July 20, 2007

"How much sex education is age appropriate for a 5-year-old? In my mind, zero is the right number."

Says Mitt Romney, taking aim at Barack Obama:
"All I said was that I support the same laws that exist in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, in which local communities and parents can make decisions to provide children with the information they need to deal with sexual predators," Obama said in an AP Interview.

Romney on Wednesday targeted Obama for supporting a bill during his term in the Illinois state Senate that would have, among other things, provided age-appropriate sex education for all students....

Obama said Romney was wrong to take the shot and incorrect on its basis.

"We have to deal with a coarsening of the culture and the over-sexualization of our young people. Look, I've got two daughters, 9 and 6 years old," Obama told the AP. "Of course, part of the coarsening of that culture is when politicians try to demagogue issues to score cheap political points."
Well, I'm going to keep score. Obama gets one point and Romney loses one. Actually, I'm going to give Obama 3 points and subtract 2 for Romney. Here's my thinking:
+1 Obama: He's correct that young children need "age appropriate" sex education. For example, a 5-year-old should know enough to prevent abuse and can hear a simple explanation about where babies come from

-1 Romney: He's wrong to say that a 5-year-old should get absolutely no information about sex.

-1 Romney: Trying to gain ground by stirring people up about sex and children.

+1 Obama: Reacting quickly and competently when attacked. Those quotes, above, are pitch-perfect.

+1 Obama: Federalism! Let state and local government decide matters having to do with children, education, and morality.

94 comments:

Gahrie said...

When it comes to 5 year olds federalism be damned...all levels of government should butt out and leave any decisions regarding sex education to the parents.

Kirby Olson said...

It's hard to tell how much the story was twisted by the reporter. She's probably a communist columnist and is certainly from the spin trying to get at Romney and support Obama.

I'd like to see three other ways this was reported before I decided how to take it. But I'd agree -- based on this article Obama does appear to have an actual brain, and that he can fight back with a good sense of how things will play.

David53 said...

Federalism! Let state and local government decide matters having to do with children, education, and morality.

I couldn't disagree with you more. I hate the amount of control they already have over my children, their education, and our morality.

Simon said...

"+1 Obama: Federalism! Let state and local government decide matters having to do with children, education, and morality."

Well, I certainly agree that those are all matters reserved to the states that the federal government ought to (indeed, for the most part is required to) stay out of. But I doubt Obama seriously agrees with it. Do we really think Obama believes in getting the federal government out of education? Or does he only believe in adverting to decisions made by local communities when they do of their own volition what he would impose given the chance? This seems simimilar to the School cases, where we see the four Justices least interested in local decisionmaking suddenly (and transparently opportunistically) getting God on federalism. It's simply not convincing. Rhetoric adverting to federalism rings hollow in the mouths of whose who advert to it only "when it seems to support their argument, and ignore it when it doesn't."

dbp said...

Obama says,

"We have to deal with a coarsening of the culture and the over-sexualization of our young people. Look, I've got two daughters, 9 and 6 years old," Obama told the AP. "Of course, part of the coarsening of that culture is when politicians try to demagogue issues to score cheap political points."

I think he is basically saying that Rommney has sexualy abused his (Obama's) daughters by even bringing up the question.

I would deduct one point for this.

As the father of 3 girls 10, 7, and 5; I would be perfectly happy if our school stayed out of sex-ed. My wife and I (along with our pediatrician) are perfectly capable of handing this element of their education.

dbp

Simon said...

Addenda: I guess that if I'm going to be critical of Obama for opportunism, I ought to be critical of Romney, who I'm sure will talk about federalism in due course, but can't seriously make a claim to it if he wants to use federal power to compel abstinence education.

Nels said...

Why is the #3 or 4 guy in one party going after the #2 guy in the other party? Smells desperate.

And what a dumb, un-presidential issue. Romney should talk about how he's going to protect our kindergartners from the next Beslan Massacre.

Simon said...

Nels said...
"Romney should talk about how he's going to protect our kindergartners from the next Beslan Massacre."

