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The agony of sex education Knowledge isn't power — it's just TMI

Must we teach the birds and the bees? Credit: Sex Education

Must we teach the birds and the bees? Credit: Sex Education


May 17, 2024   6 mins

“In matters of sexuality we are at present, every one of us, ill or well, nothing but hypocrites”, said Freud —  a sentiment that came to mind as I watched reactions to the government’s announcement about sex education on Wednesday. Responding to criticism that existing “Relationships, sex, and health education” (RSHE) resources tend to be outsourced to dubious commercial agencies and hidden from parents, a curriculum overhaul is on the cards in English schools. Under proposed new guidelines, teachers rhapsodising about inner gender identities will henceforth be silenced, but that’s not the only welcome change. Information about the birds and the bees will be withheld to the ripe old age of nine; and “explicit discussion of sexual activity” put off until 13. 

Whereas in some bastions of puritanical repression (like, say, France) these age limits would likely be met with incredulity at their laxity, here opponents have reacted as if the Education Secretary had mandated lottery-funded chastity belts for Key Stage 4. “Politicising sex education is unforgivable dangerous & reactionary …This is worst kind of arm-chair politics bigoted & ill-informed” fumed former Greens leader, Caroline Lucas; nicely voicing the perennial fantasy that, whereas conservative initiatives are always highly ideological, going gender-divining with toddlers or discussing sex work with primary school pupils are actions shining with the clear unfiltered light of moral truth. Generally, most responses seemed unnecessarily outraged, talking about an imaginary version of the new guidance or else in complete denial about any existing problem. Not for the first time, I was left musing about why the modern Left is so defensive about attempts to protect tender minds from the adult marketplace of sexual ideas.

Various critical commentators wheeled out the gender zealots’ favourite analogy — “It’s like Section 28 all over again” — but didn’t mention that back in 1988, when the promotion of homosexuality in schools was first outlawed by the Tories, few of even the government’s most vocal opponents would have dreamt of insisting that primary school kids should be in the front line for detailed intelligence about what goes where. The difference, I suppose, is the internet, drastically curtailing the age of innocence relative to Eighties standards by potentially exposing much younger audiences to explicit material on a larger scale. Hence the popular protest that if kids don’t hear about it from teachers early enough, they will encounter eye-opening stuff anyway, in a much more direct and less psychologically manageable fashion.

I know that this is a canonical objection; still, I have some doubts about it. For one, the general stance it suggests — that is, relative acquiescence to the colonisation of children’s minds with incomprehensible images of writhing bodies — is a cop out. Other solutions are available; and indeed, many parents already employ internet parental controls or avoid smartphones altogether for those of primary school age. For hundreds of thousands of young children, protected at least temporarily from the excesses of the prevailing sexual culture, sacrificing their happy ignorance about grown-up matters in order to get ahead of the internet traffic for a relative few seems like a social bargain worth reexamining. It also seems possible to teach all young kids about bodily integrity and autonomy, in a way that helps safeguard them from sexual abuse, without going into the nuts and bolts, as it were — indeed the NSPCC already has one such programme.

But really, whether school sex education is successful or not — or indeed too permissive or too strict — depends on the prior question of what it is for, exactly; and I submit that nobody really knows anymore. Whereas once upon a time it was aimed at informing adolescents about basic biological facts, and then immediately persuading them not to put their newfound knowledge into practice until safely within the confines of a Christian marriage, it is now a mishmash of competing purposes and narratives. 

To establish this, I went looking for an example of a complete RSHE resource currently used in an English school. Though hampered by paywalls, I did find an equivalent Scottish version freely available: described as “developed by a partnership of local authorities and health boards, with advice from Education Scotland and the Scottish Government”, it is presumably widely used north of the border. Here, as in an excavation of some ancient archaeological site used by different tribes over centuries, I found residual traces of various historically fashionable framings of sexuality, with little apparent thought about how they are supposed to cohere.

