The most vocal advocates of sex education are teaming up with the nationís largest teachersí union to urge Congress to take away the control of childrenís sex education from parents. The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) and the National Education Association (NEA) hosted a press conference in Washington today to once again advocate for explicit sex education.
SIECUS publishes guidelines for sex education that call for children ages 5 through 8 to be taught about self touch and arousal, ages 9 through 12 to be taught different ways to seek sexual pleasure other than intercourse, and ages 16 through 18 to be taught about exotic fantasies enhanced by pornographic literature. The Health Information Network of the NEA has signed their support for these guidelines.
"SIECUS and the NEA say they want parents to be involved, but looking at the facts, it just does not ring true," said Leslee Unruh, president of the Abstinence Clearinghouse. The Abstinence Clearinghouse is an international nonprofit organization that promotes abstinence education and parents as the primary sex educators of their children.
"The NEA and SIECUS were both supportive of a SB71 in California, which was signed last week. That bill took authority away from parents and gave teachers the power to talk explicitly about sex to children of all ages. Parents do not support the messages that SIECUS and the NEA want to force on to their kids," said Unruh, referring to a Zogby survey comparing sex and abstinence education, released in February. When read direct quotes from the SIECUS "Guidelines on Comprehensive Sex Education," the Zogby survey found disapproval rates for the guidelines, with some statements garnering disapproval rates of more than seven in ten parents. The same study showed overwhelming approval (4.5 to 1) for the concepts taught in abstinence education.
"For SIECUS and the NEA to attempt to push parents into giving messages to children that the parents are clearly not supportive of is unconscionable," said Unruh. "Parents do need to talk with their children, but not about SIECUS-style sex. They need to demonstrate love and healthy relationships so that their children can mature into adults that can sustain healthy, lifelong marriages."
"The parent is the advocate of their child," explained Judy Gilliam, a 30-year veteran educator and assistant principal in Fort Wright, Kentucky. "I think we should teach respect for each other and respect for our bodies. I feel it is a parentís right to be the primary educator of their child. They have the right to say what should and should not be taught, especially in sex education. The parent knows the child better than any teacher."
The Abstinence Clearinghouse is the largest nonprofit organization dealing with abstinence education and advocacy. The Abstinence Clearinghouse assists educators, medical professionals, parents and youth serving organizations to effectively educate adolescents and unmarried adults on the communication skills, relationship information and factual knowledge necessary to make a commitment to abstain from sexual activity outside of marriage. More information is available at www.abstinence.net.