You know what I'd really love?|
I suppose the question is what kind of qualified expert I am. I don't claim to have any degrees in education, but I do claim to have true things to communicate, and the ability to communicate them, and yes, there is some of my opinion in there. Are you saying that educators and members of the community are never allowed to express judgments or opinions to kids for fear of being sued? In any case, if someone wants to sue me, that could be a worthy lawsuit.
The page does have links to sex ed websites, like Scarleteen and the Midwest Teen Sex Show. I have a call out for more links and they are coming. I'm also planning to create a page with more information about related resources, with phone numbers and such, and books, though Scarleteen is already a pretty good resource for that, though the main text is pretty dry and clinical. I'm not going to try to be one of those references --they already exist. I'm going to try to bring adults and kids into contact so that kids can hear new messages, ones that will hopefully both reach and help them.
Sex Ed programs are underfunded just like other programs. I am reacting to a very real situation where there is a lack of communication and understanding. You teach to a younger age of child than my target audience. A friend of mine who teaches to older students tells me they are asking her very scary questions. Scary in terms of the depths of ignorance they reflect, and the fact that the students don't seem to have found a path to truth before her.
Setting aside the legal issues for the moment, there is an ethical side of this to consider. Parents have the right - indeed, the responsibility - to raise their children according to their best judgment on what is right and wrong. While children should be able to seek factual information on these topics from unbiased sources, I think there's a real problem when a third party steps over the line into advocating a particular point of view on a sensitive issue to a child.
To turn it around, consider how you would feel if you found your (hypothetical) child upset, and when you asked why, they told you that the parents of the friend they had been hanging out with for the last year had been teaching them that premarital/extramarital sex was a sin, and that those who did it would go to hell. Would it be okay if that parent explained that they just wanted your child to
hear new messages, ones that will hopefully both reach and help them?
IMHO, parents need to respect each others' rights to raise their children according to their own best judgment, and avoid undermining other parents' ability to teach their children their own views, even if we disagree with those views. If we start targeting children in the "culture wars" by trying to make them doubt what their parents are saying, I think we're crossing a line better left intact.
I agree to a point, but I think there's a considerable difference in terms of power relationship between a person writing a blog and a parent of a friend. I am not pretending to take a parental role.
On the other hand, I take issue with the term "child". I think the extended adolescence our society currently enforces on children (and provides for them) is only appropriate to some, and not all. Furthermore, our educational system is clearly failing to prepare them for the onset of adulthood - both in terms of teaching them how to work and function as adults individually and in terms of how to express and involve themselves in relationships and be a healthy sexual adult. The target audience of this blog is not children, it is teenagers (and "tweens"), who are an interesting and varied mix of child and adult. Research indicates huge numbers of kids are getting sexually active between the ages of 11 and 14. Parents (and schools) who fail to educate those kids and prepare them for making those choices before they make them may be ignoring or denying practical realities, or may simply be ignorant.
There are already plenty of (mixed) messages out there aimed at kids, in Hollywood, in video games, on the internet in the form of porn sites. Kids deserve more outspokeness to counter those messages, to encourage them to grow into complete, healthy individuals, not less.