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The Scary Curriculum

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brianvds
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« on: November 18, 2019, 06:19:15 AM »

Well, the sex ed curriculum that had everyone up in arms has been released, and you can see it here:

https://www.parent24.com/Learn/Learning-difficulties/see-for-yourself-the-comprehensive-sexuality-education-curriculum-is-here-20191114

I briefly scanned through some of the textbooks. A very great deal of the stuff that the controversy was about is not in fact in the textbooks; it was once again just the media spreading rumours. No, they are not teaching kids to wank - the subject is barely mentioned at all. No, they are not giving grade four kids detailed descriptions of sex. In fact, if anything, the grade four curriculum is a waste of time. E.g. they have a whole chapter on HIV/AIDS - which does not one single time mention that it is a sexually transmitted disease. It only discusses how you will NOT get it, and how it can be transmitted via blood.

From grade 9 the curriculum is more graphic (i.e. detailed description of how to use a condom) - as it damn well should be, considering our rates of teenage pregnancy and STD infection. But it does not strike me at all as age-inappropriate, and it emphasizes over and over, in bold, that the safest choice is not to have sex.

More bothersome is that the curriculum does not seem to actually explain anywhere how babies are made; it seems to mostly omit a description of the biological processes involved. It talks about sex without really explaining in much detail what it is. (It occurs to me that such information is perhaps in the science curriculum, which may be why it is omitted here). It says, in the grade 6 textbook, that masturbation will not cause hair to grow on your palms, without explaining what masturbation is (I guess it will fall to embarrassed teachers to explain it). In the grade 8 textbook the term is finally defined in a glossary, without any further mention of the subject.

On the whole, the curriculum actually strikes me as having the same weakness as the curriculum for all subjects in general. In short, it is dry and boring as hell, consisting of bits and pieces, without any overall view. I am grateful I don't have to go to school anymore. :-)

Admittedly, I just scanned through the texts; they may be better than my first impression would suggest. At the least, I cannot see how they will do any harm.

Whether it will have any actual impact on any such issues as STDs, teenage pregnancy rates, bullying, sexual abuse etc. remains to be seen. I'm kind of doubtful.

Reminds me of something a friend of mine told me some years ago. The daughter of a colleague of his fell pregnant in matric, as I recall. Said the colleague: "I don't understand how it could have happened. She has always gotten a distinction for life orientation!" One doesn't know whether one should laugh or cry. :-)

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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2019, 09:41:24 AM »

Hmmm, we had our first official sex ed lessons in grade 7 I think. One could even argue grade 9 is a tad late.

Pretty sure by grade 9 our biology lessons had advanced to us drawing genitalia in our work books and labeling the parts (mostly cause it was the last year of compulsory biology so you had to get all the sex ed in before it became an elective). HOWEVER, I do think some kids skipped that particular lesson based on parental objection.
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brianvds
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« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2019, 10:23:04 AM »

Hmmm, we had our first official sex ed lessons in grade 7 I think. One could even argue grade 9 is a tad late.

Pretty sure by grade 9 our biology lessons had advanced to us drawing genitalia in our work books and labeling the parts (mostly cause it was the last year of compulsory biology so you had to get all the sex ed in before it became an elective). HOWEVER, I do think some kids skipped that particular lesson based on parental objection.

I was at school in the 1970s and 1980s - there was no sex ed, of any kind. In grade 10 we finally learned about the human reproductive system, but that was only if you took biology as subject.

I don't know how this new curriculum differs from the previous one, with which I was never well acquainted, but my impression is that if anything, it is actually less graphic and detailed, so once again it is a mystery what the furore is about. Well, maybe not a mystery: it is about rumours spread in the media, most of which turned out to be false.

Anyway, I have no idea whether sex ed at school is of any use, but it's pretty much standard practice throughout the west, and i don't see how it can really do harm (except perhaps insofar as it gives parents an excuse not to talk to their kids about this stuff.) Most parents will grumble about it for a while, and then get used to it. For the rest, we'll probably see another boost to the private school industry.

