Too much, too soon

I attended the introduction to Sexplanations intended for the junior high school students last Thursday night. While I think the intent is positive, making young people aware of the dangers of “sex,” and parts of the program dealing with the emotional and peer pressure problems of teen-agers is beneficial, I strongly believe that the subject material for 11- and 12-year-old girls is not age appropriate.

After the Thursday night sessions, I spoke to my daughter (12 years old) about the class and what she knew. She knew of the class and definitely does not want to go. It is a subject that she is not interested in yet. What I found out is that she has learned in fourth and fifth grade the details of “how babies get made” but she has no idea of the details of sex that your speaker is going to discuss and she is not interested in them at this time.

Age appropriate may cover a big range of children and therefore the subject can be all over the map. My daughter is not ready for understanding the sensitive areas of a man’s penis and that she actually has a clitoris that can be stimulated to orgasm to give her great joy. My wife is European and grew up in a very open and liberal home. She was surprised to see people wearing tops at the beach when she first came here. She is teaching our children a lot of this European freedom about body, mind and soul. Yet the Sexplanation class is something she does not feel comfortable about for our daughter at this time.

Has the “Big O” come to the Malibu Junior High? It is enough that women and men have to spend so much of their time trying to figure out how to have great orgasms. It is incredible that our school system thinks that this is a subject that our 11- and 12-year-old daughters should be educated on and to start to worry about. The instructor was so enthusiastic of the great pleasure orgasms can give a girl or boy and how healthy it is. Our children will surely ask why as loving parents we have not discussed orgasms with them before since they are so healthy to little children.

And since the high school program will go into greater details on masturbation, oral sex and as the literature says, the correct way of putting your fingers inside of yourself, this information will surely filter down to the junior high students. These subjects are not “age appropriate” for our 11- and 12-year-old children. Creating an environment where the parents can discuss this information, at the appropriate time with their children is positive. This on campus Sexplanations seminar in sexual awareness takes the responsibility away from the parents. Possibly some parents welcome the opportunity to have someone else do the job for them. Fine, however this should then occur in an afternoon workshop not during regular school hours.

I believe some of this material may be age appropriate for high school students who are definitely more interested in this subject. However, I believe the really essential point is completely being missed. Teenagers do things because they want to be loved, they want to fit in, they want to be part of the in group, and because of peer pressure. The idea they are making decisions on who to sleep with because of having an orgasm is ridiculous. 11- and 12-year-old girls are not out to satisfy their sexual longings and find out how to satisfy their sexual urges. They are worried about getting their first menstrual period! It may be the boys who want to experiment and they are trying any number of methods to convince the girls to go “all the way” with them or to just let them “touch” them.

By making this part of the junior high school program, you are condoning and approving of this behavior. You are pushing many children into information they are not ready for or do not want. Do they have to be protected from their classmates, who are so knowledgeable and after them to have sex. I do not know. I do know that the school is giving them information on how to sexually please themselves before they are even dating. This is definitely not age appropriate.

Before any program like this is approved for our children it should have had much more parent input on the content. It was announced and it was presented as a “done deal.” It was set and now we have the choice to send our children or not. However a lot of children that do not want go or their parents do not want them to go, will feel very awkward about this. Why, do I ask, is this necessary? Peer pressure is already going around the school of who is going and who is not. And if you do not go, you will hear about it from your friends or be teased about it from others.

This class should be given only after school for those who want to attend either by themselves or with their parents. Then the parents can discuss it with their children and build the positive communication that we all believe is the key to solving some of these problems.

Unless the course content is changed to be more appropriate for our children, I am firmly against this material being presented at Malibu schools.

Nick Bassill

The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

Related Articles



Latest Articles

%d bloggers like this: