Sex Education: Proactive Ed for A Healthier, Happier Society

Open Letters

I never send out ‘Like’ requests, but this is something I feel passionate about. Ontario’s government wants to update their antiquated Health and Sex Ed Curriculum. This is a VERY good thing. However, many parents are protesting, due to religious views, concern for age appropriateness, or general discomfort with schools teaching their kids about things like ‘gasp!’ CONSENT, DIVERSE IDENTITIES AND SEXUALITY, SAFER SEX PRACTICES, and GENDER IDENTITY. If you live in a country where diversity is protected, that means you don’t get to erase us, marginalize us and pretend we don’t exist when you teach children about their bodies and their relationships. Your child is who they are and pretending people like me don’t exist won’t ‘protect’ or ‘prevent’ your child from becoming a queer person, a gay person, a trans person. We already ARE these people. Discussing a variety of identities builds respect. The only thing these conversations change is how people are treated and what kind of future kids have. Including informed, balanced education on these topics will prevent generations of children from facing voicelessness, ignorance, discrimination and the gross, misinformed views that have hurt, not helped, diverse people. We should strive to create a society where no child is afraid to tell the people they love who they are, and where (more generally) sexual violence, abuse and pressure to conform, which create dangerous situations for young people, are replaced by support, confidence, informed choices and respect between consenting individuals. If you can’t get behind a less homophobic, transphobic society, at least (I would assume) you are in support of a less rape-y one. This is crucial in a world where violence, assault, exploitation and pressures of all kinds exist for people of all ages. Pretending sex doesn’t exist in our world creates easy targets with few support systems. Talking about sexuality, consent and identity can help to raise critical thinkers who make choices that positively impact youth, their relationships and, ultimately, their communities.

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