Guest Column: Comprehensive sex ed is harming children
Guest Column by Bonnie Gasper
Jennifer Vogt-Erickson shared her point of view on Feb. 24, stating that a recent presentation about the proposed Comprehensive Sex Ed (CSE) mandate for all preK-12 public/charter school districts in Minnesota given by Julie Quist from the Child Protection League was “misinformation,” “fear-based” and “junk science.”
Since SIECUS (Sexuality Information and Education Council of the US) is the largest promoter of CSE in the country, and has written national sex education standards that have been widely adopted across the country, let’s review CPL’s information about them.
In 2019, SIECUS rebranded as SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change. They identify CSE as their “vehicle” and “tool” to “create” the “culture shift” and “social change we need.” This is a mission statement designed to change the values, attitudes and beliefs of our children. Full stop.
CSE encourages children to “explore and just have fun” with sex. Most parents find this kind of encouragement for their children abhorrent.
Planned Parenthood works closely with SIECUS in writing much of the model CSE curriculum. They expend considerable ink advocating for children’s sexual rights, and their evolving capacities to consent. Parents should read their international manifesto, “Exclaim: Young People’s Guide to Sexual rights.” It advocates for the removal of laws requiring parental involvement in a minor children’s sexual health, including services and abortions Planned Parenthood would provide.
Erickson wrote “de-mystifying sex in an age appropriate manner empowers children.” Who decides the age appropriate content? Those who think children are “sexual from birth” and have the “right” to explore early sexual activity of any kind? Or parents who recognize that the emotional and psychological immaturity and innocence of their children requires extraordinary safeguards, protection and caution?
Is it those who teach preschoolers their gender was assigned at birth and confuse them by telling them they can choose a different gender? Or those who recognize gender is fixed and imprinted in the biological reality of our chromosomes and every cell of our DNA — including those in our brain?
Is it those who clamor to affirm a gender dysphoric child, by prescribing puberty blockers, cross sex hormones and the amputation of healthy organs; conscripting them to a lifetime of medical intervention, experimentation and serious medical outcomes including sterility? Or those who think we should hit the pause button and counsel these children first, to discover what underlying issues may be contributing to their feelings? Almost 90% of gender dysphoric children who go through normal puberty without any medical intervention become comfortable in their own skin.
Speaking of content; Planned Parenthood recommends a textbook for 10-year-old children called “It’s Perfectly Normal.” The illustrations and content in this book are so graphic and explicit that local news media, including this newspaper, will not publish them, deeming them inappropriate for adults. All model CSE curriculum similarly focus on sexual skills, rather working to avoid risks altogether.
CSE advocates like Erickson have a fatalistic view of early teenage sexual activity: that it is inevitable. Therefore, we must tell them everything because that will somehow make them safer. As Jaco Booyens, the leading international opponent of child sex trafficking, said, when a young boy googles “does a*** sex hurt” — he will be assaulted with porn and hooked in 45 seconds. How is he suddenly safer?
Erickson referenced a CDC stat without proper context. The CDC defines “sex” as only vaginal intercourse, and yes, those numbers have dropped. However, STDs and STIs are at record levels. Kids are engaging in other dangerous sexual behaviors they’re told are safe and which avoid pregnancies. According to The Institute for Research and Evaluation, “which analyzed the outcomes of 60 school-based CSE studies, CSE failure rates at producing sustained effects on targeted outcomes included 88% failure to delay teen sexual initiation and 94% failure to reduce unprotected sex. And seven out of 60 studies (or 12%) of school-based CSE programs found significant negative effects on adolescent sexual health and/or risk behavior.”
Finally, Erickson states girls must be taught they can “seek sex for pleasure, just like boys.” Most parents don’t teach their kids that sex is just casual and recreational fun. Dr. Miriam Grossman, a board-certified child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist, documented the emotional devastation young women experienced after engaging in the hookup culture in her book, “Unprotected.” Women release a bonding hormone when they have sex. It’s the same hormone released when she nurses a baby. Our bodies weren’t designed to be sexual playgrounds, which is why these women suffered from cutting, depression and eating disorders. We already know Erickson’s view harms women.
The word “comprehensive” is a smokescreen to squash parental values and input. CSE is harming children, and parents are beginning to discover this. The Child Protection League will continue helping parents protect their children.
Bonnie Gasper is a board member of the Child Protection League.