The Catholic Church, which shuns birth control, requires priests to be celibate, and believes homosexuals acts are “intrinsically disordered,” wants to teach kids sex education.
Now that Alberta (Canada) is revising its K-12 health curriculum, which includes sex ed, the Council of Catholic School Superintendents in the province are proposing a “parallel” curriculum devoid of anything they perceive as going against their faith. They would still have to teach the required material, as even Catholic schools receive government funding there, but they want to include an alternative… which makes as much sense as a public school in the U.S. saying they’ll teach evolution but also want to promote Creationism at the same time. It’s confusing and only one side is backed up by the facts.
What sort of things would be altered in the Catholic-approved curriculum?
- Instead of teaching that consent is the main requirement for sex, Catholics want to add that sex can only “occur in an authentic life-giving relationship embedded within the sacrament of marriage.”
- Instead of teaching about reproductive technologies (like in vitro fertilization), Catholics want to make clear that only procedures that aid in “sex and pregnancy within the context of a married couple” are allowed.
- Instead of teaching students about condoms and birth control, Catholics want to teach nothing. (“We are unable to teach any outcome that promotes a contraceptive culture.”)
- Instead of teaching students that same-sex relationships are okay, Catholics want to spread the belief that having same-sex attraction is okay, but acting on it is forbidden.
- Instead of teaching students about the existence of anal and oral sex, Catholics want to ignore it altogether… unless it’s to talk about “the risks and health concerns” associated wth them. All sex, they say, must be within the bounds of marriage and only for the purpose of creating children.
- Instead of teaching students about masturbation, Catholics want kids to know it’s “not part of God’s natural order” since it doesn’t lead to impregnating your spouse. They don’t mind mentioning it, but they refuse to promote it.
- Instead of teaching about “gender” and “gender identity” — and how it can be fluid and how some people are transgender — Catholics want to push the idea that “gender and gender identity are always linked to one’s natal or birth sex.”
- Instead of teaching about pornography, Catholics want to steer everyone away from it completely, except in discussing how it’s harmful.
College professors who specialize in sexuality were aghast at these proposed changes because they “shut down” discussion rather than broaden it. One even noted that “Gender identity is the subject of decades of research, not ‘a thing you get to believe in — it isn’t Santa Claus, or a unicorn.'”
The good news, if you want to call it that, is that these Catholic schools don’t get to replace the current curriculum with their own. And they can’t supplement this material with their own versions contradicting it. So it’s unclear how a revised sex miseducation campaign will appear in these schools. But at least they don’t have the support of the government:
In a statement Friday, Education Minister David Eggen calls the superintendents’ document “unacceptable.”
“I’m deeply concerned to see it suggested that providing Alberta students with accurate information on these important topics is ‘problematic,’ or that there’s something wrong with being gay. I can assure Albertans that, under our government, any curriculum changes will be inclusive of all students — no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation,” Eggen stated.
At least there’s some hope for the kids in those schools.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Luke for the link)