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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2019, 10:39:59 AM »


I don't know how this new curriculum differs from the previous one, with which I was never well acquainted, but my impression is that if anything, it is actually less graphic and detailed, so once again it is a mystery what the furore is about. Well, maybe not a mystery: it is about rumours spread in the media, most of which turned out to be false.

I was lucky/unlucky enough to experience school just as these kinds of corcern-politics hit their peak: Abduction, Drugs, Alcohol, Sex, Satanism, Terrorism ... these were all things given special attention in school to save us from the dastardly evils that would be around every corner. Posters with sinister undertones and bloody letters littered the walls of our classrooms...

Anyway, the fact that there's a furore says more about the society we live in and it's biases and closed-mindedness than about the education and the kids. People are not at peace with their own bodies, are not comfortable with their own minds and their own thoughts... and we in SA seem to suffer this almost universally pervasive sexual conservatism moreso than many I've talked to who hail from fields further flung. (Recently re-confirmed on meeting a foreign national who delighted in jokes that caused many a frown for locals...) Talk about sex openly to almost any South African adult and people have an almost learned response to play-act(or are they?) extreme discomfort and/or suspiciousness. It's one of those things that once you start looking for it, you see everywhere. I digress..

Quote
Anyway, I have no idea whether sex ed at school is of any use, but it's pretty much standard practice throughout the west, and i don't see how it can really do harm (except perhaps insofar as it gives parents an excuse not to talk to their kids about this stuff.) Most parents will grumble about it for a while, and then get used to it. For the rest, we'll probably see another boost to the private school industry.

I think one needs to be a bit careful about introducing these things TOO soon, but one also needs to address it before it's too late. It can be a sensitive subject because it's easy to argue that kids don't all develop at the same rate. But, I'd rather it be handled than leave everything up to fate.
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Mefiante
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In solidarity with rwenzori: Κοπρος φανεται


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« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2019, 10:45:28 AM »

HOWEVER, I do think some kids skipped that particular lesson based on parental objection.
See, this is the part that so irks me.  Those parents will insist that they have parental “human rights” that licence them to determine in every detail how they raise their children.  While it’s understandable that they quite naturally operate with this firm conviction—after all, they are the child’s progenitors and are tasked with its upbringing—a little thought will quickly reveal the fly in the ointment.

“Rights,” whether human or otherwise, over another person imply ownership of that person.  (In fact, there’s a compelling argument that all human rights derive from property rights, or are at least contingent on them.)  But ownership of a person, regardless of their age or circumstances, is slavery, and slavery is the deprivation of another’s rights, and thus illegal.  And so, there lurks insidious harm in any and all assertions of these so-called parental “rights.”

There can only be parental privileges, and these come inextricably bundled with significant responsibilities and duties, one of the most important of which is to prepare and equip a child for the world as it is, rather than how the parents wish it were.  And sex is a reality in the world, one that simply won’t be wished away.  It is therefore destructive of both the child’s person and their rights to prevent them from learning about these realities at an opportune age just because the parents, who are already informed about it, may feel some discomfort or prudish twinges or cultural inhibitions about the subject.  No argument can make this reality go away.

Sheesh, there ought to be a law…

'Luthon64
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2019, 16:38:45 PM »

That is a stellar point Mefi. Moreover with cases like vegan parents causing their babies direct harm, etc....

But, triple moreover... I'm also weary of states that now want to treat gender dysphoria in young children with hormone therapy, against the wishes of the parents, based on this very same argument. It's a very slippery argument that one has to be oh-so-careful about applying because it can mean people with a political agenda imposing their ideas on others in grand social experiments for which nobody knows the outcome (and even where the evidence that does exist predicts bad outcomes).
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2019, 15:54:36 PM »

Fully grown, breathing, functioning adults post crap like this on Facebook. I wish I were kidding:


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