Why? That's a state issue. Romney ought to be talking about issues that are within the ambit of the Presidency (as should all the candidates), not their pet issues or whatever they think resonates with the voters. Let state candidates talk about state issues, and let voters decide which candidates they like best on those issues at the state level. Gahrie and David can abolish all sex ed in their states, Ann can have it in kindergarten in Wisconsin - and everyone can argue it out in their respective state capitols. At the heart of federalism is an agreement to deal with issues at the level of government to which authority over the area is delegated. Romney's views on foreign aid and contraception in Africa are relevant; his views on sex ed in Alabama are not.

B said...

Thank you, Ann, for informing me about when my children should be told about sex. I guess your opinion is good for all families.

Can we get some help on what to say regarding toilet training? How about a federally mandated reading age? What about demanding that kids learn how to walk by, say age 9 months - we can confiscate the ones who don't,, send them to special schools, and mark them as future worker bees.

Silly me, I thought I was supposed to determine and oversee all that for my children. I guess having a tiny percentage of the parenting population screwing up their children means that all children should be watched by the state.

Hey, how's the forced indoctrination of children working out in China, Vietnam, Cuba, and all those other places where the state dictates absolutely every area concerning what children should know?

Nels said...

Protecting us from foreign terrorists is a state issue, Simon? I don't get it.

B said...

Simon,

Please give Hillary a call and discuss with her how it takes a village to _ _ _ _ _ up everyone's personal life. Don't think she'll seek to micro-manage daily American lives? Please!

And, please also call cul-de-sac hating Al Gore. Seriously, in '96, he was discussing how communities shouldn't have cul-de-sacs, and suburbia really should be reduced, forcing urban revitalization, which would assist mass transit, yada, yada, yada . . . .

Now there's a federal issue . . .

Simon said...

To add, as I put it recently,

"not every problem of national scope is ipso facto an appropriate subject for congressional action. [An issue] ... becomes an appropriate subject of congressional action when it is (or becomes) one of the policy areas delegated to Congress by the Constitution of the United States, not merely because it's deemed important. Our Constitution is not one where a (perceived) need to act creates the power to act. The view that 'if a job has to be done to meet the needs of the people, and no one else can do it, then it is a proper function of the federal government ... [is] an unqualified repudiation of the principle of limited government[,] [and an embrace of] the first principle of totalitarianism: that the state is competent to do all things and is limited in what it actually does only by the will of those who control the state.'"
(some internal quotation marks omitted; quoting Goldwater, The Conscience of a Conservative (1990), 9-10 (quoting in turn A. Larson, A Republican Looks At His Party (1956)).

Simon said...

B said...
"Please give Hillary a call and discuss with her how it takes a village to _ _ _ _ _ up everyone's personal life. Don't think she'll seek to micro-manage daily American lives? Please!"

What on earth gives you the impression that I disagree with a word of that?

Nels said...
"Protecting us from foreign terrorists is a state issue, Simon? I don't get it."

Security policy in schools is a state issue.

tc said...

Such women as Hillary Clinton really disgust me. For she is a woman trying to be a man-and such can never be. It is because of women like her -
who have taken the feminist nonsense that women and men are equal to heart- that the USA and the world are in such dire condition. And Mitt Romney and Barack Obama,as a result,
have also become confused and confusing.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Federalism! Let state and local government decide matters having to do with children, education, and morality."

No thanks.

I would rather not have the federal government, state government, nor local government decide what to do with my children.

Although, better at the local level than higher, since it makes moving an option if neighbors suddenly decide that they know best when they don't.

Simon said...

B, do you live in Wisconsin? If not, then it ought to be none of your concern what policy on sex education the state of Wisconsin or any sub-entity thereof adopts. If you do, feel free to argue it out, but it's not a federal concern. That's the whole point - local communities ought to make those decisions, and I suspect that whenever local communities are left to make such decisions and the federal government stays out, most local communities beyond the coasts will adopt the policy you'd prefer.

Ann Althouse said...

B said..."Thank you, Ann, for informing me about when my children should be told about sex. I guess your opinion is good for all families."

All I'm saying is that it isn't ridiculous for local majorities to decide that the subject of sex should be introduced gradually and in an age appropriate way. I can see that there is sincere difference of opinion on this, but I think it's not outrageous to think that a very young child should know enough to keep an adult from touching her inappropriately and to know that babies grow inside a women after a man and woman fall in love and get married -- in a completely nongraphic way.

"Can we get some help on what to say regarding toilet training? How about a federally mandated reading age?"

I said nothing about anything federally mandated -- quite the opposite. I said this is a matter for state and local government.

