Friday, January 17, 2014

These Are Questions This Father Doesn't Want to Answer

A father in the Shawnee Mission (Kansas) school district is upset that a poster in his daughter's school mentioned ways that people can express their sexual feelings. Those feeling include anal sex, oral sex, hugging and your basic fondling, among others. First off, I do have to admit that that's a weird poster to be hanging up in a school whether or not it being a part of the sex ed curriculum. Trust me, if I saw that poster in my school when I was 13, I'd probably be like, what the hell? My school answered questions of "what if we pull out before we cum" with "we only teach abstinence" and "can two sperms impregnate the same egg" with "we only teach abstinence."

I've never understood why parents get their vas deferens and Fallopian tubes all in a bunch when sex ed time rolls around in their children's lives. My son has had two sex ed classes in his school career and my wife and I have always prefaced each class with "if you have questions, please ask us or the teacher." I would like my son, and if I ever have one, daughter to know about sex because, like with most things, if you educate yourself about something, you end up respecting it and are less likely to abuse it.

Part of the problem Mr. Ellis has is he thinks 13 is too young. Some people believe 13 is already too late. The average age of teenagers losing their virginity is 17 but studies have shown that kids can start having sex as young as 12. Middle schoolers involved in a committed relationship isn't unheard of and they are going to hold hands and kiss. Maybe even a couple of things that show up on that poster. If your child isn't one of those kids and/or they know better then good for you and good for them.

The main complaint I have about these parents who refuse to let their child learn from the sex ed classes the school create is where are your children learning about sex and their growing body? Are you teaching it or are you shying away from it, leaving your child open to hearing about it from their friends or ill-worded Internet searches or the creepy guy with the crazy eyes and the walker on the playground?

My mom had her flaws but she at least got a pretty comprehensive book about puberty and sex and was always open to me asking her questions. We even had a set of health encyclopedias that gave me basic information on a wide range of topics including a lot about sex, reproduction organs and puberty so I was more well-versed when we got around to watching videos in fifth and sixth grade about our growing bodies. I complained routinely about all the things we skipped over because "we only teach abstinence." Something I now think of as a double standard is that they only taught abstinence but spent an entire class period showing us the twisted ramifications of herpes, gonorrhea and chlamydia. In my school's defense, that did make quite an impression on me.

Until next time, I remain...