Beware the â€œScienceâ€ in Sex Educationby Dr. Miriam Grossman, M.D.
The House of Representatives has approved an addition to the healthcare reform package. It calls for the creation of a â€œHealthy Teen Initiativeâ€, and allocates $50 million to so-called â€œcomprehensiveâ€ sex education.
â€œThis was a vote to bring science back into governmentâ€, said James Wagoner, president of Advocates For Youth and a leader of the coalition that promoted the amendment. The committee, he continued, â€œhas taken an important step toward ensuring young people get the critical sexual health information they need to make responsible decisions about their lives.â€
Mr. Wagonerâ€™s statement is astonishing, because Advocates for Youthâ€™s sexual education curricula and websites are notable for their lack of scientific content.
Consider what this national group, one of the nationâ€™s flagship sex ed organizations, teaches kids about being male or female. Gender identity, theyâ€™re told, is completely separate from anatomy. Your identity is a feeling â€“ something experienced internally. Others canâ€™t determine if youâ€™re male or female; only you know.
Newborns are designated male or female, wrapped in a blue or pink blanket, and socialized to fit cultural expectations. Messages from their environment teach them masculine or feminine behaviors, interests, and ways of relating.
Usually anatomy and feelings match, students learn, but sometimes they donâ€™t, and thatâ€™s a normal variant. Sometimes a boy insists heâ€™s a girl or vice versa, and that should not be a concern, says AFY; it is â€œas normal as being aliveâ€.
Furthermore, the premise that there are only two genders, male or female, is inaccurate. This â€œtraditionalâ€ meaning of gender is wrong and does harm, says AFY, by restricting our freedom of gender expression. There are many genders, kids should know, including but not limited to: male, female, transgender, genderqueer, genderless and gender ambiguous.
Gender can also change. A ten-year-old might be certain sheâ€™s a girl, but at twenty she might realize sheâ€™s a man. People can realize their gender at any point in their lives, young people are told.
Is this the â€œscienceâ€ Mr Wagoner referred to? Or perhaps instructing children that they could be male, female, both, or neither is an example of â€œthe critical sexual health information they need to make responsible decisions about their livesâ€?
Advocates for Youthâ€™s lesson plan on gender is not only unscientific, itâ€™s a departure from reality. Hereâ€™s what real science in this century says about being male or female. Continued...http://townhall.com/columnists/DrMiriamGrossmanMD/2009/08/04/beware_the_%e2%80%9cscience%e2%80%9d_in_sex_education