Shorn of Christian trappings, avoiding unwanted teenage pregnancy is still presented as a clear objective, along with helpful normalisation of ordinary bodily processes such as menstruation and ejaculation. But more recently acquired, less compelling cultural artefacts are also present. One of these is an emphasis on sexual pleasure: for instance, in the somewhat awkwardly named “masturbation activity plan”, recommended for 11-15 year olds. In the Nineties, liberal feminists used to get annoyed about the fact that women didn’t typically experience as many orgasms as men, treating it as an equality issue. Whether or not increasing the amount of sexual pleasure in the world is a serious political objective, it still seems jarring to encounter the ghost of this once-fashionable imperative in the context of a school lesson plan.

For instance, pupils are told that “if you masturbate, you get to know your own body and what you like” and — sounding a bit like an advertising campaign by Sport Scotland — that “masturbation is a good way to reduce stress, relax the muscles, and can often help improve sleep, mood, and self-confidence”. You don’t have to be an unreconstructed Fifties throwback to think that students might be better left on their own to discover these things; that practically nobody is seriously worried about self-pleasure making you go blind or feeble-minded anymore, so there is no need for the enthusiastic overcompensation; and that hearing such points from a teacher might be a bit weird and disturbing. Indeed, as I read this part of the text, I started thinking it might not be a coincidence that asexuality is such a big trend with the kids these days. In the arena of sex education, knowledge is not always power; sometimes it is just TMI. 

Another facet of the resource I found, presumably inherited at some stage from Seventies and Eighties Second Wave feminist framings, stressed that stereotypes about masculinity and femininity should be rejected. One part of a module even had “I understand that how I look, how I behave, or my aspirations should not be limited by stereotypes, my sex or expectations of what boys and girls should do” as a learning outcome. Yet in the next topic was some very 21st century material, in which “cisgender people” were defined as those who “identify with or express themselves in line with gender expectations associated with their sex”, and transgender people were those for whom “the sex they were born does not fit with how they feel inside”. There is no satisfactory way to join up these pedagogical dots.

“Let’s leave them to their blissful unawareness of contemporary sexual paradoxes for just that little bit longer.”

And there are other tensions in the documents for inquisitive minds to mull over. If consent is the be-all-and-end-all of human relations, then how does this fit with the fact that social pressures inadvertently change our sexual choices? If sex is often just harmless fun between consenting adults, then why — as the teaching resource also intimates — might it be better for young people to wait, and why are some of them reported as regretting it afterwards? If, contraceptive worries aside, choosing between vaginal and anal sex is no more fraught with complexity than choosing between ice cream flavours, why do women prefer the vanilla version much more? Since adult society can barely address such questions, we should not expect those of school age to sort out the answers; but equally we should acknowledge that they are likely to be left deeply confused too.

Ultimately, though, the big problem with a lot of RSHE is that it tends to treat what is essentially a practical activity — namely, learning how to be a fully realised, happy, assertive, suitably respectful sexual being, properly tailored for the modern world and with all the emotional skills this requires — as if it was a theoretical subject like mathematics or history. It is as if we were trying to teach people to cook, only by giving them cookbooks, and then judging our degree of success by how accurately they repeat recipes back to us or describe meal plans, without letting them near a kitchen. Yet as in all “how to” subjects, you can’t really understand a set of instructions until you try to put it into practice. (Equally, nobody responsible would suggest hands-on classroom tutorials here.)  

Devoid of a feedback loop with real-world experiences, for those children who have yet to hold another person’s hand let alone anything more involved, excelling at RSHE will have little relevance to how they end up behaving and feeling in the romantic wild. We can lecture them about appropriate boundaries, consent, partner satisfaction, privacy, trust, and all the rest of it, but until behaviour starts to connect with libido, it won’t mean much. Viewed in this light, anxiously micromanaging youngsters’ budding psyches to make sure they end up parroting all the right opinions looks rather more for our benefit than theirs. Perhaps, then, we might do some healthy boundary-setting of our own, and leave them to their blissful unawareness of contemporary sexual paradoxes for just that little bit longer.


Kathleen Stock is an UnHerd columnist and a co-director of The Lesbian Project.
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J Bryant
J Bryant
2 months ago

I can only guess (and hope) that kids will tune out this obvious nonsense and, like the generations before them, will figure it out by themselves.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
2 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

“Yeah I know already. The internet exists.” – Everyone in my high school sex ed class back in the day.

