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Sex Ed - Do Christians want to keep their kids ignorant?

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by gengwall, Mar 16, 2006.

  1. gengwall

    gengwall Senior Veteran

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    OK, I'm sick of getting pummeled by liberals who claim conservative Christians don't want their kids to have accurate information about sex ed and family planning. So, here is a multipart question to discuss. When you learned about sex ed, where did the best (most accurate, greatest volume) infromation come from, the school sex ed program or your parent(s)? And what do you plan on disseminating to your kids vs. what you plan on leaving up to the schools? In particular, did your parent(s) discuss with you and do you plan on/have you discussed with your kids contraception, pregnancy, and abortion (which apparently are pre-requisites for liberals to consider any sex ed "accurate"). Thanks for any insights.

    [Edit - don't be intimidated by the post count. We are not debating here so it is not essential to read through everything. Just let us know your experiences and plans.]
     
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  2. gengwall

    gengwall Senior Veteran

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    As a follow-up, and to illustrate, here is an exchange I just had on the Alas blog with "Lee"

    So - is Lee right? Are we really that off on how we deal with sex ed? Or has she simply been exposed to a radical fringe of Christianity? That is what I'm trying to get at.
     
  3. Robinsegg

    Robinsegg SuperMod L's Supporter

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    Well, right now, I'm happy to keep most of this information away from my 5yo and 3yo children. As they become aware of, interested in, curious about or at the age where they need to know how their bodies work, I'll explain it to them. I think it's improper for the government to decide that my 3rd-grader needs to know about the sexual functions of his/her body w/o consulting me about it. There are certain aspects of family planning and abortion that will come up eventually as information, but I don't plan to advocate these things, as I firmly believe (and plan to attempt to convey to my children) that one should wait until marriage. Will I give my children the information, yes. Will I put my own spin on it? Yes.

    BTW, I homeschool my children right now, so the school system is not the primary source of my children's information. I want to know what they're being taught and how and how they're learning. Doing it myself works well for my having that information.

    Rachel
     
  4. JaneFW

    JaneFW Well-Known Member

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    Well, I'm in my 40's, so sex ed at my school wasn't exactly a big item on the agenda. I also attended a Catholic school - so other than a lecture from our (female) PE teacher about periods, and some reproduction stuff in biology, I don't recall actually having any sex ed. In fact, almost everything I learned, I learned from friends, books, magazines, movies and tv. My mum also taught me a little, but not much. I learned a lot from all those sources, but not within any Christian guidelines. I went seriously astray very young.

    I don't plan to leave much of the teaching up to the school with our kids - who are all boys. Our eldest, who is 13yo, has already been given "the talk" by my dh, and he knows - has been told many times - that he can approach me or dh ANY time to discuss anything he wants to. We are both extremely open with him.

    He has attended an abstinence based program at his public school, and we do plan to put abstinence at the front of our discussions with him, but he also knows what condoms are. Of course, it's still something that embarasses him right now, but I think we are getting the message across that it's better a couple of hours of embarassment with mom and dad than a teenage pregnancy for a girlfriend, or disease. Abortion he does know about because our church preached about abortion one Sunday, so dh explained to him what abortion was - but not that it was a choice, just that it was something that did exist.

    He doesn't date yet actually, he prefers girls as friends, rather than girlfriends. When he wants to date, and when we decide he can date, we will talk to him much more about sex. For instance, about kissing - how soon? How much? How close can kissing get to petting and petting to sex? Things like that. I'm neither afraid nor embarassed to explain to our son about how a girl feels when her homones are on fire, and how easily things can get out of control. I also am prepared to confess to him my own youthful indiscretions (although not in great detail of course!), so that he knows that I too have fallen short of what God expects from us. I know that will be a question in his inquisitive mind, lol!

    I can only speak for myself, of course, but the majority of Christians I know seem to be on the pro-active with their kids, and openly discussing sex, rather than hushing them down or refusing to give the information that a child needs in this world.
     
  5. JoannaJoy

    JoannaJoy Well-Known Member

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  6. jgonz

    jgonz What G-d calls you to do, He equips you to do.

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    My parents didn't tell me squat, and I was public schooled. I learned all my info in a sex-ed class that my mother forced me to take. It was coed and extremely embarrassing in 7th grade.

