New York's new sex ed curriculum: birds, bees, bestiality

New York's new sex ed curriculum: birds, bees, bestiality October 27, 2011

And that’s just for starters.

Explicit content to follow.  Details:

Sex ed, which becomes mandatory in city middle and high schools next year, is meant to stem unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases among teens. But parents may be shocked by parts of the Department of Education’s “recommended” curriculum.

Workbooks reviewed by The Post include the following assignments:

* High-school students go to stores and jot down condom brands, prices and features such as lubrication.

* Teens research a route from school to a clinic that provides birth control and STD tests, and write down its confidentiality policy.

* Kids ages 11 and 12 sort “risk cards” to rate the safety of various activities, including “intercourse using a condom and an oil-based lubricant,’’ mutual masturbation, French kissing, oral sex and anal sex.

* Teens are referred to resources such as Columbia University’s Web site Go Ask Alice, which explores topics like “doggie-style” and other positions, “sadomasochistic sex play,” phone sex, oral sex with braces, fetishes, porn stars, vibrators and bestiality.

Told of the subjects her son could learn about, one Manhattan middle-school mom said, “They seem pretty outrageous.”

Shino Tanikawa, a SoHo mother of two daughters, including a high-school junior, also was taken aback.

“I didn’t know how much detail they would get,” she said.

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17 responses to “New York's new sex ed curriculum: birds, bees, bestiality”

  1. Congrats on the most jarring post title I’ve seen in a while.

    And this is horrifying, yes. Could we have even seen this 30 years ago?

  2. There’s nothing this curriculum is going to expose kids to that they don’t already know from the internet and popular culture. They might at least learn how to make some intelligent judgments about it.

  3. Not that I’m condoning the curriculum, but I suspect they’re just being realistic about what teenagers are exposed to. I’m not sure what good moralizing outrage is going to do in the face of the fact extraordinarily hardcore material is available at the click of a button. And kids all find it, you can be sure of that (I speak as one who graduated from a Catholic school after the internet became what it was, so I’m not a “can you imagine this 30 years ago” type). None of this is to say that one should just give up and tell kids how to get the goods on whatever they want. But it’s worse than naive to believe that you can actually prevent teenagers from seeing such things. Which just sort of leaves you with having to be realistic about what kids have access to and what kinds of conversations you’re going to have with them.

  4. There’s nothing this curriculum is going to expose kids to that they don’t already know from the internet and popular culture.

    You think 11-year-olds know about mutual masturbation and anal sex?

    I guess they aren’t making 11-year-olds the way they used to.

    Dcn. G.

  5. If an adult were to talk to these children about these things OUTSIDE of school, and do such demonstrations, would he or she get locked up for it? Sounds like a pedophile agenda to me.

  6. Never, ever trust a person who makes their living by talking to kids about sex all day. If they didn’t have credentials we’d treat them like the creepy old men who always seemed to hang around the edges of the playround back in the 70s.

  7. One other thing comes to mind. If you have relatives in NYC you may want to think twice about letting your kids be alone with their cousins now.

  8. Luna, where exactly in the curriculum do you see anything that says teachers will be providing “demonstrations” of any sexual act? Informing a high schooler that a condom’s effective as a prophylactic and a form of birth control is seriously compromised by oil-based lubricants is hardly a demonstration of a sexual act.

    The “Ask Alice” website (which I’ve seen before) does not sound like a great resource to provide to high school students, in that the chief audience for that website is intended to be college students. However, it doesn’t surprise me that high school students in need of accurate information would seek out such a site.

    As for information and access to birth control: I would much rather than my son or daughter know how to prevent a pregnancy than end up in a situation where abortion is one of the options on the table. I’ll state it flat out: accurate sex education in the public schools (with an opt-out for those parents who have issues with it) is one of the most pro-life things happening in the U.S. People who are not involved in an unplanned pregnancy are much, much less likely to seek out an abortion or encourage a partner to have one. For me, abortion is a much bigger problem than a sixteen-year-old wanting to buy a condom so he doesn’t get his girlfriend pregnant. I hope that kid DOES buy what he needs. I hope his girlfriend will refuse to have sex if he is unwilling to buy condoms and learn how to use them properly.

  9. Deacon Greg:

    It’s not clear that 11-year-olds today are any different than they were [pick your golden generation and insert here] years ago. What is clear is that kids today are exposed much, much earlier to material that people [x] years ago weren’t. I’m more inclined to see that as simply the consequence of the technological revolution, though. After all, humans have been engaging in deviant sexual practices for all of recorded human history (including the Bible). We’re a sinful lot. It’s a fact. It does no good to wish away the problem, or to cross our fingers and hope we can undo the massive advances in communications technology.

    Luna R.:

    The better question to ask is how society would respond to a child’s parents having a frank conversation with them about sexual practices. I suspect pretty much everyone would agree that that’s just being responsible. Well, schools stand in loco parentis. Who is going to have that conversation with a kid, when the kid has a single parent working multiple jobs just to survive? When the kid has no effective parental authority structure? Et cetera? These curricular decisions have to account for the lowest common denominator. We may all wish we had a moral stable familial structure in society, that every kid had two parents and good relationships with both, and so on. But that’s not the world that the schools have to deal with

    What I’m interested to know is whether parents can opt their children out of the sex ed curriculum if they want? I’m imagining they can, since that’s usually a standard option.

