Tuesday 21 January 2014

Is Sex Education Necessary - or Wise - Or Holy?...

I was reading Ofsted's comments on the excellence of Sex Education at a Catholic School today (and indeed, the school's own account of it, which is available from the same site).

By and large it sounded fairly innocuous, and indeed good in parts: 'issues such as abortion and contraception are approached fully and with confidence, reflecting Catholic teaching.' If that is true, it is very encouraging.  

It also sounded dodgy in other parts, to be honest: 'Teachers deal extremely well with sensitive and controversial issues ensuring that students feel secure and able to express their opinions and reach their own judgements.'

Is that really a Catholic education - students reaching their own judgements? I think not. 

But even if it were excellent, I still have a profound problem with teaching sex in schools. I think it intrusive, inappropriate and unnecessary - particularly when they go into things like contraception (which this school does, and I guess all others with any Sex Ed will do).  I am particularly concerned about the types of people who might think this such a good idea that they dedicate themselves to developing material and specialising in this, and the slant that might give to the approach taken.

What was it St Paul said?  Let such things not even be named among you, as becometh saints

These days, of course, we are meant to bow down in homage at the sacred cow of evidence-based teaching.  But here's a funny thing. The evidence for Sex Ed is rather unclear (to say the least).

You know how, when you tell someone not to think about a pink elephant, the one thing they have to think of is a pink elephant?  

It seems some of our well-intentioned public education campaigns fall foul of the same part of Murphy's Law.  No smoking signs, according to a team of academics from Oxford, Yale and MIT, may stimulate smoking.  Could it be that getting kids to talk about sex might just stimulate…?

Sancta Maria, mater Dei, semper virgine, ora pro nobis.

1 comment:

Patricius said...

I have long suspected that the real purpose of school sex education is to distract and, thereby, prevent young people learning about the real nature of society, especially its power relations.