Saturday, November 17, 2012

Let's Talk About Sex.

This is my question for discussion: Do parents have the right to keep their children from learning about sex? 

Parenting and parental rights are such tricky subjects. Where is the line between this child came from my body; it is my responsibility/right to care for it as I see fit and considering the welfare of the child? As a community we agree that child abuse is not acceptable, but no one's ever sure how to decide exactly what constitutes child abuse and what's just a parenting approach with which we disagree. 

Is it abuse to refuse medication for your child because of your beliefs?

Is it abuse to use physical punishment, like spanking?

What exactly is abuse? Parents have so much control over how a person first becomes formed, and this can be a really good thing or a very damaging one. 

So the question is... sex. How the human body works. What sex is, what its potential effects are. Because that's the thing to consider—sex can 100 percent change the course of a person's life. There's pregnancy, and diseases, and emotional impact that for many people never fades. And one person's knowledge (or lack thereof) also affects all the people with whom that person will have romantic or sexual relationships in their lifetime. Basically, there's a lot riding on a parent's decision.

So where are the lines drawn? What are parents' rights regarding their children's education about sex?

And furthermore, what do we do about it if we think a parent is beyond their rights? If they refuse permission for their child to participate in sex ed in school, but don't provide the education themselves, at home? What can anyone do? What should they do, and who should "they" be? At what point does a child's need become more important than a parent's stewardship?