"What about demanding that kids learn how to walk by, say age 9 months - we can confiscate the ones who don't,, send them to special schools, and mark them as future worker bees. Silly me, I thought I was supposed to determine and oversee all that for my children. I guess having a tiny percentage of the parenting population screwing up their children means that all children should be watched by the state."

Well, we do need some degree of protection for children. Some people do abuse their children. State government must have some law regarding child protection. There are difficult issues about balancing individual privacy and protection from harm that we disagree about. I don't purport to know what is best, but I do recognize the difficulty of the problem.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Why is the #3 or 4 guy in one party going after the #2 guy in the other party?"

Which one is which? I assume you mean Romney as the 3 or 4, but it is not clear that Obama is number 2 (Edwards has a say in that) and it is not clear that Romney is 3 or 4-- right now he's arguably 2.

j willie said...

-5 for Atlhouse for such an elitist attitude.

-5 for in any way shape or form believing that a 5 year old possesses the cognitive functioning to determine what is abusive or non-abusive behavior at a level sufficient to discriminate who is a sexual predator and who is not.

-5 for not perceiving that sex education for five years olds is abusive in and of itself.

Simon said...

EnigmatiCore, you - and I suspect many others - aren't getting it. The point is that state and local governments are controlled by the people, and can choose to adopt the policy you're advocating. The point isn't that state and local governments ought to decide what to teach kids, the point is that they should be (and ought to be in terms of the federal constitution) free [of federal control] to adopt whatever policy best suits the sensibilities of the community, which is very likely going to be that all levels of government ought to stay out of it.

EnigmatiCore said...

"There are difficult issues about balancing individual privacy and protection from harm that we disagree about. I don't purport to know what is best"

Yet you suggest that very young children should be taught things that others might see as inappropriate for that age. Which is fine; different people can think differently.

I just wish fewer people tried to get legislation to enforce what they don't purport to know what's best.

But, again, better this impulse be aimed locally. When it goes awry, there are easy solutions then.

B said...

Simon,

I suggested you give Hillary a call because I completely agree with your earlier postings. These are not federal issues: sex ed, cul-de-sacs, they are local issues. I thought that you might be able to set both she and Al straight.

Did I misunderstand?

EnigmatiCore said...

"The point isn't that state and local governments ought to decide what to teach kids, the point is that they should be (and ought to be in terms of the federal constitution) free [of federal control] to adopt whatever policy best suits the sensibilities of the community, which is very likely going to be that all levels of government ought to stay out of it."

Romanticizing local governments is not a path to greater federalism, and is a malady easily rectified by spending any time working within a local government.

Synova said...

I don't think that 5 year olds can even manage a "this is where babies come from" explanation that is anything other than fiction. "When two people love each other very much and get married..."

And as for teaching them "enough" to deal with sexual abuse? No such possibility. Teach them that they have some control over their own self and can say no to grown-ups and that they should always tell you about anything that scares them or makes them sad or anything they don't understand or *particularly* if they are told not to tell Mom or Dad to *always* tell Mom or Dad...

None of that is *sex education*.

If you want to call it sex education then 5 year olds should have some but since never once did it involve *sex* I wouldn't call it that.

Of course there is always, "Yes, baby Joey has a penis. You don't because you are a girl and girls don't have those," is something that very well might come up with a five year old. Still, if there is no Baby Joey a parent doesn't go find someone with a boy baby and ask if Suzie can observe a diaper changing.

EnigmatiCore said...

Opt in and/or opt out are the obvious answers to this to me, I should add.

As long as either are done in good faith (not making it hard to opt in or out, and not providing undue pressure to opt in or out), that is.

Then it becomes a much more mundane argument about what has to be paid for, and if it is fair to make me pay for this that I don't want etc. rather than being about if we are taking control from parents. As long as you aren't doing that, my passion for the subject falters.

Simon said...

B - sorry, no, I misunderstood your point. I thought you were suggesting I was in league with them. Hence my puzzlement. ;)

Simon said...

EnigmatiCore said...
"Yet you suggest that very young children should be taught things that others might see as inappropriate for that age. Which is fine; different people can think differently."

