Monday, 20 October 2008

Non Judgemental or plain dishonest?

The BBC reports ( that the Scouting movement in Britain will be offering information and advice on sex to Explorers (older scouts) who ask for it.

Ant is an active Explorer scout: and we both reckon that what will be offered is advice on how to obtain an abortion (for example) and where to get condoms, but not all the research data on the poor physical and psychological health consequences of early and promiscuous sexual activity.

This is because the unquestioned wisdom is that we must be non-judgemental.

I remember working for a student counselling organisation which had a non-judgemental approach. We were not allowed to take any kind of a stance on drugs, sex, cheating etc etc However, we did take a stance (including calling the police) if someone was about to, or in the process of, committing suicide.

From which it is easy to see that we judged suicide to be wrong - and therefore implicitly accepted illicit use of drugs, any kind of sexual behaviour and so on as acceptable.

An Australian poet whose name I can't remember (or trace - any clues?) once wrote: 'What we omit, we teach will not be missed.' (But see Update below)

Most research on children's development stresses the need for clear boundaries. By denying them these, the non-directive approach is gravely damaging - and when it comes to not telling kids about grave and immediate dangers implicit in a proposed course of action (such as sleeping around) it is downright dishonest.

UPDATE: It was James McAuley, A Letter to John Dryden)

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