Right-Wing Hippie
Right-Wing Hippie
2 months ago

Back when I was a lad, the primary purpose of sex ed was to teach kids how to avoid contracting VD, especially the nine-month itch.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
2 months ago

I’m pretty sure ours (in the 1990s) was solely focused on scaring us off going near the contents of anyone else’s underpants until we were out of school and no longer the teachers’ responsibility.
Also remember having to put a condom on a banana held in one of those vice stands you use in science class to hold test tubes.

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
2 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

I wonder how many of your male contemporaries have since had their tackle held in vices as a result?

A whole new meaning to “the Vice Squad”.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
2 months ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

I dread to think what kind of odd fetishes it all spawned. It really was like a Carry On movie. Looking back, it does make me giggle…but at the same time it’s sad, and quite unhealthy.
Instead of this aura of guilt and scariness, I wish there’d been more of a positive “you can have tons of fun with your bodies and each other – here’s how to do it safely” tone about it.
Sounds like Britain is still trying to get that balance right.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
2 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

I don’t think children have be taught. But also, we shouldn’t be teaching the opposite.

LeeKC C
LeeKC C
2 months ago

Again, it’s the meddling of adults with adult proclivities, mush-ups and the conflictual pendulum swing of our current gender wars that inflict the most amount of damage. Why do we as a society invertedly use ‘children’ as the target and projection for our own internalized narrative and source of moral rights and high-ground. I rarely, if ever, hear about the very real developmental requirements of each age group to encounter and learn from to reach adult-hood and the inter-relational connections and relationships we will encounter within it. Looking back on my own pre-teen years, emotions and crushes, reminds me of what I truly needed and wanted from others and adults at that time. If I had encountered and was exposed to the stark hyper sexualised internet and media space we have now, with its darker side of choking during sex as one example, I would have been horrified. Do we blame children for abstaining? Are you kidding? What a horrendous statement of human relationships we present and refuse to boundary. Can we stop pretending that our bodies are just orifices and objects for the gratification of another and actually integrate and acknowledge the person and heart space that also inhabits these spaces, the person within that embodied space that we so desire. Without that have forever doomed our children to the ever more sexualized commodified space. I actually think teaching respectful communication should be the pre-requisite before any sex teaching. Real-world, physical relationships (not tech) is the ground for from which all else springs – perhaps start here.

David Morley
David Morley
2 months ago
Reply to  LeeKC C

I think what you are saying is: start from the assumption that everyone is a human being – with all that entails. It sounds so obvious, but how much of modern life fails on that simple assumption.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
2 months ago

The key aspect to a fulfilling sex life is respect for one’s partner and desire and delight in their pleasure.
Yes, you need to be aware that vaginal sex may lead to pregnancy and that unprotected sex to nasty diseases.
You’ll probably, as a young person, do a little research on contraception and as an established couple on the opposite.
Men should be aware of the physical demands that women endure every month so that they can have babies but, surely, that’s captured in the need for being respectful.
It’s surely a good thing that we all be introduced to the biological process being this miracle of nature, just like we teach about the wonders of literature and mathematics

My point is that I see almost no role for schools in this. Hopefully, all schools and all parents will set example such that children grow up with respect for others. The details are unnecessary.

I am someone who would describe myself as very sex positive but nobody needs to teach us this.

I’m grateful that someone as articulate as Kathleen Stock is addressing this.

Rosemary Throssell
Rosemary Throssell
2 months ago

Beautifully put.

Paul T
Paul T
2 months ago

If the expectation Caroline Lucas has is to make kids cringe so much they might NEVER have sex then; job done. At least according to my children.

Paul T
Paul T
2 months ago

Let’s just refresh our minds that people like Caroline Lucas brought, to actual tiny children, the d***o Monkey.

Wow Unherd you censored that word? What is this an Amish website?

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

Apparently, they are more restrictive than the material that is taught in grade school.

David Morley
David Morley
2 months ago

In the Nineties, liberal feminists used to get annoyed about the fact that women didn’t typically experience as many orgasms as men, treating it as an equality issue

Those dear, dead days beyond recall.

David Morley
David Morley
2 months ago

practically nobody is seriously worried about self-pleasure making you go blind or feeble-minded anymore

Though we do have quite a lot of similar beliefs, backed up by pseudo science and cod feminist concern, about the damaging effects of masturbation if visual stimulus (porn) is used. Oddly enough, bringing yourself off with a piece of vibrating plastic raises no similar concerns.