I think she suggests that different states ought to be free to answer that question in different ways. That has both formalist and normative appeal. The Constitution leaves education to the states. The states can make any decision they please - including deciding to leave the matter to parents. Now, obviously the people can also answer the question for the state by putting the matter into the state constitution, but that too is a matter to be resolved at the state level.

Simon said...

More concisely: The point isn't that local governments should be involved in sex ed, it's that the federal government shouldn't be.

EnigmatiCore said...

We differ then only on degree. You say "the federal government shouldn't be", and I say that is one word too long.

Easily rectified by opt-in/opt-out (or at least mitigated). And I will say that I much prefer local solutions; I can move away from them if need be.

Too many jims said...

Oh, how I miss the days when Republicans actually cared about federalism.

Simon said...

Well, the difference is that I say that the federal government can't, as a matter of constitutional law, and even to the extent it can, shouldn't as a matter of federalism principles, what the state governments could do even if they ought not to.

EnigmatiCore said...

"federal government can't, as a matter of constitutional law"

Experience has taught me that this is not true, if it should be or not, just like the idea that local governments would butt-out is also not true.

Gahrie said...

Gahrie and David can abolish all sex ed in their states

Nice strawman. I specifically said:
"When it comes to 5 year olds..."

I have no problem with teaching some form of sex ed at the middle school level, in fact I think it is a good idea.

But let 5 year olds be 5 year olds....

B said...

Ann - and Simon:

I also agree that local bodies and communities have a place in making local standards and local law.

I also have spent past years fighting extraordinary ignorance on the part of state legislators and social workers (that's a whole book, sheesh!) regarding abuse laws. Specifically when they were illegally applied by overzealous social and educational workers.
- as shown by the courts during that period having without exception deciding for our side.

My wife (a former public school teacher)and I home-schooled our 3 children up though the 8th grade, finishing them off with 3-4 years of private/public school. All of them received academic scholarships to college. But man, the ignorance and stupidity we had to fight in the home-schooling years was phenomenal: it ran from relatives who were "worried about socialization" to acquaintance's asking "is that legal? (yes, completely), to people that felt that they had to control every child. While we never experienced the fresh-out-of-college, change-the-world idiocy of some social worker who's superior decided that home-schooling was considered to be cause for child abuse charges in California, we got involved with over a dozen families who did have that experience. The strain that each family went through was horrible beyond belief - ruined reputations, job dismissals, children temporarily removed from their parents - all because of micromanaging, sincerely (deluded) we-know-what's-best idiots.

Finally, in one family's case, we got a surprise - a judge who not only restored the family regarding the false charges decided by the social workers, but also imposed monetary damages on the social worker, the social worker's supervisor, and the policemen who went to the home and assisted in strip-searching (!) the children - all because they were reported as home-schoolers!

Other "home schoolers = child abusers" cases were quickly settled or withdrawn throughout the state after that decision - proving that taking from the pocket always wins over appealing to intelligence. All of the cases were helped by Home School Legal Defense Association, and they have done a yeoman's job of changing the public perception - at least in state legislatures - of home schooling. Heck, now even Harvard has scholarships for children who have been home schooled.

But it took years of involvement to change the "it takes a village, as long as we control the village" stupidity on that issue.


Now, does that mean that everyone claiming to home school is legit in their educational aims?

Of course not. But all levels of government have a first response to any problem that is almost without exception too heavy-handed: shoot first, ask questions and fix it later. Only sometimes, a lot of innocent people get hurt.

Anyone remember the first Homeland Security Bill?

Harkonnendog said...

The unstated assumption is that 5-year-olds need to be taught sex ed by schools as opposed to parents. Wrong.

It is like nobody ever went to school. We've all had stupid, immature, even nutball teachers. What makes you think our children won't? Why would you want one of them to teach your 5-year-old about sex???

Simon said...

EnigmatiCore said...
"Experience has taught me that this ["federal government can't, as a matter of constitutional law"] is not true, if it should be or not...."

That it hasn't been enforced doesn't make it any less so. It makes the case for electing Presidents who have incentives to respect federalism.

Gahrie - that's beside the point. The point's that you can have your policy in your state, I can have mine in my state, and Ann can have hers in her state. All we have to do is persuade our fellow citizens and vote on it.

NSC said...

Screw Obama and anyone who thinks they should be teaching kids that age anything about sex education - especially my kids. That is my job. If some pansy liberals want total strangers teaching their kids about sex, more power to them, but hands off mine.

