An international coalition of pro-family groups has launched a worldwide petition aimed at stopping the sexualisation of children through opposing so-called “comprehensive sexuality education programmes (CSE)”.
In a related campaign, one of the coalition partners, Family Watch International (FWI), has urged supporters to sign an open letter to United Nations member country delegations asking them to demand the withdrawal of a UN-sponsored draft document entitiled International Guidelines on Sexuality Education. FWI describes the document, which is proposed for use by schools all over the world, as “inappropriate and dangerous”. The FWI letter says that the guidelines “promotes such things as abortion, homosexuality, masturbation and other controversial sexual ideologies to children as young as five”.
In a preamble to the worldwide petition, the international Coalition for Protecting the Health and Innocence of Children expresses concern that girls in particular are being sexualised and exploited by the increased promotion of high-risk sexual activity through CSE.
The coalition calls on governments, businesses, churches, NGOs and individuals to take measures to oppose CSE programmes which they say instruct youth they have a right to sexual pleasure and encourages high-risk sexual behaviour.
The group also quotes US medical physician, author and sexuality expert Dr Miriam Grossman, who says that the CSE agenda is to change society. Referring to the UN draft guidelines she says:”One of the learning objectives [of sexuality education] is to “change social norms.” [Those who advocate for comprehensive sexuality education] envision a world without sexual taboos and restrictions—a world free of Judeo-Christian morality where each individual, regardless of age, should be free to make his or her own sexual choices . . . and no judgment [is] allowed . . . It’s an “anything goes as long as you use a condom” philosophy of sex education.”
In his weekly newsletter, South Africa family values activist, Errol Naidoo calls on churches to intervene in the educational crisis in the country. He says that in light of the moral decline in SA, the ideology of the educational system is probably more important than the standards of our education.
He warns that there is a risk that both public and private schools could introduce the type of harmful CSE promoted by the UN. He says that churches must begin establishing schools of value-based and quality education.
Joan van Niekerk, Manager, Training and Advocacy of Childline South Africa says CSE is “a difficult issue” with a lot depending on the content of sexuality education.
“Certainly when talking to children about sexuality issues we stress the importance of responsible sexual decision making and delaying instant gratification for future greater good!” she said.
She added: “Our problem in SA is that even without sexuality education in schools about one third of our children are sexually active with peers or through abuse before the age of 12 years. Given the HIV and AIDS Pandemic, the huge numbers of teenage pregnancies (47 000 known teenage pregnancies in schools in 2010) we cannot afford to neglect the issue of sexuality. About 50 per cent of all our children will experience sexual abuse during their childhood and a significant number of these children will experience multiple rapes/abuses
“Given the above it would be completely irresponsible to avoid the issue of responsible sexuality education.
“So we are pro-sexuality education that promotes responsible sexual decision making; informing children about risks related to sexual activity; delaying sexual activity to enable the achievement of life goals – sometimes very difficult in poverty stricken areas where children grow up with very little sense of hope for their future and therefore tend to live in the present and behave as if there is no future; moral values — including valuing yourself and your own body, respect for others, kindness and generosity.”