Millions are concerned about the latest trend in U.S. education — sex education beginning in kindergarten. Outraged, indignant parents protest. Others approve. What is all the uproar about?
AND NOW, sex education has erupted onto the scene. Newer than the New Math, sex education has become one of the hottest, most controversial topics of our day. In communities throughout the United States, parents have organized to combat modern progressive trends in sex education. They are especially opposed to sex education in primary grades. Millions of others are confused, perplexed. They wonder, "Isn't sex education a good thing?" "Shouldn't young children learn about sex at school?" The battle lines have been drawn between the advocates of "the Old Morality" and "the New Morality." Much of the growing concern over sex education comes from the middle class. It is time we looked at the real answers to today's questions about sex education for children.
Once a Hushed Subject
Years ago, any public discussion of sex was forbidden. Sex was a hush-hush subject. Because of Victorian prudery, sex education was taboo. Religious teaching made sex appear a terrible sin — something to be ashamed of, embarrassed about, or guilty of. Since 1917 a great rebellion has taken place. The pendulum is fast swinging in the opposite direction — to the point where "anything goes." We live, therefore, in a world of fast-changing moral values. Americans and Britons are far more permissive about morals than they were only a few years ago! Traditional values, "the Old Morality," are being rejected. In moral matters there are two different Americas — the moral conservatives who cling to traditional views of morality; and the moral liberals who endorse the "New Morality." A large majority of persons over the age of 30 say premarital sex relations are wrong, but adults in their 20's are closely divided in their opinions. In a nationwide Gallup Poll, 68 percent of adults said premarital sex is wrong. When the identical question was put to 1,030 college students, however, 66 percent said sex relations before marriage are not wrong! A similar Gallup survey in Sweden revealed even more liberal attitudes toward sex: 85 percent of Swedes interviewed said that it is not wrong for persons who think they are in love to have intercourse without marriage. But what does this have to do with "sex education"? A great deal. But first, let's look at the results of the sexual revolution.
Because increasing numbers of young people have rejected the prudish, Victorian attitudes toward sex of the older generation, and are turning to a permissive, "anything goes" type of sexual experimentation, big changes are occurring in society. First, divorce is rampant. The Harris Poll revealed that divorce is sanctioned today by 72 percent of the American public! Nationwide, one out of three marriages statistically ends in divorce. A few years ago very few would have condoned sex perversion and homosexuality. Today, a large minority — 30 percent — finds nothing wrong with homosexual acts between consenting adults! This type of sexual activity is rapidly growing. Because of the new permissiveness toward sex, venereal disease is skyrocketing faster than any other contagious disease! Venereal disease infects about 900 American teenagers every day. It infects more American GIs in the Vietnam War than in any war in history. Government estimates of the extent of the disease vary between 1,500,000 and 4,000,000 new cases every year. Because of the world's sexplosion, unwanted, illegitimate pregnancies are rocketing upward. In 1965 about 300,000 illegitimate babies were born in the United States — one of every 15 births! In the 1970s, it will reach one in ten, if present trends continue. And it would be much higher were it not for abortions — legal or illegal. But what does this have to do with sex education in the schools?
What the Uproar Is About
The moral changes in the Western world are tied in intimately with the sex education problem. The advocates of massive sex education, beginning in kindergarten and the elementary grades, blame the shocking increases in venereal disease, illegitimacy, and promiscuity on lack of proper sex education. They claim parents — having been brought up with Victorian principles and looking on sex as "hush-hush," and feeling embarrassed to teach it to their children — are all too often ignorant of sex themselves, are not fulfilling their responsibility toward their children, and are unqualified to teach the subject. Therefore, they claim school is the best place for sex to be taught. The need, they claim, is self-evident. Witness the rising rates of VD and illegitimacy. Since children all too often are not learning about sex at home — since too many parents have abdicated their responsibility — they have generally been learning about sex in the "gutter," from others their own age or a little older. How much better, they say, it would be for children to learn about sex from educators and authorities than "on the street." And in principle, of course, they have a very strong point. Something obviously needs to be done! Letting children learn about sex from other children is not the answer! If parents had studied the subject themselves and become qualified to teach their children about sex, there would have been no uproar — no need to emphasize sex in the school classroom. But millions of parents don't want this responsibility. They much prefer having schoolteachers handle this touchy matter! The issue, then, is not sex education as such. Everybody agrees that children need to be taught about sex. The issue is who is going to do the teaching? And from what approach or viewpoint are the children going to be taught? Here is where the great controversy comes in! Will sex education in school solve the rising problems of venereal disease, illegitimacy, divorce? Will it prepare children to grow to become mature, sound-minded, balanced adults? Perhaps a glance at Sweden and Denmark will give us the answers.
