we should have to explain things to our kids. Its much better to keep them blindly ignorant.

    The proposed curriculum, and the recent TDSB guidance document are aimed at promoting tolerance amongst kids. A significant percentage of teen suicides are triggered by bullying because the kid is different in some way. And as much as ignorant people would prefer to ignore it, one of the differences is homosexuality, or the perception that the teen is homosexual.

    Unfortunately, the bullying behaviour starts when the child is very young. Therefore, any strategy to stop bullying also has to start when they are young. And it is well known that the best way to increase tolerance in a person is to teach them that a person’s difference does not make them any less human and deserving of respect.

    If your son or daughter was being bullied at school because he or she was christian, would you oppose a strategy to eliminate this type of bullying that involved teaching all children about the different religions? If not then how do you have the audacity to rail against teaching kids the importance of tolerance to other identifiable groups?

    Comment by Ken_M — November 15, 2011 @ 9:49 am

    • I agree with much of what you’re saying here, but also find myself wanting to defend the parent in question simply because there is right time to introduce different concepts to kids and social maturity varies greatly for each child.

      At the end of the day, the issue may not be about tolerance 2011-style, but about a more 1961-style debate as to whether or not sex education should be the responsibility of the school or the parent; though granted, I will admit that ship has now sailed.

      Earlier today I was reading an unpublished manuscript by a family counselor who notes that kids today are growing up without a real childhood because we’re heaping all of these concepts and responsibilities on them at such an early age.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — November 15, 2011 @ 11:07 pm

      • I think that you underestimate kids. One of the first things kids notice is that there are girls and boys. Do you think that they don’t wonder why this is? With regard to whether or not schools should be involved in teaching sex education, the reason that they are doing this is because there are too many parents that either can’t be bothered doing it, or for whatever reason don’t think that it should be taught. For example, there are many parents that, for religious reason, don’t believe that children should be told about birth control and safe sex. Just because they do not believe in sex before marriage does not mean that their kids will obey their wishes. The schools have never promoted sex. They simply teach kids that there can be serious consequences (i.e., pregnancy and/or STDs).

        Your comment about the councillor report concluding that kids are growing up without childhoods because we are heaping all of these concepts on them. I have not read this report but it sounds like it is more about opinion than fact, and may be the reason that it is unpublished. For example, what data do they have to prove that kids are growing up without a real childhood, or is it just anecdotal. But lets assume that this observation is correct. How do they prove that it is because of us teaching them these comments? How do they know that it is not because we expect them, even from the earliest grades, to do significantly more homework every day than I ever had to as a kid?

        Comment by Ken_M — November 16, 2011 @ 9:24 am

      • It’s unpublished because, as a writer, he asked me to proofread a forthcoming book. But I will grant you that unlike Mathematics, hardcore proof in psychology is always anecdotal, and this man has worked with many, many marriages and families.

        I think that especially for mothers, a lot of parenting is just plain intuitive. You “just know” when your own child is ready for certain information and not ready for other information.

        But that aside, I think it’s also fair to question the motives of the “educators” who feel that this material needs to be part of the 9AM to 3PM classroom experience of these kids. I don’t think it’s right to just automatically question their motives anymore than to assume there are monsters under the bed, but I could just easily throw your question in their direction and say, “What studies lead you to conclude kids this young need this information? Where is your data that proves kids are better equipped with these distinctions being presented to them when they are otherwise so innocent and naive in terms of even basic biology?”

        Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — November 16, 2011 @ 9:47 am

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