SEX EDUCATION and EMPOWERMENT for CHILDREN of the PRESENT

In 2015, Ontario’s Liberal Party and leader Kathleen Wynne introduced an updated-for-the-times sex-ed curriculum after consulting with the relevant professionals.

Doug Ford’s campaign promise to repeal the new sex-ed curriculum and return to the 1998 sex-ed is now done, but whom has the new Ontario Premier done it for?

His argument is that parents were not included in the new sex-ed content discussion, but what baffles me is the belief some people have that all children are taught by their parents, if they have parents, if they have functional, healthy parents. But what about the thousands of children who do not have someone to teach them? Are they just supposed to wing it like many of us did? Or what if those children actually have caretakers who are not providing the important information, for any reason. And what about children who are being exploited, abused, or even sexually abused by people they are supposed to trust … who are supposed to care for them?

As someone grievously injured by the lack of knowledge contained in the new sex-ed curriculum, that took years and a great deal of personal work to heal from the impact of not feeling I had the right to say “No” and the consequences of that dis-empowerment I am compelled to stand up for all children, especially those at risk.

In fact this very personal reason is one of my most compelling reasons for developing the “Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle” concept, books, and materials for schools and communities. No child ever should be without the power of knowledge and without the power to say “No” or to ask for help, and get it, if they need it.

When I read the Georgina Advocate’s Editorial this past weekend “Reverting to 1998 Sex-Ed Curriculum Reckless” I knew I had to respond with the editor’s reasoning along with sharing my own painful history regarding consent.

The Editor’s key points were:

  1. “Reverting to the old curriculum will also delay the introduction of topics such as consent, which cannot be presented early enough given the sheer number of people who have come forward in recent memory to share stories of the assaults and inappropriate behaviors they have had to endure.” (Direct quote)
  2. The 1998 sex-ed curriculum was introduced one year before the legalization of same-sex marriage
  3. Technology as we know it now was in its infancy and therefore the 1998 curriculum did not mention how to deal with cyberbullying, sexting, and social media safety

I do appreciate people’s preferences to stick with what they know or what is considered traditional because they survived it, but why put children expose children to unnecessary and preventable pain and harm? That mindset does not help those living in the present who are trying to cope with the new challenges of the times. In fact, that mindset creates more risk through unpreparedness.

Instead,  we must move past our personal preferences and wants in order to best prepare children to live safe, healthy, functional lives. We need to educate all children in all ways, not just to become good employees, but to become good, healthy, functioning people realizing their unique potential for their benefit and the world’s benefit too.

However, since the 2015 sex-ed knowledge will no longer be accessible to children, I highly recommend Mayim Bialik, PhD’s book, Girling Up … How To Be Strong, Smart, and Spectacular, that I just finished reading myself. The scope and breadth of knowledge shared in a very user-friendly style is a great aid in moving successfully from childhood to adulthood. Bravo Mayim!

And wow, what a surprise to discover the Big Bang Theory’s awkward neurobiologist is actually a neuroscientist with two children of her own1

I wish books like Mayim’s had been available to me years ago, but we are never too old to learn, so please share the book with girls you care for. And yes, there is a boys’ version too.

Thank you for your open mind to embrace the changes of our times and empowering children to be better prepared for the challenges they face.

KAITLIN ANN TREPANIER

Human/Animal Rights Activist Social Scientist Founder Entrepreneur Author Artist

ORIGINALLY Connecting the Dots … with The Respect Principle ©All Rights Reserved since 2014

NOW Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle ©All Rights Reserved 2018

July 24, 2018

 

 

 

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