Aloysius
Aloysius
2 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

Ah yes, because there’s nothing harmful about regularly habituating your brain from a young age, through an incredibly powerful positive reinforcement mechanism, to watch others perform increasingly degrading and violent acts put out by companies whose employees have publicly stated they want to “convert” viewers to, for example, “trans content”. I’m sure both the documented literature and mountains of individual testimony are just “pseudoscience”

Thomas K.
Thomas K.
2 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

Apologies for using terminally online lingo, but it’s the old ‘safe horny’ idea. “Our sexuality good and empowering! Your sexuality bad and oppressive!” With the only major distinction between them being largely based on what political tribe you belong to.

David Morley
David Morley
2 months ago

and “explicit discussion of sexual activity” put off until 13. 

If this means what I think it means, I think this is a bit late. By that age kids are very curious about sex and will have picked up all sorts of ideas about it. This was the case long before the internet.

David Morley
David Morley
2 months ago

Sex Ed has been ideological for a long time, long before the current trans thing. And as KS shows, the main ideology at work has been feminism. Indeed that is still the main influence. The trans aspect is a continuation of that, not a radical break with it.

Clearly a review is needed which seeks to reduce ideological influence. Not an easy task. By and large the teachers will believe the ideological positions they are teaching.

David Morley
David Morley
2 months ago

Does Unherd vet all comments on articles related to sex? There seems to be a big delay in anything appearing. And you have to click to get through to the comments. This seems incredibly old fashioned. Sex is not the taboo subject it once was.

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
2 months ago

The Left’s ‘cultural turn’ of the last decade entails that sexuality has once again become the central locus of political liberation.
As single-sex marriage became a bourgeois cause for a previous generation of liberals, the authentic Left today now elevates kink and subversive sexual lifestyles as their way to challenge ‘capitalist heteronormativity’. This is effectively the battleground going on in children’s education.

philip kern
philip kern
2 months ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

…with a heavy dose of William Reich mixed in.

Robert White
Robert White
2 months ago

Yet again, the good doctor effortlessly dispatches the latterday leech sellers, trepanners and phrenologists.
Brilliant.

Martin Goodfellow
Martin Goodfellow
2 months ago

Holy smoke! A sane discussion of sex education! (I very much liked the part about it being taught as if it were math’s or cooking.) There seem to be so many competing confusions wanting to dictate how sex-ed should be handled that it has become an impossible task. (Let’s not forget it has never been very good, anyway.) Kathleen Stock has got to be right that this matter has become one of wanting the ‘right’ opinions enforced, not helping the young to learn for themselves. Many thanks to her.

David Lewis
David Lewis
2 months ago

At my all-boys minor public school in the 70s Sex Education was cringingly ‘delivered’ as part of the biology syllabus. As a pre-pubescent teenage boy I remember understanding fully the ‘nuts and bolts’ of the biology. However, I could not, for the life of me, understand the need for contraception. I imagined that after 5 years of marriage Norma would turn to Norman and say: “My dear, I think it’s time we had a baby. Tonight we’ll do that disgusting business we learned about in biology, but it’ll be worth it when we have our beautiful infant.” Why on earth was there a need for people to be able to do that disgusting thing without pregnancy resulting? About a year later puberty hit me like a cricket bat and I suddenly understood why contraception was such a good thing.
There is NO POINT in teaching a ‘young person’ anything other than the biology of human sexual reproduction until they have experienced sexual feelings of their own.

Bruce Thorne
Bruce Thorne
2 months ago

I’ve been reading the comments on Twitter from trans activists / allies. There seems to be a coordinated pile-on. They’re disingenuous, alarmist, brook no dialogue and designed to make you feel like a dinosaur or abuser if you don’t agree. These comments are really despicable and pernicious.

Lou Davey
Lou Davey
2 months ago

I can’t recall ever reading anything Kathleen Stock has written (and I’ve read quite a bit now) that I’ve disagreed with. She is the jewel in Unherd’s crown, and worth the annual subscription even without the other interesting and thought provoking female writers you commission.

