More Isn’t Always Better

Parents are finding out what their kids are learning in “comprehensive” sex education. And they’re not happy about it.

So “comprehensive” is usually a good thing, right?

Comprehensive insurance gives the most coverage. A comprehensive physical gives the most information about your health. Comprehensive exams give the most complete overview of what you’re learned in graduate school.

So “comprehensive sex education” would be a good thing too, wouldn’t it?

That’s certainly what the sex education establishment has been saying. 

Comprehensive is better. Our children deserve all the information we can give them. The illustrious Jane Fonda, receiving an award from Planned Parenthood, praised such “comprehensive” programs, and said she believes that non-“comprehensive” (i.e. abstinence) programs are treating teenagers “like people that need to be scared, chaste and ashamed of their bodies and ashamed of pleasure -- and left in the dark as though somehow that was going to prevent them from having sex." Nice, huh?

And, what’s more, the sex education establishment claims that parents want comprehensive sex education for their children. For years, they’ve been touting statistics “proving” this. A majority of parents, when polled, say they prefer “comprehensive” sex education to any other kind.

It’s true. Most parents, when polled, have generally reported that they want their children to receive “comprehensive” sex education. Why wouldn’t they? After all, comprehensive is good, right?

But, there was a problem with those polls. They didn’t specify what, exactly, is so comprehensive about “comprehensive” sex education. They didn’t tell parents what comprehensive sex education actually teaches their children. 

Until now. A recent Zogby poll asked parents about various “comprehensive” sex education programs, but told parents what is taught in these programs. In fact, they used actual quotes from the program curricula. 

Here are some of those quotes (from the Sex Information and Information Council of the United States), and the ages at which they are presented:

“Vaginal intercourse occurs when the man and the woman place the penis inside the vagina.” (ages 5-8)

“Touching and rubbing ones own genitals to feel good is called masturbation.” (ages 5-8)

“Homosexual love relationships can be as fulfilling as heterosexual relationships. (ages 9-12)

“A few boys engage in a very dangerous and sometimes fatal form of masturbation that involves limiting their air supply.” (ages 12-15)

In addition, this particular program teaches children that homosexuality cannot be changed by therapy, that “coming out” means gaining pride as a gay or lesbian person, and that gay and lesbian people can adopt or have children of their own. And the program provides children with the phone number to their local gay and lesbian community center.

Guess what? Parents were overwhelmingly opposed to these programs. 75% of parents objected to the Centers for Disease Control’s program, with only 14% approving. The SIECUS program quoted above didn’t do much better. More than six in ten parents disapproved. Meanwhile, 73% of parents approved of an abstinence-based curriculum.

Other findings were equally interesting. Parents by a 4-1 margin disapproved of teaching children that “homosexual love relationships can be as satisfying as heterosexual relationships.” Opposition to “comprehensive” programs was strong among all parents, but strongest among non-white (Hispanic and Asian) parents. 
Here’s my favorite part. Nearly half (46%) of parents disapproved of allowing teenagers to obtain contraception without parental approval. But, when asked if their children should receive contraception without parental permission, the figure shot up to 70%.

This, I believe, is part of the problem. We view these discussions in the abstract. Sure, “comprehensive” is good. Sure, kids should get a lot of information. But substitute “kids” with “my kid” – or any living, breathing, flesh-and-blood child, and the reaction changes. We just read about what 5-8 year olds are supposed to learn. Look a sweet, innocent 6 year old in the face, and then tell me you want to teach this child about masturbation and homosexual acts. 

Parents believe that these “comprehensive” programs are designed to prevent teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. They are not. Nowhere in the any of these programs will you see that goal listed. SIECUS is very clear on that point. “The primary goal of sexuality education is the promotion of sexual health.” The “sexually healthy” person, to them, is someone who, among other things, possesses accurate information about all areas of sexuality, has had the opportunity to “question, explore, and assess their sexual attitudes in order to understand their family’s values, develop their own values,” and has “the ability to create satisfying relationships.” The fourth and last section of these goals states that the sexually healthy person exercises responsibility through the use of contraception. But nowhere is it claimed that these measures will prevent pregnancy or disease – only that they will “reduce risk.”

Is that what you want for your kids?

The people promoting “comprehensive” sex education have an agenda – and that agenda has nothing whatsoever to do with your kids’ well being. It’s about promoting a particular philosophy of sex by influencing – and sexualizing – children.

Take a good look at what your children are learning at school. If it’s “comprehensive,” I’d consider switching schools.

Because “comprehensive” isn’t always good.

For more information on the Zogby sex education poll, go to