Hoosier Daddy said...

+1 Obama: He's correct that young children need "age appropriate" sex education. For example, a 5-year-old should know enough to prevent abuse and can hear a simple explanation about where babies come from

Sorry Ann I have to throw the BS flag on that one. My kid's sex education is MY JOB not the goddam Federal, State or municipal government's job. If a minority of parents can't do their job that's not my problem its theirs. The last thing I want is one of our half ass public school teachers teaching my 5 year old daughter where babies come from. Kids today are well versed in sex but can't add or read worth a damn.

At what point are we going to let the government do everything for us? Maybe Obama and Hillary can come and wipe my ass for me when it just becomes too much responsibility for me to handle.

amba said...

the feminist nonsense that women and men are equal

Oh, tc? You mean like the Islamists who allow a daughter to inherit one-fourth of what a son does?

Or did you mean to say "alike," not "equal"?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Well, we do need some degree of protection for children. Some people do abuse their children. State government must have some law regarding child protection.

Well last time I checked there are laws on the books to protect our kids from predators. The problem is that those laws have a tendency to let these monsters free after a few years in the pokey, free to go on the prowl again. Heck the Indiana Civil Liberties Union has contested a law which prohibits convicted child molesters from entering parks, those places frequented by kids. Here is the classic quote by an ICLU representative:

"People in Indiana have a right to enter parks absent some proof that they present a harm to others," Ken Falk, legal director of the ICLU, said

Guess that convicted sex offender thing doesn't qualify.

I'm all for child protection. Problem groups like the ICLU aren't.

MadisonMan said...

Did anyone actually read the news article, because apparently everyone here agrees with Obama on this topic: that some sex ed for 5-year-olds is appropriate, and that it's up to parents and local communities to decide what information is needed.

Simon said...

MadisonMan - I agre with what he's saying, I jnust doubt his sincerity. I doubt his commitment to the principle he's discussing. He's saying he supports local determination because in this case local determination produces his results. But what he really supports is a given set of results, and so he'll say federalism if local determination produces his desired results and nationalism when otherwise. Neither he or Romney have much credibility on this point, but Obama has less.

Simon said...

tc - Oh fuck off. Amba was a lot more polite to you than you deserve. Just go away. You vile, retrograde excuse for a human being.

REN said...

Nel: "Why is the #3 or 4 guy in one party going after the #2 guy in the other party? Smells desperate."

LOL, Why wouldn't any of the front runners go after any of the other party's candidates? Your suggesting that it's desperate smells of desperation itself! There's nothing unusual about an exchange like this, and they are both being opportunistic ~ do you really mean to say that Obama's response wasn't just as opportunistic as Romney's?

James said...

I normally agree that parents should have nearly all the responsibility in teaching sex-ed to their children. However, many of the people on here who state that miss one of Ann's points: the "age-appropriate" sex ed would be telling them what is sexual abuse. Granted, I don't have the statistics on this, but my guess would be that much of the sexual abuse of young children in this country is perpetrated by a parent or very close relative. Anyone else see the problem of leaving it only to that parent to teach the kids what is sexual abuse???

michilines said...

Annie follows the lead of conservative/republican talk radio?

A given.

No need to read revenant or any of the regular commenters on the topic.

You all have your asses set firmly in place.

Annie at least you tried this time.

Eli Blake said...

james is right on target:

Those who say the schools should 'butt out' and claim that only parents should be responsible for teaching children about sex and sexual abuse are either by intent or by knee-jerk reaction working to push child sexual abuse back to where it was a generation or more ago. The number of kids who are abused by some stranger is actually far less than the number who are abused by family members, with either the full participation, knowlege or at least wilfull ignorance of the parents.

To which I would only add, that even where it is a stranger (or a teacher, preacher or other 'trusted' adult) pedophiles are experts at picking out the kids who are both naive and reticent; leave it to the parents, and if nine out of ten parents tell their kids enough to avoid abuse but one out of ten don't either due to misguided morality, laziness or lack of interest, most pedophiles will be very adept and picking out the tenth kid.

Internet Ronin said...

When my 3-year-old nephew was molested by a babysitter (a neighbor's teenager), he knew the behavior was inappropriate. He also told his mother about it as soon as they were alone at home. I went to the doctors office with them the next day (my brother was out of town and my sister-in-law wanted support) and listened to him describe what happened and observed the physician conduct the physical examination.