Samantha Stevens
Samantha Stevens
2 months ago

Best take-away – Asexuality may well be a result of over-eager adults talking too much about sex and making it seem like a creepy adult activity.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
2 months ago

Teaching of sexual techniques seemed a step too far. Sex education seemed to becoming more akin to PE or gymnastics classes. At the previous rate of knowledge they’d all be doing class workouts in the gym. So glad it’s all been reigned back.

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
2 months ago

I certainly don’t mean to criticize Kathleen; it’s not her fault. But, if memory serves, it was the feminists (of the seventies) who coined the phrase “the personal is political”.
And now just look at all the nonsense that has resulted.

David Morley
David Morley
2 months ago

the personal is political

Perhaps one of the most terrifying slogans ever devised. It basically means that there is no corner of your life, however private, however banal, however personal, which will simply be left alone.

If anything it was worse for women, for whom a liking for high heels or makeup, staying slim, trying to be attractive to the opposite sex etc etc, could all be seen as colluding with the enemy. It was guilt tripping gone mad.

David Morley
David Morley
2 months ago

I think the reason KS is taken seriously by people with a wide range of views is that she is a critical and balanced voice – quite happy to take a humorous swipe at feminist silliness past and present.

Dr Anne Kelley
Dr Anne Kelley
2 months ago

A great article, very sensible and informative. I also enjoyed the little jokes embedded within the text.
It would be hard to disagree with Professor Stock’s fundamental point, which is that children should not be used as pawns in a fashionable political game.

Mark Gourley
Mark Gourley
2 months ago
Reply to  Dr Anne Kelley

Very good piece by KS as always. In the 1960’s when I grew up there was no such thing as sex education! I taught myself to masturbate.

Jack Robertson
Jack Robertson
2 months ago

Simply peerless. This is such intelligent, adult thinking and writing. Good grief, we’ve been living under the yolk of an infantile, narcissistic Clownland Culture for so long that this sort of public intellectual sanity is so liberating it feels…illegal.

Ta, KS.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
2 months ago

While debating the mechanics of this instruction, it is interesting that there is little question of why this belongs in the schools to start with. Perhaps education is of higher quality in the UK than here in the US, where schools are a combination of failure factories and day prisons, with those in our largest cities routinely ‘graduating’ young people who are functionally illiterate.
Why would any sane person put more responsibility on an institution struggling to meet its basic mandate? When majorities of a student population cannot read or do math at grade level, perhaps educrats would serve their customers better by redoubling their efforts on the basics.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
2 months ago

If we could be sure that no under-9s were being abused by a relative who tells them that what he does is a way of showing how much he loves them, we could forego all RHSE for young ones. But how to let that 5 or 6 or 7 or 8 year old child know that it’s wrong? I think nursery and infant schools do include work on good and bad touching – will this be systematised into the new curriculum?

Benedict Waterson
Benedict Waterson
2 months ago

Monty Python’s Meaning of Life uses a ‘hands on classroom tutorial’, IIRC

Mike MacCormack
Mike MacCormack
2 months ago

Is mis-education a word we should use here? A long time ago I produced a serious documentary for the BBC which asked why, this was a pre-internet world, we British were so ‘repressed’ about sexual media and so on, earnestly explaining that ‘pornography’ was literally ‘writing about whores’, and implicitly suggesting there was nothing wrong with that. At the time you could be sent to prison for selling porn and we interviewed some people who had been. Porn was available only to people who were prepared to make an effort to find and pay for some, in secret. Spool forward thirty odd years and any British schoolchild who can’t access any kind of porn they want to see, for free, will be either computer illiterate or so repressively policed that they might as well be. Is the world a better place? Beats me. I stand bemused that Mary Whitehouse might have had a point about sex and violence in the media. We Boomers lived in a world with no porn and much enthusiasm for actual sex, now porn is so ubiquitous that it’s boring and the millenials seem to be giving up on sexual relationships altogether. Go figure.

Kathleen Lowrey
Kathleen Lowrey
2 months ago

The constant refrain that “we have to tell them about the most whacked out sex on the internet because they’ll find out anyway” reminds me of the remarkably idiotic decision, by my child’s grade 3 teacher, to instruct the class NOT TO LOOK UP “Momo” on the internet because it would frighten them.

cue me hearing my daughter shriek in fear and running into the room to find her shaking and weeping: she’d come home, gotten my phone, typed in “Momo” (of which she’d never previously heard, despite her teacher’s confidence that all grade 4s were inevitable hardened scrollers of horror memes), and was now not only scared but guilty: she kept saying “I shouldn’t have looked, I shouldn’t have looked”.

