As You Sow, So Shall You Reap : Part Three
- Category: Philip Jones - Writings
- Created: Saturday, 02 May 2009 11:57
- Written by Philip Jones
As You Sow, So Shall You Reap : Part Three
Philip Jones 1st May 2009
After writing my article `As You Sow, So Shall You Reap` posted earlier this week on 29th April, it seems as if everywhere I turn, highly concerning reports
of how the British government is actively and deliberately sexualising and corrupting the nation's children, are simply falling into my proverbial lap.
I have just read that a UK government-funded sex education programme is training teachers to tell 15 year-old schoolchildren about anal and oral sex.
A Doncaster teacher Lynda Brine, who was trained for the course, says she was amazed to be asked to advise as to semen tasted, or as to whether women should have anal intercourse.
The programme, entitled ‘A Pause’, was devised by researchers at Exeter university and instructs `educators` to respond to pupils’ questions about all and every manner of sexual experience. The assumption is that young children are already sexually active, and the so called `educational` benchmark in this `field of learning` is that ignorance is to be avoided at all costs, and all questions and orientations are to be treated as equally valid.
But this philosophy transforms sex education into little more than a semi-pornographic encounter in which children receive the implicit message that sexual taboos are worthless, and that all forms of human coupling, no matter how perverse and unnatural are worthy of consideration.
One would imagine that such an irresponsible and morally inappropriate approach had been devised by someone who subscribed to a permissive belief in a sexual `jamboree`. The paradox in this case however, is that the very opposite appears to be true.
The man behind the course, paediatrician Dr John Tripp, is on record as stating himself deeply concerned not only with regard to sexual activity amongst children, but also about the highly destructive effects of family breakdown. Indeed, for years he fought a heroic battle almost single handedly against a concerted attempt by the social science establishment to first censor and then belittle research he published in 1994 showing the damage parental separation did to children.
‘A Pause’ is intended to delay schoolchildren indulging in sexual intercourse by making it easier for them to resist pressure from their friends and the media. Much of this programme is uncontroversial and has gained widespread respect.
But in as much as the above ideals are laudable, a difficulty has arisen over the contention that in order to avoid sexual intercourse, pupils should be advised that there are other ways of achieving sexual intimacy, ranging from hand-holding and kissing to oral and even anal sex.
Dr Tripp insists that he is not encouraging them to pursue these activities, merely advising that they are less dangerous than sexual intercourse which he hopes they will help avoid. And anyway, he says, his course advises pupils how to resist pressure to indulge in the whole range of sexual behaviour.
His anxiety to avoid sexual intercourse among children is entirely honourable. But the distinction he draws between sexual intercourse and what he calls ‘outercourse’ is, in practice, spurious.
He claims his approach has reduced the number of pupils having sexual intercourse by between 13 and 15 per cent. One might think that providing children with a menu of sexual experiences to sample would make full sex rather more likely. But even if Dr Tripp’s claim is true, the aim of responsible sex education should surely not be so limited.
Teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases are not the only reasons why sexual activity among schoolchildren is deeply undesirable. The main reason is that, in the absence of both emotional maturity and spiritual meaning, such inappropriate behaviour harms children’s development.
Holding hands or kissing are simply in a different league from intimate genital activity. That is because this involves areas of our body that we guard as our most private and protected. Revealing them is therefore a very special act.
Doing so too casually strips that act of its significance and can harm our own sense of ourselves. If the idea that sex should be reserved for a special relationship becomes meaningless, it becomes much more difficult to sustain a permanent committed sexual union.
It is not puritanical to say this. It is rather to recognise that spiritual and emotional meaning distinguishes human sexual activity from animal behaviour. Genital gratification separated from a permanent loving commitment is a form of degradation. When emotionally immature children behave in this way, it becomes akin to abuse.
The Exeter programme has produced something which appears to contradict its own founding beliefs because it has fallen into a common trap. It assumes that because many young people are sexually active, any sex education programme has to limit itself to minimising the damage.
The government and virtually the entire health and sex education establishment intend us to think that it is simply ridiculous to imagine that young people can be persuaded away from sexual activity. Of course, the young have always experimented with sex. But what we are facing now is something quite different - the normalisation of sex as a recreational sport, the fracturing of self-restraint and commitment, and the smashing of every sexual and moral taboo.
This sexual anarchy can be halted, if only there is the will to do so. As I have mentioned in parts one and two, successful American schemes show it is possible to challenge all premature sexual activity through programmes aimed at sexual abstinence — a word which in Britain causes apoplexy among policy makers.
They caricature the abstinence approach as an authoritarian, self-defeating ‘just say no’ exercise. But this is not so. The most high-profile of these American projects, the Washington-based Best Friends programme, is a brilliant, shrewdly targeted club that girls love to join.
Crucially, it recognises the nexus between adolescent sex, drinking, drug taking and academic performance. Starting when the girls are nine and going through to high school graduation, it builds up their self-respect and gives them the self-confidence to deal with the pressures on them to drink, take drugs and have sex, which they are taught to view as a potential threat to themselves.
It provides weekly fitness sessions where the girls discuss diet and nutrition, takes them out on trips and matches each girl with a mentor teacher whom they meet once a week to talk about anything. Crucially, it builds a corps d’esprit [ital] which provides peer and adult support to say no sex till after they have left school, no alcohol until the legal age of 21 and no drugs ever.
And it works. Compared with national figures, only a tiny number of Best Friends girls have had sex or become pregnant by the time they leave school, and very few take drugs. Moreover, among these mainly highly disadvantaged pupils - who would normally be expected to drop out of education - the majority on the programme stay at school until they are 18 and many go on to college.
Of course, the cultural pressures on our children to indulge in harmful adult behaviour are immense. The driver behind their premature sexual activity is the sexualisation of the culture and the breakdown of the traditional family. But the belief that all we can do is go with the flow is a self-fulfilling counsel of despair.
What’s needed instead is an explicit challenge to this cultural slide, tailored to young people’s sense of their own self-interest. The current prevailing brutalisation of sexuality and relationships is not in anyone’s interest.
Young people need to be taught about love and self-restraint, trust and commitment, acts and consequences, and the human dignity embodied in the link between sex and marriage.
Can anyone here in the UK see this current government funding such a programme? Not a chance. It would rather teach the young about oral and anal sex - and then shed crocodile tears over our lost and abandoned children.