They Can’t Talk About It On the Senate Floor, But They Can Make Our Kids Learn About It in School

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The president of the Massachusetts Senate announced Thursday afternoon that another state senator was out of line when she used a common slang term for oral sex while making a speech from the floor.

Apparently, state Senator Linda Dorcena Forry offended the decorum of the Senate when she used such language while discussing the proposed sex education bill.

Yet the real offense is the bill the Senate then proceeded to pass.

It’s known as “An Act Relative To Heathy Youth.” But it ought to be called the Anal Sex Mandate Bill. That’s because it would force all public school districts in Massachusetts that teach about sex to use a so-called “comprehensive” state curriculum that requires what it calls “medically accurate, age-appropriate education.” And what does that mean? The materials the state’s education department has approved include instructing 12-year-olds on anal and oral sex and the importance of using barriers such as Saran wrap. (Check out Andrew Beckwith’s column in New Boston Post for those and other sordid details.)

The tenor of the materials isn’t to provide adolescents with information. It’s to encourage them to give in to their basest desires at an early age — and to teach them about base desires that some of them perhaps don’t even know about.

Do members of the Massachusetts Legislature think it’s a good idea for 12-year-olds to engage in anal or oral sex?

(Or 13-year-olds? Or 14-year-olds? Or 15-year-olds? …)

It hardly seems to need proving, but here goes. Anal sex is one of the most dangerous practices known to man. The tissues in that area are so fine that they break easily, meaning that disease of various kinds can easily spread into the bloodstream. (And “barriers”? Please. Barriers can be difficult to use, and sometimes break. Would supporters of this bill be in favor of teaching kids to play Russian roulette with trigger locks?)

Oral sex isn’t as physically dangerous, but since it involves transfer of bodily fluids it’s not physically safe, either. But more to the point, it’s degrading.

Sex has an emotional effect in addition to physical effects, and sex outside of a healthy, mature, truly committed relationship damages emotional well-being.

Adolescents aren’t mature enough to deal with the emotional consequences of sexual behavior. The physical consequences speak for themselves.

The argument “they’re doing it anyway” solves nothing. Imagine an act to encourage safe smoking. Perhaps children should be taught to use filters when smoking, so they don’t inhale as many toxins.

The point is:  Because some children are engaging in risky and destructive behavior doesn’t mean all children should be encouraged to engage in such behavior, too.

And make no mistake:  That’s what the materials endorsed by Massachusetts state education officials do.

The offending state senator, Linda Dorcena Forry, is no social conservative. She’s a liberal Democrat. She’s a supporter of legal abortion who has been endorsed by the National Abortion Rights Action League Pro-Choice Massachusetts. She supports same-sex marriage. And she ended up voting for this abominable sex education bill.

But she is disgusted by the idea that boys in school should be cajoling girls into performing oral sex, a practice she learned about a couple of years ago. That’s why she used a slang term to describe a practice she understands is prevalent. Some senators complained — fellow Democrats apparently, and Senate President Stan Rosenberg apologized after the fact for not gaveling her down.

She can’t talk like that on the Senate floor, apparently. But it’s O.K. to talk like that to kids in a classroom? And to make every public school in Massachusetts that teaches about sex have teachers talk like that to kids in a classroom?

The bill still has to go to the state House of Representatives. State Representative Marc Lombardo (R-Billerica) is threatening to read from the state-approved sex-education materials during debate on the floor.

That leads to an interesting possibility. Whoever presides over the debate may be asked to stop Lombardo from reading to other members of the House what the state is telling teachers to say to their students.