No long term harm done, but still: the assumption by teachers that all kids are hard cases already anyway is one of the least confidence-inspiring aspects of contemporary ed school rhetoric.

Saul D
Saul D
2 months ago

The first lesson of sex education is put-it-away if you’re a boy, and keep-your-knickers-on if you’re a girl. There’s not much needed after that.

Studio Largo
Studio Largo
2 months ago

Why is it the schools’ job to teach adolescents about sex? Seems to me this is just another manifestation of the suffocating, ‘we know what’s best for you’ soft authoritarianism of the nanny state.

Dave Weeden
Dave Weeden
2 months ago

On the cisgender/transgender point, a reference that may help is Allan Bloom’s discussion of ‘Zelig’ in “The German Connection” chapter of “The Closing of the American Mind.”
Using the terms from the film, the cisgender kids would be “tradition-directed” while the trans ones would be “self-directed.” Obviously, no one is all one or the other; but “self-direction” probably goes back to Nietzsche, who could never have conceived of it ending up like this. (Mary Harrington also touched on this subject: it seems to me that teenage rebellion is somehow about becoming “self-directed.”)
There is something to being self-directed (as Brian, PBUH, said “You’ve all got to think for yourselves! You’re all individuals!”) but surely there’s a better way to express one’s nature than insisting one is something one clearly isn’t.

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
2 months ago

Along with this sort of class, should be a class on proper methods for self care:

Nutrition: fried foods bad, simmered foods good, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, limited protein, and so on.
Dental (brush, floss, rinse, causes of decays and ways to counter, etc.)
Physical: how to wash your body, your head, your face, your hair, etc. What to use and what not to use. What impacts on personal appearance and demeanor, etc.

How many graduate from school having a haphazard or incomplete knowledge of these things, if they did not get them from their parents?

William Edward Henry Appleby
William Edward Henry Appleby
2 months ago

I learned the facts of life at 11, and by 1130 I was putting them into practice. (I think this was a Bob Monkhouse gag).

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
2 months ago

So Uncle Siggie thinks we are all hypocrites, bless his heart.
I think that it would be better to listen to Charles Murray, who wrote in Coming Apart about the US that the educated class is doing fine with great careers and merger marriages; the middle class is doing so-so; in the lower class the men don’t work much and the women don’t marry much.
Suppose the advanced minds teaching ” Relationships, sex, and health education” in schools started to think about e.g., the lower class living on mostly social benefits where the men don’t work much and the women don’t marry much?

John Riordan
John Riordan
2 months ago

What an excellent article. I particularly liked the analogy with cooking, very perceptive.

Colorado UnHerd
Colorado UnHerd
2 months ago

” … leave them to their blissful unawareness of contemporary sexual paradoxes for just that little bit longer.” Yes, please, to another intelligent and sharply articulated opinion from Dr. Stock.
I’m an American lesbian, and saw nothing wrong with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis much maligned (by opponents) “don’t say gay” (Parental Rights in Education) law. Here’s what it does:
” ..prohibits sexual orientation or gender identity instruction in prekindergarten through eighth grade, restricts reproductive health education in sixth through 12th grade, and requires that reproductive health instruction “be age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”
The bill requires schools to teach “that sex is determined by biology and reproductive function at birth; that biological males impregnate biological females by fertilizing the female egg with male sperm; that the female then gestates the offspring; and that these reproductive roles are binary, stable, and unchangeable.” 
In other words, the bill requires schools teach science instead of gender woo, and attempts to protect children from premature and needless exposure to the complexities of adult sexuality, which will arrive naturally and soon enough.
By all means, don’t say “gay” — or “straight” — to children (and abjure “trans”). Let kids be kids; their childhoods will end soon enough. Gay kids will discover for themselves their homosexuality; they benefit from support but hardly need instruction. Gender identity indoctrination at best confuses matters and at worst — and too often — does real harm, especially to gay kids.