    I decided I would NEVER do that to my kids. So, when questions come up, we talk. I tell them whatever they want to know. I don't believe it's right to withhold information~ honesty is the best policy.

    Plus, I've been a birth doula and am currently working towards my LLL leadership so I have tons of pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding books in my house. If anyone's curious, they can just pull out a book. One of my boys is so non-phased by the graphic pictures and so interested in birth I'm starting to wonder if he'll end up being an OB. lol
     
  7. Linnis

    Linnis Legend

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    I took sex ed from grade 4-9, it was seperated, I'm very glad I had it, it was a very balanced view on sex, pregnancy, STDs, periods etc.

    The one Christian girl who wasn't allowed to have sex ed was later taken advantage of in high school because she knew NOTHING even by the time she was 15.

    Knowledge is power in my opinon.
     
  8. karla

    karla Love God, Serve God

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    I had my sex education from both school and my parents. With that said, my parents really didn't give me the Christian view of sex other than "don't have sex until your married" which later turned to "if you do, don't get pregnant".

    I am honest with my kids, although they are still extremely young. I have had to have the where babies come from talk with my daughter. I answer their questions with the simplest answer and if they need more info., they ask. I want to instill in them my values, but not try to glos over the fact that there are plenty of people who don't share in my views or values. I guess it comes down to preparing them to face the world but also giving htem the tools and values to stand up for what they believe in.
     
  9. Darkhorse

    Darkhorse just horsing around

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    As I have mentioned several times and places in these forums, I homeschool my two kids, and their sex education includes graphic male and female anatomy, videos on sexual physiology and birth, and the Biblical and social values to go with these. Later, we will discuss birth control and sexual "variations" (both "normal" and "perverted"), along with how to be a good marriage partner (including non-sexual topics). :thumbsup:

    To my dismay, I have seen some sex-education materials for computer use which let parents put fig leaves over the genitals of the male and female figures! How are the kids supposed to learn? By trial and error? :sigh:

    Fortunately, most Christians I know teach their kids the facts they need, along with the values they need even more. Back when I raised horses, I asked the (Christian) neighbors next door if I should keep the breeding activities out-of-sight of their kids. They said their kids knew all about such things, and seeing horses go to it wasn't a problem. Amen! :amen:
     
  10. seamonster

    seamonster happy goth

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    I was homeschooled, and plan on doing the same with my kids. I would never leave it up to the school system to teach my children about something like sex. My parents didn't just have one talk with me, but a series of talks from when I was 9 and continuing until I got married. They also gave me some books so if I had questions that I was too embarrassed to ask, I could look it up, but they were always very open with me and I felt comfortable enough to ask most questions.

    My younger brothers also were homeschooled but felt more comfortable talking to me most of the time, rather than my parents. I think that's how a lot of kids are, and if that's how my children are, I want them to get the info first hand either from DH & me or books. I'd much rather teach them myself than have them go getting false information from their peers. As someone mentioned earlier, a lot of times it's the uniformed or misinformed kids who get pregnant and STDs. I knew a lot of kids even in my first years of college who still believed that you couldn't get pregnant the first time you had sex. I want my children to understand that it's God's plan for them to wait, but even if they don't, I will still love them, and so will God. Also, if my kids are going to have sex anyway, I want them to be prepared to accept the consequences of their decisions, and be informed enough of the choice they're making to at least use birth control and discretion in who they have sex with. A friend of my mom's used to tell me, "never have sex with someone you don't want to be bonded to for the rest of your life." I plan on teaching my kids this, too, but hopefully they'll make it to their wedding days. I already pray for them and their future spouses.
     
  11. jgonz

    jgonz What G-d calls you to do, He equips you to do.

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    I just realized I never answered the original question: "Do Christians Want to keep their kids ignorant."

    I want to keep my kids kids as long as possible... I think today's society has children growing up WAY too fast. So there should be a Balance, IMO. Giving the child enough information at each age level to answer their questions, but not throw them into mature areas/subjects they can't handle yet, kwim?
     
  12. Athene

    Athene Grammatically incorrect Supporter

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    I learned the technical stuff at school and the 'its best to wait until you find somebody you love' from my parents, so I would say they both contributed to my education in different ways.

