ERIC Number: ED284148
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Jan
Reference Count: 0
Sex and the Education of Our Children.
Bennett, William J.
Schools, teachers, and principals must help develop good character by putting children in the presence of adults of good character who live the difference between right and wrong. Sex education is about character; in a sex education course issues of right and wrong should occupy center stage. In too may cases, however, sex education in American classrooms is a destructive experience. Statistics such as the number of teenage pregnancies illustrate how boys and girls are mistreating one another sexually. Many sex education courses offer the illusion of action, relaying only technical information and possible outcomes" are devoid of moral content. This kind of teaching displays a conscious aversion to making moral distinctions; it encourages students not to make the "right" decision, but the "comfortable" decision. Most American parents value postponing sex and raising children in the context of marriage. Despite this fact, some say that teenage sex is such a pervasive reality that there is nothing to be done but to make sure that students are supplied with contraceptives. But schools are supposed to be better and to point to a better way. Research has shown sexual behavior to be connected to self-perception and experience has shown that values are teachable. Students must learn that sexual activity involves men and women in all their complexity; in fact, sex may be among the most value-loaded of human activities. Sex education courses should: (1) teach children sexual restraint; (2) teach that sex is not simply a physical act; (3) speak of sex within marriage; and (4) welcome parents and other adults as allies. Finally, it is crucial that sex education teachers offer examples of good character, by the way they act and by the ideals and convictions they must be willing to articulate to students. (ABL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Family Research Council of America, Inc., Washington, DC.
Note: Transcript of an address delivered at the National School Boards Association Meeting (Washington, DC, January 1987).