THE POWER OF SUGGESTIONS ABOUT "GAY-NESS"
According to a July 27 article in the Washington Times by George Archibald, (Changing Minds) this year's National Education Association annual convention met with serious opposition from teacher-members regarding the union's long-standing gay-lesbian rights plank. To protest the popular wisdom that homosexuality is inborn and, therefore, immutable, an Ex-Gay Educators Caucus positioned itself in the convention's exhibit hall and distributed literature that runs counter to the NEA leadership's extremist philosophy. Predictably, the larger, pro-homosexual contingent was "offended" and challenged the NEA's new policy of allowing an ex-gay faction to market its wares under the emblem of "democracy" and "diversity."
The NEA was among the first organizations to actively promote a Gay-Lesbian Pride month in its Legislative Agenda and to openly endorse homosexual and "transgendered" teachers. For years, it has supported teaching about homosexuality as a valid lifestyle choice as part of already-graphic sex education classes. Some psychologists and sex educators (most infamously, Jocelyn Elders, former Surgeon-General under President Bill Clinton) would have gone even further by including dialogue about coital positions, masturbation and bestiality in the classroom setting. The NEA leadership had no objections to the outrageous suggestions of Jocelyn Elders and her ilk, even if some of their membership winced.
Obviously, some educators have had a sufficient change of heart to brave the insults of their liberal brethren by setting up an exhibit in the NEA convention hall, and I cannot help wondering if much of the angst among teenagers surrounding sexual orientation doesn't come down to a sexual obsession, permitted to run rampant and unchecked by mental health "sexperts" in the war world. Even though saner heads in the field have tried for years to reign in what they saw as over-sexualizing youngsters - among them, psychologists James Dobson, Warren Throckmorton, Armand Nicholi, Jr., Steven Kossor, and my hero, Melvin A. Anchell - the majority of the mental health community since that time has been determined to provide young children with far more information about sex than they could possibly assimilate. Some have maintained that it is a positive use of the school's time to include graphic discussions about sex in mixed classes, the rationale being that parents are too embarrassed to explain to their children the facts about their developing bodies - like menstruation, facial hair and other secondary sex characteristics, not to mention where babies come from. There were those alarmists who claimed that young girls were menstruating with no idea about what was happening to their bodies, and entering into marriage with even less idea what to expect from a sexual experience.
While such justifications may have held a grain of truth in pre-World War II days, they certainly have no merit now. The Baby Boomer generation is perfectly comfortable discussing any topic, from ovaries to orgasms.
But even the suggestion to adolescents and pre-adolescents that they can choose, nor not, to be homosexual is wholly inappropriate. Young girls, for example, routinely do such things as brush each other's hair, try on each other's clothes, and scrub each other's backs. They don't need (or want to think about) there being a sexual component in any of these actions. Pre-pubescent youngsters - the media notwithstanding - frequently are at the stage where they think the opposite sex is "yucky." They, as well as their adolescent peers, left to their own devices, tend to follow their natural instincts by grabbing a towel or some other covering whenever someone inadvertently walks into the room while they are naked.
Decisions about homosexuality versus heterosexuality or bisexuality are unsuitable for grade-schoolers, middle-schoolers and even high-schoolers, for another reason as well: Most youngsters are not sexually mature and, as a result, suffer extreme embarrassment comparing themselves to what they see as their more "endowed" peers - superstars and cult figures like Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez. A young teenager already suffering from low self-esteem over his or her under-developed body may find suggestions about "gay-ness" plausible. Later, they find it difficult to pursue a normal sexual relationship if they have already "bought in" to the gay lifestyle.
I can't prove it, but having talked with some of those "sexually immature" teens who were late bloomers during my own youth, I suspect that something like this may be behind the sudden outpouring of indignation by the Ex-Gay Educators Caucus. Had some of those kids been left alone just another year or so, they might have rejected any such "gay" suggestion altogether, and gone on to develop normal, healthy relationships without ever having had to worry about the emotional or physical fallout from the perverted and promiscuous relationships that were, in a sense, thrust upon them. I say "in a sense" because what sex educators have done here is something very close to contributing to the delinquency of a minor - seizing, if you will, upon the perceived deficiencies of a vulnerable, under-age person and presented him a set of non-negotiable options.
It is ironic that in an age where sexual abuse of children is the only crime in which the person so accused is guilty until proven innocent, that sexualization of children is not a crime at all. The concept of age-appropriateness is gone with the wind, so it is no wonder that many children believe they are homosexual when, in fact, they are merely curious and even aroused by the nearly naked bodies all around them.
Kids today aren't really getting a choice; the lure of destructive sex comes in a far fancier package today than it did for us Baby Boomers. Many medical doctors saw it coming as far back as the 1970s, of course. Dr. Melvin Anchell, the eminent Los Angeles-based expert who was repeatedly called upon by the government in court cases involving sex crimes beginning in the 1970s and 80s, wrote a book in 1983, Sex and Insanity, explaining that early sex education bypasses the well-established "latency period" of childhood development, when sensual pleasures normally are repressed and children are predisposed to learn compassion, roughly between the ages of six and 12. Compassion for one's fellow man, Anchell writes, is a "relatively weak instinct [and] marks a notable step forward in removing civilized man from the savage."
