The temperatures may be rising but what is definitely lowered is my tolerance for ignorance and people being precious about things when they really shouldn’t. For the last couple of weeks now, a debate has been raging about what kind of sexual education our children should be receiving, and with the wading in of the pretty ironically named, all things considered, Alleanza Bidla, I can no longer hold back.
I want to start by speaking about the wholly unhealthy relationship quite a few parents seem to have with their children. Maybe it’s the Mediterranean in us but a quick look around your local McDonald’s will almost surely confirm that many parents seem to think that they have either given birth to the next Einstein, or in some very wonderful, select cases, the promised Messiah. With the amount of bubble wrap some children have around them, it’s a wonder they are still physically able to breathe, let alone function as people who are able to positively impact and give back to society.
Yet, ironically, despite us being a society that hero-worships children, we seem to be less capable and willing to educate them about the basics: there were a reported 149 births to teen mums in 2016, and 16 young women delivered their second baby before they turned 20. This in a country where the fertility rate has dropped to the fourth lowest in Europe. Our HIV diagnosis rates keep rising, while almost everyone else’s in Europe decline, and yet not only do we seem to feel no desire to educate, but on top of that, we lambast anyone else who tries and accuse them of corrupting our young.
With the amount of bubble wrap some children have around them, it’s a wonder they are still physically able to breathe, let alone function as people
For years and years, we have brushed over the issue of sexual health almost as if most of the country has taken a vow of chastity and isn’t having it off every sunny Sunday. Not having discussions in schools about sexuality and reproduction doesn’t stop people from having sex: it just means that they will be a lot less equipped to deal with all the responsibility which comes with it once it happens.
Telling children about what is happening to their bodies isn’t going to make them have sex more than teaching them about World War II is going to have them trying to invade Poland.
Learning about sexuality isn’t going to ‘turn people gay’, because contrary to the belief of the ill-educated, no one willingly chooses to like one thing over another. If you want to speak about threats to society, why don’t you start with all these cowboy parents making decisions they are ill-equipped to make?
Having a child doesn’t make you an expert, and if you fight for children not to have the emotional and mental tools they need, you will be singlehandedly contributing to them possibly having to fight deeper, darker things with little to no weapons and armour.
I ask these people, would they rather their children hear playground whispers about plastic bags and dark corners, or would they rather someone who is actually trained sit down with their children and explain the inevitable so that the child does not grow up in shame, confusion, and misinformation? Silence and ignorance are no longer viable options.
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Tracing the female body
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