jane baker
jane baker
2 months ago

I was at a Secondary Modern School in the late 1960s. I now know that was an experiment to integrate grammar and comprehensive and I see I was in the comp.stream while Carol,Angela,Wendy etc were in the grammar stream,yet we were all in the same classroom. I was aware that the teacher (of whatever) subject was pitching the lesson at them but it didn’t bother me. Now I did notice that the “bright stream” had sex education lessons as part.of Biology because I heard them talking about it but they also had to cut up ie dissect worms and frogs which they hated. Us dumb stream got to cook quiches and sew drindl skirts which was much nicer and more useful in life. Even at the time I thought it odd because surely us “thick dumb” kids needed to know about this “dangerous ” subject (it was the 1960s every cultural influence was shouting about SEX to the high heavens) more than the clever kids as surely they,being bright,would avoid the danger. But of course life doesn’t work like that. Actually I was exactly like the Joan Rivers joke “sex education, she’ll never need to know”. I think the sort of Sex Education girls need is encapsulated in Jane Austen novels which is probably why Victorian mamas and papas let their daughters read them. (See analyses by Dr Octavia Cox on YouTube) basically and I’m being coarse here,but it’s ” don’t give out until you’ve made the b*****d pay”
That is,the point of being sexually attractive is,like Stormy Daniels found out,to be of advantage to you. So you hold out for a marriage that confers legal and financial rights on you,that brings you property and influence,a place in society. All these sex education for schools ideas seem to be written and thought of by old Hippies from the 1960s when the message (subliminal or direct) in pop songs etc was “give your love freely and unconditionally with no shackles,love with passion and no thought of cost” a bit like a secular.version of Give All Your Money to Jesus. Of course all those pop songs etc were being written by randy young men saying the same thing as Andrew Marvell said to his Coy Mistress,now they’re all rich old codgers Sir This and Sir That. Many a young woman all through history has found out that if you love freely and expect nothing in return,your expectations will be fulfilled. As both Jane AND Marilyn said – GET THAT ICE OR ELSE NO DICE.

Thomas K.
Thomas K.
2 months ago

This is a well-articulated and, in my view, painfully correct article. All of this seems to be done for the adults benefit more than the childrens. And I think there is definitely something to the idea that how oversaturated and omnipresent sexuality (and in particular ‘niche’ or ‘marginal’ sexuality) is in our culture is one of the reasons more and more people, especially younger people, simply aren’t having any. Not only is there no longer anything forbidden or taboo to entice or allure, but as Mrs. Stock pointed it, it’s just so common and in your face to the point of it being, well, disgusting. Again, this seems to have been done to please the few at the expense of the many, as more and more normal people are going without sex, a vocal and privileged minority are have much, MUCH more. And generally not the kind that leads to children. I know I’m going to be called some kind of right-wing reactionary for this, but this is a trend we NEED to reverse, because we NEED more children. We can’t simply import future generations as if human beings were like Ikea furniture. Something has to be done lest we abstain ourselves into oblivion.

As an aside, some anecdotal evidence that supports this that rarely gets as much airing is how many young men in their late 20s/early 30s are literally fetishising happy, monogamous marriages with plenty of children. The loving, apron-clad tradwife (sometimes sans other clothing) has become the fantastical, unrealistic dream girl instead of the stripper-heeled harlots who could suck a golf ball through a garden hose that graced the covers of many a softcore back in the early 2000s. And not in the ‘get back in the kitchen and do as your told’ strawman way feminists screech hides within every man. Instead there’s something so tragically wholesome about these fantasies. It’s so sad how what was once the norm for most people has become an unobtainable fantasy for many lonely, isolated young men. How harsh must the world be that what titillates many men is the fantasy of a beautiful woman *loving* them, instead of merely pleasuring them.

Dillon Eliassen
Dillon Eliassen
2 months ago

“For instance, pupils are told that “if you masturbate, you get to know your own body and what you like” and — sounding a bit like an advertising campaign by Sport Scotland — that “masturbation is a good way to reduce stress, relax the muscles, and can often help improve sleep, mood, and self-confidence”.”
This isn’t a way to teach an individual about how to explore his/her sexuality; it’s a guide on how to be anti-social and isolate.

Harrydog
Harrydog
1 month ago

“Equally, nobody responsible would suggest hands-on classroom tutorials here.”
Well, there is this: Meaning of Life – Sex Education – YouTube