Hell is a cold place today. I agree with Ann Althouse. Vis-a-vis Mitt Romney’s attack on Barack Obama for “advocating sex education for kindergartners,” Ann came out in favor of age-appropriate sex education for five-year-olds. Avedon is shocked, too:
Althouse actually says something I agree with – that Mitt Romney was wrong when he said, “How much sex education is age appropriate for a 5-year-old? In my mind, zero is the right number.” Responses like that don’t happen in your mind, they happen in your gut, and if you stay there, it’s because you never gave it any actual thought. Almost no one can stand the thought of putting the word “sex” in the same sentence with “my daughter” (no matter how old she is), but sooner or later you have to get over it and remember that ignorance of a subject you are definitely going to be exposed to is never going to help you deal sensibly with it. There are mistakes I would rather not have my kid learn from – especially if she’s only five years old. Since you can’t guarantee a lack of exposure to the subject, you might as well arm kids with knowledge.
Ann’s comments section, however, is a different story:
Thank you, Ann, for informing me about when my children should be told about sex. I guess your opinion is good for all families.
Can we get some help on what to say regarding toilet training? How about a federally mandated reading age? What about demanding that kids learn how to walk by, say age 9 months – we can confiscate the ones who don’t,, send them to special schools, and mark them as future worker bees.
Silly me, I thought I was supposed to determine and oversee all that for my children. I guess having a tiny percentage of the parenting population screwing up their children means that all children should be watched by the state.
Hey, how’s the forced indoctrination of children working out in China, Vietnam, Cuba, and all those other places where the state dictates absolutely every area concerning what children should know?
I have to say, I admire Ann’s response to that one. She stays right on point without getting heated, which I would find difficult to do:
All I’m saying is that it isn’t ridiculous for local majorities to decide that the subject of sex should be introduced gradually and in an age appropriate way. I can see that there is sincere difference of opinion on this, but I think it’s not outrageous to think that a very young child should know enough to keep an adult from touching her inappropriately and to know that babies grow inside a women after a man and woman fall in love and get married — in a completely nongraphic way.
Here’s another one [bolds mine]:
-5 for Atlhouse for such an elitist attitude.
-5 for in any way shape or form believing that a 5 year old possesses the cognitive functioning to determine what is abusive or non-abusive behavior at a level sufficient to discriminate who is a sexual predator and who is not.
-5 for not perceiving that sex education for five years olds is abusive in and of itself.
Isn’t that sweet? Don’t ever believe a five-year-old who tells you or indicates in any way that s/he’s been abused — there’s no way you can trust a five-year-old to tell the truth, or even to trust her own perceptions enough to know when something feels wrong. I fervently hope this individual does not have children or work anywhere near children.
Linked from Memeorandum.