Why Sex Ed is Mandatory

From the June 2002 Trumpet Print Edition

If you’re a parent, your children and teenagers are learning about sex almost every day of their lives—no matter what your moral principles, personal ethics or religious beliefs.

The most important sex information your child receives doesn’t come from formal, planned sex education courses at school. It starts when your child is born, and it is learned constantly throughout life in everyday social relationships. It is learned, principally, by the actions, attitudes and values of parents; then from siblings, peers, friends and the general cultural environment.

Parents really have no alternative to teaching their children about sex. They are the first educators in basic human relationships between the sexes. Their lives as parents impart attitudes toward sex, sexual values and sexual roles, whether or not they teach them in formal instruction.

The only choice parents have is how and what their children will learn from their example and teaching; whether they will provide right and wholesome sex education. If this is not done in a timely and effective manner, youths will pick up damaging or erroneous sex knowledge and attitudes elsewhere.

With the avalanche of sex literature and sex education currently available, and with sex freely discussed everywhere, young people are indeed “wise” in sexual discussion and sexual experience, but still woefully ignorant in sex knowledge and attitudes.

True sex education begins with an understanding of one’s sexual identity. Fathers and mothers, or parent substitutes, are the first models of what it means to be masculine and feminine.

Husbands and wives who truly love each other and fulfill their God-given roles in life—who show warmth and right affection to each other and their children—can be living advertisements of the rewards and value of marriage, the family unit and children.

On the other hand, parents, homes or close social

relationships scourged with bickering and strife, infidelity, vulgarity, sex abuse and sordid moral values can promote perverted and harmful human relationships and sexual attitudes.

Humans are sexual beings. Wrong social relationships—as well as silence about sex—can lead children to seek harmful avenues of gaining sexual knowledge. They may seek it through sexual experimentation, pornographic material, or peers. Few of us can totally escape the influence of permissive, and damaging, sex models and values. Erotic themes assail us from every direction: advertising, tv, movies, music, magazines, the Internet, the tabloid press.

With the onset of puberty, not only are the bodies of boys and girls forever altered, but their minds are as well. Most children, with right instruction and guidance about these changes, can manage this time of life quite well. But more often than not, they are not taught that humans, utterly unlike animals, arrive at sexual maturity several years before they achieve mental, emotional and social maturity: Boys and girls are physically capable of becoming parents years before they are qualified for the responsibilities of parenthood.

You must realize the importance of teaching your children right knowledge about sex before misguided emotions, wrong thinking or other influences lead them into harm or tragedy.

School’s Out

Sex ignorance, combined with a lack of proper sex education in so many homes, has caused public educators and health officials to cry out for formal sex education courses starting in early grades of public schools.

Many parents are glad the schools are trying to take the responsibility; they assume they can trust any sex education by so-called professionals. They believe it relieves them of their responsibility. Some parents feel they can blame someone else if things go wrong.

Sex education in schools may be helpful, informative and well presented. However, it is inadequate. Usually when children and adolescents receive formal sex education classes, it is presented from the physical, material and sensual approach. According to Simon Blake, director of Britain’s Sex Education Forum, “[A]dequate sex education in schools is very patchy. Mostly, it’s too little, too late—and too biological.”

Any rational, thinking parent or educator should realize that sex instruction classes in schools cannot fully make up for the failure of right teaching and values in homes and churches.

Understand, the trend in sex-education materials for public schools is increasingly permissive. Today, most educators, sociologists and medical personnel have been trained under humanist philosophy, which holds that there are no basic rights or wrongs. What doesn’t “hurt” someone is acceptable behavior to society at any given time. Thus, at virtually all grade levels where sex education is given, children are increasingly advised to set for themselves a purely personal standard of sexual behavior. No religious views, no community moral standards are to avert them from their overriding purposes of self-discovery, self-assertion and self-gratification.

Karl H. Brenner, Jr., m.d., wrote in response to this trend years ago: “Educators have said for years that all we need to do [in public-school sex education] is 1) provide copious amounts of sexual knowledge to children from kindergarten through high school, and 2) remove, altogether, the old ‘Victorian’ teachings of virtue, chastity and individual responsibility under God to obey the Ten Commandments, thus freeing children from guilt feelings concerning sexuality. The educators have failed to see that in freeing children from God-fearing self-control they have enslaved them to the jailer of their own lust” (Plain Truth, Sept. 1980).

What sorts of sex education courses exist in your child’s school? Do you know?

It is vitally important that you properly instruct your children to recognize wrong sexual values and lifestyles if they are presented in such classes, or under any other circumstance.

What Will They Learn From You?

One of the greatest sins, crimes, tragedies of this world’s society is one of omission—the neglect of parents to teach their children. Not only about sex, but to teach their children—period!

No mystery, then, that millions of teenagers have had considerable sex experience, and yet possess little in the way of true sexual knowledge. Their parents have never adequately instructed them!

Proper sex education is more than an academic study of physiology, anatomy or physical techniques. Human sexuality affects everything about us. It affects how we relate with all others—on every level in life. That is why a sex-anatomy class or two in school is inadequate. It fails to teach proper human relationships, which are most effectively taught in the home by right example and instruction.

It is imperative that your children and teenagers are given factual instructions—in the home—concerning sex. This is the form of sex education that is mandatory for their education as happy, productive adults.