Saran Wrap Sex-Ed Bill Fit For Neither Birds Nor Bees
By NBP Editorial Board | April 17, 2017, 14:02 EDT
Decoding the Saran Wrap sex education bill on Beacon Hill is simple: Make the bizarre normative and take away local control.
The bill’s title, “An Act Relative to Healthy Youth,” is laughable, since it seems bent on making youth unhealthy. Along with some boilerplate paeans to abstinence and delaying sexual activity is a mandate for the state’s education board to put in every school district a Planned Parenthood-approved guide to debauchery.
But even social liberals ought to be concerned about this bill, for reasons we’ll get to shortly.
Ostensibly, the bill doesn’t force school districts to do anything. But that’s only if school officials decide not to provide sex education at all. If they do, then they’d have to use the state’s new curriculum. Among other things, the curriculum describes ways to make Saran Wrap a substitute for a condom.
They’d also have to follow the statute, which calls for:
“Discussion of healthy relationships, including affirmative representation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, relationships, and families”
Note that the language isn’t about acknowledging the existence of such individuals and relationships, but making sure they get “affirmative representation.” Have religious, moral, psychological, or common-sense objections to such situations? Go to the back of the bus, where you belong.
But there’s a yet-more-fundamental problem with the bill’s approach, which envisions teachers talking about “Ways to effectively discuss safe sexual activity.”
There is no such thing as safe sex. Every sexual encounter is serious and life-altering. That life-altering can be good or bad, depending on the context. But it’s not neutral.
Moreover, sexual activity is dangerous. It can lead to harmful and even fatal diseases, and it can hurt emotional and spiritual well-being.
Or: It can strengthen a lifelong commitment and lead to the creation of a loving family.
But there is no in-between way, of temporary carefree fun and pleasure that has no other consequence.
A sane approach to sex education would show teen-agers how human sexual activity works and then emphasize that it doesn’t work for them, because they’re not ready for it. It wouldn’t have to preach a particular religious point of view, but it ought to acknowledge such views, and it ought not to assume they’re stupid or wrong.
Well, here’s where the bill ought to concern you, too: It guts local control. No more would local school committees be able to set their own policies on how to teach about sex, and no more would local superintendents and principals decide how to carry them out.
If you’re a social liberal, if you believe teen-agers will be teen-agers and as long as it’s consensual and no one gets physically injured or pregnant it doesn’t matter what they do to each other, this state-knows-best approach should still bother you. What if some day (shudder) a conservative starts running the state board of education and adopts a curriculum approved by a conservative group that teaches that all sexual activity outside of (one-man-one-woman) marriage is immoral and likely to send its participants on a road to Hell? What if it suddenly becomes illegal to teach some approach that’s neutral or on the other side?
That’s where this bill leads; and that’s another reason why this bill should be rejected.