Without a doubt, the most difficult thing I have ever had to endure in my life. Desperately not wanting to hear what I was hearing while knowing that it was the right thing.

Those who say 5-year-olds would not know the difference are full of crap. A three-year-old did, and it ended right there before it happened again because he did, thanks to his mother provided him age-appropriate information.

Internet Ronin said...

As to your point, Ann: If local areas want to adopt age-appropriate sex education that should be their business, provided of course that they inform the parents before proceeding and allow parents to decide whether or not their child will be taught.

Unfortunately, past experience shows that age-appropriate sex education rarely is age-appropriate only, and often veers into political theater. One only has to look back at the furor over Heather Has Two Mommies to see what tends to happen.

By high school, too often the sex education begins to veer into technique instead of basic knowledge. I don't see any legitimate function for the state in teaching children the ideal way to perform fellatio.

Schools can accomplish much by writing to parents and saying, "We believe that this information is important to your child's safety or health and we suggest you speak to your child about it," while enclosing the appropriate information. What parents do with it from there is up to them.

reader_iam said...

You know, I am torn here.

I used the "parts covered by your bathing suit are off-limits" (to imprecisely use a short-hand way to describe it) approach with my own son, and starting at an age earlier than kindergarten. Couldn't have imagined sending him off to full-day kindergarten, or pre-k, without having addressed the issue somehow.

Again, I am torn here. On the one hand, I very much believe it is the primary responsibility of parents to handle the sex education of their children. I very much want to handle that on my own with regard to my own son. And I certainly have some healthy skepticism about how the public school handle various issues (suspending kindergartner, or first-grader--whatever, on charges of sexual harassment, anyone?).

On the other hand... .

I remember the bad old days, when stuff like this wasn't talked about, and families didn't generally do all that great a job of equipping their kids. No doubt this was largely a matter of simple ignorance, in most cases. My own parents were quite enlightened and open by the standards of the day, and yet they didn't think to talk to me about bad-touching adults.

At least not early enough, if you get my drift here. I'll spare you the (serial) details. My point is that over the years, I have been surprised at how many supposedly enlightened parents, of my generation (I'm 46) and younger, think that it can't happen to their children, and that there's no way to teach a certain amount of basic street smarts without opening a whole huge can of larger information. And I dislike remembering conversations with parents of victimized children agonizing over the fact that they were just waiting for the "right time," the "right age," the "right way,"--but in any case, waited too long.

I do not know the answer here. As I said, I am torn. I see things from the different perspectives; I can understand them. I'm attacking no one on their sincere beliefs or sincere concern for what's best for children.

But the stakes and consequences are high here, and the politicization of this issue as a campaigning football simply nauseates me. Those motives I do question.

Anyway. FWIW.

Synova said...

IR, I don't think I'd call what is appropriate for small children "sex education". Being abused is not "sex". Being taught that they should always talk to their parents, particularly if they are told *not* to talk to their parents, isn't about "sex."

Relating that to Ann's post and Romney's remark... I wouldn't call those things "sex education" and I wouldn't assume that someone who said that zero sex education is appropriate for a 5 year old thinks that 5 year olds don't need to know some things, that they don't need to understand that they can say no to other people when it comes to their bodies or their movement. Or that they shouldn't be told that there is a baby in Mommy's tummy or that girls have different parts than boys.

That's not sex is it? It's reproduction and basic physiology.

downtownlad said...

Look at all the hypocrites on this board.

Horrified that a school might teach 5-year olds about when to speak up when they are being molested.

But these same people are insistent that they teach 18-year olds that they will go to hell if they have sex when they insist on abstinence eduation.

You can't have it both ways. Either the government has the right to get involved with sex ed or they don't.

Synova said...

I agree Reader.

I didn't think of it as sex education with my kids when they were really small but more like autonomy education or sovereignty education.

Same with "gender differences 101" and even now with the onset of puberty breaking out all over and having to explain why menstruation happens and what to expect.

Then there is the ongoing "Discussions of Relationship" about all of the stupid trouble people get into for all sorts of stupid reasons and just how tricksy and unreliable our brains and hormones can be, so the kids know to watch out for those things.

I really and honestly think of sex when I use the word sex.

