Two days ago, Ontario's Premier, Dalton McGuinty, backed down on starting a new sex education curriculum in the province's schools in September of 2010. As expected, he was applauded by family and religious groups, while nailed by the provincial NDP, the left in general and the so-called "progressive" groups, and I'm using quotes (" ") here on purpose.
I'm not conservative, but this reform was just irresponsible in its current form. In an overly sexualized society, I don't think it's best practice to expose children as young as 6-year old to sexual topics ranging from "masturbation" to "anal intercourse". Can we let them enjoy some innocence we were lucky to have in previous generations!? And the reform is called "progress" by some leftists; truly disturbing.
(From CBC.ca) Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, shown earlier this year at a school in Windsor, says the new sex education curriculum needs a 'serious rethink.' (Canadian Press)
Sex education is always a touchy topic because of its social and religious implications and the highly charged debate around it. That is why I consider McGuinty's government approach to it a true fiasco at all levels: as government by not setting up an open forum to get social consensus for the reform, and as politicians for underestimating the reaction of parents, who are not all religious or conservatives as implied by some commentators like Randall Denley from the Ottawa Citizen.
I'm personally proponent of ideology-free sex education, approaching the topic from biological/scientific angle that will allow teenagers (not kids!) to understand sexuality and possible undesired consequences of an active sexual life, while leaving the opportunity to parents to provide the social or religious context they want to raise their children in.
Increasing awareness of sexually transmitted diseases and protection of teenagers from these dangers and unwanted pregnancies is a respectable goal, yet there's a fine line between that and a curriculum that may sound like encouraging an early active sexuality in an over-sexualized society, and exposing 6-year old kids to very explicit sexual education, against the will of the parents.
In simple words, Mr. McGuinty, you screwed up!