The Evidence from Sweden and Denmark
Sex education has been compulsory in Swedish schools since 1956. Every child, from age 6 to 16, is taught about sex. What are the results? Physicians say gonorrhea and syphilis are more widespread in Sweden today than in any other civilized country in the world. A study revealed that about half of all boys who had VD admitted having sexual relations with at least 40 different girls. Ten percent said they had had relations with as many as two hundred! A recent Swedish study entitled On Sexual Life in Sweden concluded that the young people in Sweden are having sex relations with more persons and starting a sex life earlier than their parents. Ninety-three percent of all Swedes accept sex relations between engaged couples or those "going steady." Ninety-eight percent of the married population had intercourse before marriage. Of women over 30, twenty percent waited until their wedding night for their first sexual experience; but of those under 30, only nine percent! An estimated 38 percent of Swedish brides are pregnant at their weddings. One child out of every seven is born outside of marriage! These are the conditions in Sweden, today. Two conclusions should be obvious: First, sex education in the schools in Sweden has not solved Sweden's morality problems! It has not stopped or curbed either the rate of venereal diseases, or the numbers of illegitimate children! Second, the kind of sex education adopted in Sweden has had the exact opposite effect! As a result, one hundred and forty Swedish physicians and the King's physician petitioned the government about the "sexual hysteria" in young people, charging that the problem "appears to be a product of modern education in our schools' sex education program"! Those Swedes who blindly trusted in sex education programs to solve the rising incidence in venereal diseases and promiscuity, and increasing illegitimacy, were gravely mistaken. What went wrong? Denmark has also had a sex education program in the schools for years. The results have been similar to those in Sweden. One third of brides are pregnant at the altar. Venereal diseases have hit catastrophic proportions. Teenage marriages are rapidly increasing — several hundred percent in the last decade. Twenty-five percent of pregnancies end in abortion! Is this the route you want to go? Is this the way you want your children to end up? True, the prudish Victorian "hush-hush" attitude toward sex failed the younger and older generations! But sex education in schools, as practiced in Sweden and Denmark, has equally failed! Why? What is the answer?
The Causes of the Crisis in Sex Education
The basic problem with sex education, as it is being promoted today, is twofold. What should be taught to what age group? And how? The general approach by educators is not to advocate promiscuity, as some seem to believe. It is not to promulgate "free sex." The general approach is to mention all views of sex, and then leave the final decisions up to the students themselves. This approach, though not strictly immoral in outlook, is definitely amoral! It results in skyrocketing social problems. The question of morality is left up to each individual student. Proponents of sex education make statements like: "Morals are relative and should consist only of exercising responsibility toward another person." Each young student is left to interpret the word "responsibility" however it suits him! The doors are left wide open for human nature, with its lusts and desires, to express itself without restraint. The usual approach is not to condemn masturbation or homosexuality, but to "understand" it. This approach does not condemn premarital intercourse or promiscuity — it merely defines them. It mentions what the potential problems of such conduct might be, and then leaves the ultimate decision up to each individual student. This approach is the root cause of the rising rates of VD, divorce, and all the sexual problems facing people today! It leaves the final choices to young minds, still too immature to have to make such decisions! Many advocates of sex education have no objection toward premarital sexual experimentation among adolescents. Some, in fact, are in favor of it, "provided consideration is given to the partner"! This approach, expressed in class, has already led to some serious problems in schools where sex education is being taught. A mother in Phoenix wrote a letter, later printed in the Phoenix American, claiming her 12-year-old son was taught a class in sex education. Nine weeks later she caught him sexually molesting their 4-year-old daughter. He told her he was taught about intercourse at school and wanted to "try it out" on his sister. In the Sarasota, Florida county medical society's journal, Dr. William Campbell Douglass gave the example of one school, where the sex education teacher "herded her little charges into a darkened room and had them feel each other."
What Is Planned for YOUR Children?