Compassion is first felt for parents or guardians, that being a step up from mere emotional attachment, and then transferred to others, such as friends or, later, lovers. The instinct toward compassion is jeopardized, says Anchell, by sexually stimulating children in latency and, particularly, by presenting sex and sexual feelings as something other than private. "If movie producers portrayed sex realistically, they would show lovers on the screen becoming impotent when performing sex before an audience," Anchell claims.
In-your-face sex talk is continually on the upswing today, attesting to the fact that sex has been separated from love and compassion. For civilization (given recent sex crime statistics), this may be of more import than even religious or moral considerations. We are indeed going backwards.
Anchell gives high marks to parents who instill values of modesty and low marks to behaviorist educators, including school counselors, who "catapult the child into a world of authoritative sexual knowledge."
Graphic, early sex education, Anchell states, "shatters normal fantasy satisfactions. The resultant frustrations tend to fix the child in the early stages of [psychological] growth. Later in life, drugs and pornography are used to recapture the pleasures of thwarted childhood fantasies [such as first love and romance] that had not been allowed to resolve naturally."
Thus, self-disclosure techniques, including intimate sex questionnaires under the umbrella of "health," as well as values clarification and role playing exercises involving sexual situations, are not in the best interests of either the child or society.
Those older than 55 may recall a time when youngsters were not encouraged to date before 16 years of age, much less consider sexual relations. Serious information about sex came in a more personal manner, from parents and guardians, and not all at once, but rather in stages: where babies come from, menstruation, sexual intimacy, and finally the sexual diseases.
So most parents of the Baby Boomers were well aware of the facts (my grandparents' generation); they just didn't talk openly about them. To be sure, some didn't know about homosexuality and sexually transmitted diseases. But there was something called "social stigma" that tended to lessen the chances of either. Certainly illegitimacy, pornography and STDs had not reached the epidemic proportions of today. And that was not a bad thing.
Since the advent of "the Pill" and counterculture entertainment, both of which have dominated life since the 1970s, nut-groups like the Sex Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) and Planned Parenthood have infiltrated and overtaken much of the mental health industry, the clothing business and the media, with the result that adolescents are thoroughly sexualized by the time they reach high school.
Young girls are encouraged to dress like hookers and expect no consequences. Young boys, not comfortable with exhibitionists sitting next to them in the classroom, may conclude they are gay. Girls exposed to everything from Victoria's Secret catalogues to copies of Hustler, may be "turned on" by the provocative poses and conclude they are lesbians. Just when children are growing accustomed to secondary sex characteristics like beards, voice changes and developing breasts, a whole new and (for them) shocking and humiliating experience is thrust upon them.
While both sexes may be curious to view each others private parts, actual sex is not really something most pre-teens and young teenagers want to engage in. They are still at the giggly stage, and to interrupt it short-circuits an important part of the maturity process. The results are early sexual experimentation, venereal disease, depression (especially in girls), rapes even by elementary-school boys - and sexual deviancy, including voyeurism, sexual sadism, and homosexuality.
The fact is, sex was a lot sexier when we didn't know quite so much. Surely, it was a lot safer. It was the unusual girl, the misfit, who got pregnant in high school out of wedlock. It was atypical for boys and girls still in high school to even imagine they were homosexual - and rarer still for students to be recruited into that lifestyle by sicko teachers, priests and scout masters.
The Ex-Gay Educators Caucus at this year's
NEA convention is no doubt well-meaning, and given the decades-long
proliferation of "gayness" in schools, perhaps timely. But what
I would really like to see is that organization taking a leadership
role in de-sexualizing the educational environment. They may not
be able to do anything about the media, but if schools would just
confine its sex information to science-physiology classes with a
unit on the reproductive system, and start equating sex with love
instead of with sport or "tension relief," that would be an excellent
© 2004 Beverly Eakman - All Rights
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Beverly Eakman is an Educator, 9 years: 1968-1974, 1979-1981. Specialties: English and Literature.
Science Editor, Technical Writer and Editor-in-Chief of official newspaper, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1974-1979. Technical piece, "David, the Bubble Baby," picked up by popular press and turned into a movie starring John Travolta.
Chief speech writer, National Council for Better Education, 1984-1986; for the late Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, Commission on the Bicentennial of the US Constitution, 1986-1987; for the Voice of America Director, 1987-1989; and for U.S. Department of Justice, Gerald R. Regier, 1991-1993.
Author: 3 books on education and data-trafficking
since 1991, including the internationally acclaimed Cloning
of the American Mind: Eradicating Morality Through Education. Executive
Director, National Education Consortium. Website: BeverlyE.com