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Wednesday, 15 April 2015

SEX! SEX! SEX! (are you reading this yet?)

she finna turn ur kids gay
Now that I have your attention, let's talk about education. Can you believe 3,000 people showed up at Queen's Park yesterday to protest Ontario's new sex education curriculum? I mean, even by idiot mob standards, that's a lot of people. As the Toronto Star points out, the throng wasn't without "the usual suspects (aka homophobes)" -- but the sheer volume of people at the protest makes me feel like there's a lot of normal people out there who aren't entirely comfortable with the province's new sex ed curriculum either.

If you feel a bit of trepidation about the new curriculum teaching grade ones about consent or introducing the concept of "sexting" to your 12 year old, I can understand where you're coming from. Unfortunately, you're an idiot. The new curriculum is necessary to implement, and here's why: 

The last update to the Ontario sex ed curriculum was in 1998. I was born in 1991, so the entirety of my classroom-based sex education was administered under the current curriculum. That curriculum was outdated when I was in elementary school, and I graduated a decade ago -- pre-smartphones and social media. By the time I was 10, sexual intercourse was regularly discussed on the playground, but it wasn't even addressed in class until I was 12 (after I had already been watching porn for about a year). In contrast, I don't ever recall an in-depth lesson on gender identity, even though there were trans kids at my high school. Nor do I remember sexual consent being fully addressed in class until I took an elective sociology credit in Grade 12. And when it was, the idea was vocally dismissed by the young men in the class. Shit, I didn't fully understand consent or gender identity until I was 22, and that was after extensive personal reading and dialogue with university-educated peers. This is my experience, and I was enrolled in a higher learning stream at a good school in a well off neighbourhood.

You people think "sexting" is scary?

Look, Ontario's new sex ed curriculum probably isn't perfect (it was made by teachers and liberals, after all), but it does take big steps to correct the failings of our impersonal, STI-obsessed current curriculum. Some people would argue complex lessons about the human aspects of sexuality are better taught at home; but a quick Google search for statistics on sexual assault or suicide among LGBT youth raises some serious questions about the validity of that statement. And whether you like it or not, the internet has introduced sex to kids at an earlier age. If the current curriculum continues to provide no meaningful or timely subtext to whatever your kid is picking up from Alexis Texas and Young Thug, what's the point in even teaching it?  I mean, shit. The last sex ed curriculum was developed under Mike Harris. It's time for a change.