End Of The Mythology Of Sex Education


Author's Note:  The following was originally submitted to The Buffalo News' VIEWPOINTS, a column reserved for reader's opinions, but never printed.

Simply put, School sex education has not worked. The statistics are in, and have been for some time, to the alarm of those parents who discover they have been deceived by the relentless propaganda for sex education that developed in the late 1960's. For 30 years they were promised that Classroom sex education was the answer to a Sexual Revolution which threatened the morals of their children. The facts of moral and socio-cultural decay have been neatly collected in William J. Bennett's "The Index of Leading Cultural Indicators: Facts and Figures on the State of American Society."

Clearly, formal Classroom sex education has failed dismally to decrease sexual promiscuity and sexual deviance among either adults or youth. The startling increases in teenage pregnancies, illegitimate births, divorces, contraceptive usage, abortions, rapes, child molestation, prostitution, and more than 20 new sexually transmitted diseases (including the dreaded AIDS), have all given the lie to the various myths indulged in by sex educators and sexologists:

  1. that ignorance was the cause of teenage pregnancies;
  2. that a neutral, Values-free sex education would result in an enhanced sense of personal responsibility in those provided with contraceptive "information";
  3. and that the moral relativism enshrined in moral sex education school curricula would not lead to more sexual license and its ill-consequences: broken lives; broken marriages; and broken homes and families.

Those courageous educators who held fast to those traditional values which acknowledged that there was a religious and moral dimension to any education in human sexuality also understood that school sex instruction only indoctrinated students in attitudes of sexual permissiveness and involved an horrendous invasion of a child's right to privacy as well as the parents' right to be the teacher of their own children in this extremely important and delicate area of personal conviction. Schools which introduced and glorified a clinical and offensive Swedish-style sex education curricula with its "scientific" pretensions were rightly seen to verge dangerously on pornography (given their questionable focus on sexual biology and genital behavior in addition to tampering with the emotional affectivity of the young). The beautiful and noble virtue of chastity has not been served well by public school sex education programs which blatantly distort the very meaning of sex as understood in the Judaeo-Christian tradition. But it is not only in the area of sex education that public school education has been a glaring failure. Drug, alcohol, and tobacco education in schools have been similar disasters. U.S. government studies reveal the increased crime, violence, vandalism, gang warfare, drug pushing, drunkenness, and cigarette-smoking, and allegations of sexual abuse disgracing the nation's public schools.

The entire Mythology giving rise to Modern Sex Education has now been exploded by the Vatican's new document "The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality" released in December 1995. Articles appearing in the nation's press have not done justice to the importance and scope of this impressive document issued by the Pontifical Council for the Family. Therein the Catholic Church directly challenges the false assumptions and premises underlying modern sex education but also gives a clarion call to all parents to oppose and to remove destructive sex education programs that are designed to "liberate" youth from the objective moral order designed by God for marriage and family. The Church makes clear that it cannot accept a basically secular humanist sex education that features a clinical and mechanical sexology and a Curriculum approach to which parents are made slavishly subject.

Parents have the moral right to supervise and control the sexual education of their children and they also have the obligation to safeguard their children from any explicit, graphic, erotic and provocative material that is calculated to disturb them spiritually and emotionally. While "sex education" in the sense of cultivation in students of growth towards chaste manhood and womanhood through instruction in the moral teachings of the Church remain, as always, a function of the Catholic schools, the new document excludes any classroom sex instruction that presents intimate sexual details of genital behavior apt to raise erotic images in the minds of young students. It also censures the nauseous "safe sex" and condom distribution programs that undermine parental rights and directly offend the modesty and chastity of students.

As an invited participant to the Pontifical Council for the Family's International Meeting of Experts on Sex Education (held in Rome last January to discuss the import of its new document), I was witness to the consensus affirming that both the spirit and letter of the Vatican document clearly prohibit the Classroom sex education programs that have been in vogue in public and Catholic Schools the last three decades. In fact, the Pontifical Council for the Family encourages all parents to exercise their primary rights in sex education by calling for removal of objectionable programs of sex education from any school which would dare to impose explicit and graphic texts and materials upon youth.

Once again, the Catholic Church challenges all educators to safeguard and defend the rights of the family in the matter of sexual education and not to usurp those rights. In this new document the Catholic Church has once again come to the defense of the family, this time against the kind of demagoguery that has made much of modern education a spiritual wasteland.


The following sections are from the Vatican document "The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality"

¶122. §1) Human sexuality is a sacred mystery and must be presented according to the doctrinal and moral teaching of the Church, always bearing in mind the effects of original sin.

Informed by Christian reverence and realism, this doctrinal principle must guide every moment of education for love. In an age when the mystery has been taken from human sexuality, parents must take care to avoid trivializing human sexuality, in their teaching and in the help offered by others. In particular, profound respect must be maintained for the difference between man and woman which reflects the love and fruitfulness of God Himself.

¶123. At the same time, when teaching Catholic doctrine and morality about sexuality, the lasting effects of original sin must be taken into account, that is to say, human weakness and the need for the grace of God to overcome temptations and avoid sin. In this regard, the conscience of every individual must be formed clearly, precisely and in accord with spiritual values. But Catholic morality is never limited to teaching about avoiding sin. It also deals with growth in the Christian virtues and developing the capacity for self-giving in the vocation of one's own life.

Reprinted from SERVIAM, issue of September 1996