    I would be happy for the school to teach my kids sexp-ed and from what I recall from when I was at school the sex-ed program is detailied, and quite good actually, but it happens too late, when the kids are 10 and 11, and in the area where I live alot of kids are already experimenting at that age, so I've took the stand that I will teach my kids everything they're ready to learn. It also helps that I'm pregnant at the mo because we had lots of interesting discussions about how the baby gets in mummys tummy and how it gets out, cleared up a few misconceptions . . . . they thought the baby came out through the rear exit. (bless)

    Looking over the thread so far, we all seem to be quite similar in our approaches to teaching kids sex-ed, however that doesn't cancel out the fact that there are parents who won't teach their children about sex, and won't let others do it and therefore the children are brought up in ignorance. Even over here in the UK and you know how close we are to being godless communists ;) , there were girls who didn't know what the heck was happening to them when their period started, their parents wouldn't teach them about the birds and the bees and also refused to let the school teach them.
     
  13. bliz

    bliz Contributor

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    Do Christians want their kids to be ignorant? Yes, many do. They are under the mistaken impression that ignorance will keep them pure.

    Do all Christian parents want their kids ignorant? Hardly!
    I think the combination of information from home and school/health educator is the best combination. Let's face it, few parents are giving their kids diagrams and the latest information on these matters. When I was a kid in school, there were, what? 5 STDs. Now? How many parents even know that latest information?
     
  14. JaneFW

    JaneFW Well-Known Member

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    With respect, does it matter how many? I confess to not knowing the latest information, but I do know that HIV/AIDS is out there, and that it is still uncurable. I also know that STD's can lead to sterility. I wouldn't sit down with my sons and list for them the latest diseases, plus every single side effect. IMO, it's enough to know that there *are* diseases, and that they *will* catch them if they have sex with a girl who has one, just as the girl they have sex with most likely *will* get pregnant if there is no protection used.

    What I don't want to do is use the fear of disease or pregnancy to beat my boys over the head. I want them to know all the dangers, all the issues involved, but I want them to know also what God wants for them. Then it will be their choice. I don't want them to forget, also, that sex is a beautiful thing (oh yes!) given to us by God, and not just about disease and unwanted pregnancies.

    Just m.o. No offence intended! :amen:
     
  15. gengwall

    gengwall Senior Veteran

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    Great feedback everyone. Keep it coming. Thanks.
     
  16. JaneFW

    JaneFW Well-Known Member

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    I also was curious about this comment:

    That isn't logical to me. Surely, the more fiercely pro-life you are, the less likely you would be to want your kids to have an unwanted pregnancy, which may lead to abortion - and therefore you make sure they are fully "equipped" with knowledge? Your correspondent's story about one person they know cannot, I think, be generalised to every single Christian parent. Sweeping generalisations just irritate the heck out of me! And I know that everyone else feels that way too! (ha ha)
     
  17. YouthPastor

    YouthPastor Name = Brett

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    here is my input and it may be partly off topic.

    The primary source of sex ed should be the parents!!!!!

    However, since too many parents will not honestly talk to their kids about it (which is pretty sad) then someone has to do it.

    In my opinion - the church then should pick it up - however they would only reach those that go to church and then you would also have too many parents say that it is not the church's job (but they won't do it)so - what's left? the school system and friends.

    In a way I don nto mind kids being taught about condems etc.. BECAUSE - if you only mention abstinence.... WHEN the kids find out there are other options (or ways to possibly stop pregnancy) - they may say..., "man, mom and dad never told me about this - what are they trying to hide?"

    HOwever, since parents have pretty much left it up to the school system - which they want to push telling about everything - they also MUST emphasis hte ONLY 100% sure way of not getting pregnant or a disease it to NOT have sex.

    Now on a side note... I think sex needs to be a much bigger part of pre marital counceling - especially if both or one of them are virgins.
     
  18. gengwall

    gengwall Senior Veteran

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    Well, as I said to Lee as we closed the discussion, it was my "sterotyping" alarm that went off because of her comments.
     
  19. gengwall

    gengwall Senior Veteran

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    Hear! Hear! I think premarital counseling is great but it really falls short in terms of preparing young couples for the demands and blessings of intimacy in general, and the sexual component of that in particular.
     
  20. JaneFW

    JaneFW Well-Known Member

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    I agree with this 100%. That is what we are teaching son #1, and will teach sons #2 and #3 the same thing. :amen:
     
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