When my daughter turned three, and her new baby brother came home from the hospital a few days later, we ended up with the inevitable “penis and vulva” discussion at the first diaper change. Then, just last week, after first trying to explain the Holy Spirit to a very intelligent, nearly four year old girl going to Catholic school for the first time, I heard the question I had been waiting for almost a year from her: “Where do babies come from?”
Anyone who thinks that little kids don’t ask about bodily functions and body parts hasn’t spent much time hanging out with them. A pre-schooler is just as likely to tell you about the fact that her baby brother always grabs his “boy parts” in the bath as she is to tell you that the gym teacher sometimes picks his nose, or the size of her last bowel movement.
So it’s kind of bizarre how “disturbed” anti-choice activists are by a new video put out by Planned Parenthood discussing how to answer real questions when you’re child starts asking them: about sex, about their bodies, and about relationships.
American Life League called the piece, “Exploiting kids: Planned Parenthood video-maker forces children to recite sex-questions in YouTube video.” But each question that came out of each child’s mouth was extremely appropriate to the age of the child in question.
Do they really think 8 year old boys don’t wonder about the function of their own genitalia?
But then again, they have their own agenda going on. As an effort to continue their war against Planned Parenthood, they’ve moved beyond just trying to remove all funding for the family planning, health screenings and birth control options the clinics provide. Now they want to end their government funding for comprehensive, age appropriate sexual education programs, too.
It’s in many ways the most hurtful attack. First, end educational programs that inform teens that they even need to be protected in the first place when it comes to participating in sexual activities. Then, make contraception and sexual health screenings impossible to access cheaply, making it more likely that those who have sex will have unsafe sex that is more likely to end in unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.
Do they really believe that not talking about sex will simply make kids not have sex? Probably not. After all, abstinence only education has been proven ineffective over and over again. As Andy Kopsa writes, “Study after study has revealed the ineffectiveness of abstinence-only programs in reducing the number of teen pregnancies and reducing the spread of disease. According to the Journal of Adolescent Health, virginity pledges, a staple of abstinence-only programming, not only did not decrease occurrences of teen STDs, but actually resulted in pledge-takers not seeking medical attention once infected, leading to an increased possibility of transmission.”
But, abstinence only funneling more money to providers of those programs — almost always religious-based and Christian based groups that promote anti-abortion, anti-birth control, pro heterosexual marriage values. Faith groups that normally shouldn’t be funded due to the issue of government funding promotion of religion instead have found a cash cow in abstinence ed, a cow that began to dry up after George W. Bush left office and that they want back.
There’s already a war on abortion, and a war on birth control. Don’t be surprised to see the war on sex ed, and actually informing sexually active teens on how to avoid pregnancy and disease, break wide open next.
Photo credit: wikimedia commons
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