Gay Curriculum Aimed at Middle School Students – A Reaction
I’m writing a brief response to this article, which someone brought to my attention through their tweets today. I’d comment there, but the user has set the post so only friends can comment, and I don’t know him.
Please read the article before reading my response. I’m not going to reiterate anything the article says here.
I seriously dislike the idea of pushing homosexuality on school children for a number of reasons.
1) Like it or not, children do experiment with their sexuality. Whether it’s as innocent as playing doctor, or whether children (and we’re talking young boys and girls in the throws of puberty here) are actually acting out sexually, this is a confusing time. As a gay person, I know that gay people are not inferior to straight people, and I don’t care what bigoted and biased (often) faith-based research shows. I also know I am not superior to straight people, either in orientation or in my political/social “agenda.” Not only is the suggested curriculum placing homosexuality on equal footing with heterosexuality, it seems to be offering a guidebook for the correct social and political views of those with an “alternative” lifestyle. Ick.
I don’t want any young person, especially one seriously questioning his or her sexuality to think s/he must be some sort of closet case in need of any sort of identity readjustment. That applies not only sexually, but socially as well. I’m willing to bet this “curriculum” pushes progressivism, albeit couched in psychobabble. I’d say “dumbed down” for the age group, but it’s hard for me to see, at this point, how progressive ideas could get any dumber.
2) Gay people will always be a small percentage of the population. Teaching acceptance and tolerance of different people is wonderful. Leading people, especially gullible children, to believe they won’t face hardships based on their differences is wrong. Giving shelf space to 15 volumes on gay, lesbian and transgender issues seems out of whack.
3) LGBT people need to be raised as functioning members of society, not as victims. Devoting books to the stigma and bullying they will inevitably face in society reinforces victimhood, not empowerment. It reinforces minority thinking and segregationist philosophy. There will probably be a gay community for years to come. People like being around other people who are similar and there is nothing wrong with this. However, teaching a 12 year old boy he will someday probably be beaten up because of who he is raises paranoia and self-loathing. It promotes otherness, not sameness.
4) We are focusing too much on childhood sexuality! I went through public schools where we had a sex education course. We also had a drug education course and a general health course. We were taught how reproductive systems worked, and that is all. We weren’t taught we should use them, and definitely not with whom. Sure, some children don’t get this education at home. My parents never talked to me about sex. Or drugs. Ever. But the schools can’t be used as proxy parents. It’s not right. And we definitely don’t need to push kids into early sexual behavior of any kind. Stop hyper-sexualizing our kids!
5) This opens the door to bigotry against homosexuality. Look at some of the “helpful” links at the end of this post. I don’t want my (again, potential) children to be raised to believe homosexuals are evil, prone to weakness and sick in the head. But, if we’re going to promote one side of the argument, we must promote the other. The link to the study about how homosexuals suffer from a list of afflictions – physical, mental and emotional – is particularly stunning. I don’t even need to read the study to know what type of people are behind it. AIDS? Sure, infection is higher among gay men … in the USA. Go to Africa, where things are totally different. Sure, suicide rates are higher among homosexuals … like they are among any “hated” group of people. Attacking a potentially confused child with this propaganda, whether it comes from either side, only perpetuates the problem.
6) Like it or not, gay families will always be a minority. Gay people will always be a minority. We need to teach children about the dangers of STD infection … as an issue we all face. We need to teach children about the dangers of pregnancy. We need to teach children about responsible behavior. Not dump politically correct propaganda promoting an orientation, or sets of orientation, devoid of reality and science.
7) I have no problem with the term “gay” or “homosexual” being used in texts. If it’s appropriate to mention a prominent civil rights leader’s race, then maybe it’s appropriate to mention a particular person’s orientation … in context. We don’t need to dwell on sexual mechanics (which Montana plans to do, apparently). We don’t need to teach future gay people they need to embrace the political Left. We don’t need to confuse children with problems they can’t possibly understand at that age. Sexual orientation arises. Believe me. I tried my best not to be gay. It ran afoul of everything I believed at the time, and the life I had mapped out for myself. Having someone telling me “it’s OK. Come over to our side.” seems tantamount to the creepy man standing next to the paneled van offering children candy.
8) And this might “squick” some people, so you may not want to read this last part. This addresses young boys in particular. Puberty is difficult for boys. Male hormones dictate entire realities for years for some. At best, the urge to engage in sexual activity at a biological level is very strong for most. Many young men have “experimented,” then realized they are straight after all. Why? Because other boys are much more likely to engage in sexual activity than young girls. Ever seen the movie American Pie? Then you know what I’m talking about. And, if you are the owner of a penis, I hardly need you to acknowledge this fact.
Young men masturbate – many of them – as soon as they discover they can. And they do so up to multiple times per day. Even straight young men talk about these things to each other. It isn’t a stretch to imagine, if one is taught about certain sexual activities, someone in the throes of sexual and hormonal confusion might be more likely to act on them. I know this is an unpopular opinion among gay people, but we do not need to create artificial homosexuals; even temporary ones. If a young man, eager to explore his sexuality with the only available partner, is pushed into activity he may come to regret, it seems to me he is much more likely to end up hating gay people than tolerating them.
Sex, and sexuality of all orientations, is a natural function of being. Disagree if you want to, but that’s your head in the sand, not mine. However, we don’t need to egg it on. There’s nothing wrong with abstinence. There’s nothing wrong with holding off on sexual expression until one is ready to make mature decisions about it. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with strengthening any family unit by encouraging such discussion to take place where it should: at home.