Promoting sex education in the United States is the Sex Information and Education Council of the United States, called SIECUS. By 1970 plans are to reach every school in the country. Mary Calderone, the director of SIECUS, desires sex education courses from kindergarten through high school. What kind of education is involved? According to the program, young elementary pupils would be shown a film of animals in the act of intercourse and finally a man and woman under a sheet as a voice explains, "Mommy and Daddy are doing what the dogs were doing." A series of colored slides titled How Babies Are Made depict paper sculptures of animals, flowers, and human beings in the act of intercourse. While children watch attentively, the narrator uses adult, medical terms to describe what is happening. As children progress through school, greater detail is used by the teachers to explain about intercourse. Subjects such as dating, petting, premarital relations, homosexuality, and masturbation are discussed in a frank classroom atmosphere. What is basically wrong with such education? What its advocates seemingly fail to see is how such a program, from kindergarten through high school, taught from a non-moral, clinical approach, focuses the child's mind on sex instead of marital love. Cramming this kind of knowledge about sex into the minds of little children, causing them to become overly conscious of sex, heightening their interest and curiosity, can create unnecessary anxiety in the child. It can lead to childish experimentation; even arouse sexual excitement in the young child. Even if the technical information is accurate, forcing it upon children not ready mentally or emotionally to receive it interferes with the development of healthy, normal emotions and intellect. Children should not be overwhelmed with sex, sex, sex, at young impressionable ages when their normal interest is in fun and games, natural friendships, and simply learning how to be little boys and little girls. To create premature interest in sex in children can eventually twist and warp personality development. Deliberately arousing a child's curiosity and stimulating his mind to sexual preoccupations is criminal. Take another look at Sweden and Denmark and the rising venereal diseases and morality problems they have experienced. If you believe there is too much venereal disease, now, and too many illegitimate babies, now, the situation would be far worse if unnatural and premature sex education is foisted off on little children all the way from kindergarten to their last school year! Sex education catapults little children into a field which they are unequipped to properly evaluate. And more tragic, many of the teachers themselves are far from being qualified to teach this subject properly, with discretion and true wisdom! For teachers to simply teach "the facts of life" is not enough. Straight information, accurate facts, details and statistics are not enough. Children must be approached properly with this subject. It requires delicate tact, wisdom, and real understanding of human nature! How many teachers, today, really qualify? Very, very few! Unfortunately, parents too are in the same boat! Most parents are no better equipped to deal with the subject of sex than the teachers. Both, in most cases, are found extremely wanting — lacking. What is the answer, then?
Right Kind of Sex Education
Certainly, the half-truths, the evasions, the distortions, falsehoods, and deceptions of the Old Morality are not the answer. Ignoring the interest of children, their natural curiosity about where they came from, is wrong. "Putting them off" with bland, inexpert, meaningless mouthing's caused the sex revolution. Forcing too much sex education upon too young children is having an equally terrible result. Using an academic, clinical, amoral approach can only make sex — which God created beautiful and clean — an instrument for wrecking marriages, ruining lives, increasing diseases, abortions, illegitimacy and divorce. The answer, then, comes to this. True sex education — from a God-given moral, factual approach — is vitally necessary, but generally missing in both home and school. You are responsible for your children and their education. You brought them into the world. They are your responsibility. You need to teach them early the basic facts of life, beginning at home. As a loving parent, you yourself need to understand sex, its meaning and God-intended purpose — the meaning of marriage, why sex outside of marriage is wrong. You need to study to make yourself qualified to teach your children the truth about where they came from — and, as they grow a little older, why God made us male and female and what sex is all about!
What YOU Should Do
How can you properly fulfill this God-given responsibility? No doubt this question has crossed your mind, and you desperately want the answer. Here it is — what you have been waiting for! Ambassador College Graduate School of Theology publishes a vitally important book entitled God Speaks Out On "The New Morality." This tremendous book explains the purpose of sex, why we are male and female, the reason for marriage. It gives vital, necessary instruction on the right principles about sex. In order to teach your children rightly, and to get rid of your own ignorance and false concepts, you need to read this book! It lays the foundation for true sexual understanding. If you would like to have your own personal free copy then write to the address on the inside front cover of this magazine. Regrettably we cannot send this book to unmarried minors. But, if you are married, or engaged to be married, or single but over 21 years of age, then be sure to write immediately for your free copy. Unmarried minors can ask their parents to write for it and teach them from it. There has never been a book like it.