There’s A First Time for Everything

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.

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11 Comments

Filed under 05_kathy

11 responses to “There’s A First Time for Everything

  1. anangryoldbroad

    These morons act like Obama was advocating for Deep Throat to be shown in elementary schools.

    If I recall correctly,any parent who gets the vapors over sex ed actually has the right to opt their kid out of that class for the duration of the sex ed classes. I’ve been through this with both my kids(who had the education from me before it even came up in school anyhow) who are 10 yrs apart,and both times I had to sign permission slips for sex ed. That’s been the policy for quite some time here in GA,a place not exactly known for it’s loose and liberal public schools.

    People need to grow the hell up,good god. The idiot who thinks a 5 yr old is too stupid to know right from wrong either doesn’t have kids or isn’t at all connected to their own children.

  2. What’s also interesting is to see that the Romney campaign jumped to the conclusion that Obama was talking about the condom-and-cucumber level of sex ed (would that I ever had a date who packed a cucumber… I’m sorry, what was I saying?) when they — the Mittens — failed to read the whole story and also failed to check out that their own candidate supported the same thing that Sen. Obama was talking about.

    As far as teaching kids about abusive adults, I don’t think it even has to be connected with sex ed. Just teach them that it’s wrong for someone else to touch them in a place on their body that is covered by a bathing suit and to tell a grownup if it happens. If you do it on the same level as “look both ways when you cross the street,” you avoid all the pearl-clutching by the vapor-prone.

  3. Just teach them that it’s wrong for someone else to touch them in a place on their body that is covered by a bathing suit

    Or make them touch another person’s body on a place covered by a bathing suit.

    [/pedant]

    If you do it on the same level as “look both ways when you cross the street,” you avoid all the pearl-clutching by the vapor-prone.

    Totally. I also endorse this method for two other reasons: 1) The more matter-of-fact the lesson is, the less road-laying there is for shame if sexual abuse occurs; and 2) It helps create a valuable distinction between sex and sexual abuse.

  4. I think, at least around here, there’s some form of “stranger danger” education in public schools. Which doesn’t have to be the same thing as sex ed either.

    If parents are honest with their kids, the kids probably already know what they should be talking about in an age-appropriate sex ed class. Proper names for body parts, where babies come from, stuff like that. At least my kid tends to lose interest if it goes further than that.

    That last comment you quoted, Kathy: I hope nobody’s kid gets around that person. That was truly scary.

  5. I think what is scaring the fundies is the actual word “sex.” They think that teachers want to give kindergartners “intercourse” education. Teaching a child about proper organs and their names (science), the basics of childbearing, and “good touch, bad touch” does nothing but arm our children against indoctrination by pedophiles and misogynists.

    Great post Kathy.

  6. Pingback: University Update - Mitt Romney - There’s A First Time for Everything

  7. Someone should tell Ann’s commenter that there is a “federally mandated reading age.” It’s called first grade. Moron.

  8. Thanks for beating me to that point, Deborah. It’s also called “No Child Left Behind,” a federal mandate I live with every day.

  9. Kathy Kattenburg

    That last comment you quoted, Kathy: I hope nobody’s kid gets around that person. That was truly scary.

    Yeah, I know. I was chilled by that one. I kept looking at it and saying to myself, That person HAS to be molesting their own children. It’s almost like something a sexual abuser would say if they were to be advocating for their “right” to abuse children.

  10. bernarda

    You are being unfair to the Mittster, he has his own solution. Give all kids their own magic underwear.

  11. Um, I thought the fundies were all about having quiversful of children. Their five-year-olds have almost certainly seen mommy pregnant at least once, if not two or three times. What, exactly, is so evil about telling a curious child the basics of how babies are made — in a non-graphic, age-appropriate way? Telling them lies about the stork, or more likely in this instance, God bringing babies (and Mommy’s not pregnant; she’s just fat) is just going to confuse them later.

    That, of course, is aside from Mitt’s phony tiff with Obama. The hypocrisy and distortion should speak for themselves, but apparently some people aren’t listening.

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