  10. “You think 11-year-olds know about mutual masturbation and anal sex?

    I guess they aren’t making 11-year-olds the way they used to.”……………

    Seriously man, I’m a pretty accomplished libertine and today’s middle schoolers know stuff that would make me AND Larry Flynt blush. Whether we like that or not, it is what it is. We can either hide our heads in the sand from that reality, OR, we can try to give the little buggers some accurate information and some tools to make good decisions for themselves. The will do a lot better for themselves if we give them good information and teach them to think for themselves rather than trying to condition them what to think.

  11. Not permitted to talk about God, but nothing else seems off the table. When God left schools, we should not be surprised by what enters it.

    Some of the supporting arguments I see here do not surprise me.

    1. the kids see it anyway because we live in a world of access to every form of filth and do little to keep it out of the hands of kids…so lets put it in the schools system as if all of this behavior is perfectly OK.

    2. since it is available, lets teach it…So if a teen can find out how to make bombs on the internet, lets make bomb making part of the school lesson plan.

    How about making sure anyone distributing filth that gets into the hands of kids is put in jail for a very long time? If you want to make money on it, they should have to have a way to prevent it from being given to kids. And the same folks who seem to think this is fine, post anger at a priest not being reported for having obscene pictures by his bishop? Somehow, I think making pronographic behavior part of the school lesson plan is going to harm more kids than anything this one priest would have done. Not defending the priest or the bishop if he indeed is guilty, but pointing out the hypocrisy of those who do not seem to care at the same time about this abuse of children. What about those kids who have been raised properly by their parents and who in no way are exposed to the perversions discussed here? Drag them all through the perversions of society that refuses to protect children out of some perverted thought of freedom. Sick…

  12. “What about those kids who have been raised properly by their parents and who in no way are exposed to the perversions discussed here?”

    Psst, Greta: that’s the whole point of being able to opt out of having your kids in such a class. As for the rest of your comment, it appears to be continuing an argument with someone or something and not related to anything anyone above said, so I’ll let it go.

  13. Steve #8

    “I hope that kid DOES buy what he needs. I hope his girlfriend will refuse to have sex if he is unwilling to buy condoms and learn how to use them properly.”

    What a parent should be hoping is that the boy will not “need” to buy anything, and that the girl will simply refuse to have sex, period, rather than agreeing to it if a condom is used.

  14. I’m continually amazed by what my 8th grader (parochial school since the beginning, mind you) comes home having heard about in school. I’m far from prudish, but I didn’t know half of what he’s hearing about in school until I was almost in college. (And we won’t talk about all of the stuff about drugs that he learned from his diocesan-approved, Catholic press 8th grade religion textbook. Ugh.)

    I’m grateful that we have a very open, very communicative relationship, because we talk about it all, and since nearly half of what he’s hearing is wrong (not speaking morally, even, just factually), it’s a great opportunity both to share my values, talk about ethics, get a sense of where he is, and give him correct information, which I sort of hope he’s sharing at school, too. The kids are definitely thinking about and talking about sex, at the very least. And yes, at 11 he did know about mutual masturbation and anal sex. But unlike most of his peers, he discussed it with me as well.

    We don’t live in Stepford, and I’m not sure it ever really existed, much as some of y’all might wish it to be so. I’m with kenneth (10) – if we’re going to pretend that this isn’t the world our kids are growing up in, they will have to go through life based on the information they’re getting. I’d honestly be fine with my son seeing that curriculum (and I’ve directed him to Go Ask Alice as a resource for anything he isn’t sure he wants to ask about, too).

  15. Anonsters

    pssst Anonsters, you seem to have missed a key point in the article…see below. In case you are not aware, the word “mandatory” does not seem to have any opt out.

    Sex ed, which becomes “mandatory” in city middle and high schools

    Not surprised you do not want to talk about the other issues in my post when you missed the wording of the first line in the article…

    Does everyone agree that we need to have added to the school curriculum on a mandatory basis anything out there on the internet? That seemed to be the argument some were making?

    And how about the fact that we remove God from schools and look what fills the void? What a reversal from the time when we had daily prayer in the public school. Way to go lawyers and the ACLU. You can tell them by their fruit..

  16. Greta (#16): I take that “mandatory” in the article to mean that every public school in NYC must offer this curriculum. I cannot imagine that the police will come and arrest parents who do not want their children to be in the classroom on those days. Nor do I imagine that the school will require that any student whose parents opt him (or her) out will automatically receive a failing grade for health. If you have facts to the contrary, however, please correct me. Thanks.

    Naturgesetz (#13): In an idea world, yes, it would be great if no teenager ever intended to have sex or actually went through with it. Sex is a pretty adult thing, particularly in terms of the emotional part of the whole experience. However, teens have been having sex with each other since time immemorial, even when adults have told them, “No. Don’t do that. Hold off.” Some teens WILL listen to that advice — good for them. But I’m living in the real world, and I don’t want to see a real pregnancy (an unplanned pregancy) result in a real abortion when two teenagers decide to have sex. I would much rather have them practice birth control (as well as disease prevention). Accurate education can help reduce unplanned pregnancies and lead to fewer abortions.

    Because I’m both pro-life AND pro-teenager, I want teens to have access to good information as well as birth control. And, as far as my own son goes, I will also encourage him to wait. But I know there’s at least a small chance(?) he will choose not to. That’s reality.

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