Synova said...

I'm pretty certain that no one mentioned abstinence education.

Did I miss it?

My own view is libertarian. It's not the State's business to educate children. Unfortunately, since they do, they ought to do everything possible to accommodate the sensibilities of parents, no matter how inconsistent or aggravating.

Seven Machos said...

Mitt Romney kind of sucks.

Steve said...

But the federal government has done such a wonderful job with mandatory busing, sex education, and simply the basic education of our children in government-run schools. As a public high school teacher in a middle class community, I have seen how poorly the government model works in providing incentives to awful administrators, counselors, and teachers, while discouraging hard working and talented professionals in the same fields. I am convinced that government is seeking to compete in the marketplace with private institutions, whatever the cost, to justify their own existence. No accountability, nor cutting off of funds simply allows the status quo to continue.

Galvanized said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gahrie said...

dtl:
But these same people are insistent that they teach 18-year olds that they will go to hell if they have sex when they insist on abstinence eduation.

Are you really that stupid?

The people who insist on abstinence education are the ones who don't want any sex ed at all, becuase they believe it is the family's right and responsibility. Only when their wishes are overruled, and the government insists on sex ed for their kids do they then try to have abstinence taught as part as the sex ed.

LoafingOaf said...

EnigmatiCore said...
Opt in and/or opt out are the obvious answers to this to me, I should add.

From the article: And Obama would let parents opt out of a sex education course.

Score another for Obama.

----

Simon said...
I agre with what [Obama's] saying, I jnust doubt his sincerity.... He's saying he supports local determination because in this case local determination produces his results. But what he really supports is a given set of results, and so he'll say federalism if local determination produces his desired results and nationalism when otherwise.

Earlier you said:
That's the whole point - local communities ought to make those decisions, and I suspect that whenever local communities are left to make such decisions and the federal government stays out, most local communities beyond the coasts will adopt the policy [the commenter named "B" would] prefer.

If Obama's view would result in most local communities adopting the policy Obama does not prefer, why do you say he only supports local determination because it produces his desired results? According to you, it will not produce his desired results in most places.

Neither he or Romney have much credibility on this point, but Obama has less.

You agree with Obama, but say he's being phoney and Romney has more credibility. I suspect you're being more insincere than you claim Obama is, because your partisanship won't allow you to admit Obama owned Romney.

If you look at the article, Romney is being a complete phoney on the specific issue:

During his governorship of Massachusetts, Romney actively supported abstinence education in addition to sex-education. On the other hand, ABC also reports that in a 2002 Planned Parenthood questionnaire, Romney checked yes to the following question: "Do you support the teaching of responsible, age-appropriate, factually accurate health and sexuality education, including information about both abstinence and contraception, in public schools?"

Romney said one thing when he was sucking up to certain groups in Massachusetts, then changed when he was preparing to run for president and decided to suck up to the Religious-Right. Then, when Obama is calmly and candidly trying to educate the public on his views on a sensitive subject, Romney jumps in as a demented demogogue to distort what Obama is saying.

On the federalism issue, I appreciate you admit Romney has little credibility (not many politicians in either party do support federalism when it leads to their undesired result), but I'm confused why he has more credibility than Obama.

For example, Romney supports a federal ban on same-sex marriage, inconsistant with federalism. He takes this position presumedly to (again) suck up to the Religious-Right.

In doing so he attempts to confuse the voters about what federalism means:

Romney was less charitable to McCain, who on Sunday told ABC News: 'I believe that the issue of gay marriage should be decided by the states.' McCain also said, 'I believe that gay marriage should not be legal.' Romney seized on the remarks. 'That's his position, and in my opinion, it's disingenuous,' he said. 'Look, if somebody says they're in favor of gay marriage, I respect that view. If someone says - like I do - that I oppose same-sex marriage, I respect that view. But those who try and pretend to have it both ways, I find it to be disingenuous.'

McCain's respect for federalism despite his desired result leads to Romney accusing him of "having it both ways"!

Romney not only doesn't agree with you on federalism, he wants to confuse the voters so they don't understand what you believe in any context and on any issue.

That should trouble you more than Obama, whom you agree with on the matter at hand, and who provided the public a "teaching point" on what federalism means and why it's important...even if he is (as most every politician) hostile to it in some contexts.

hdhouse said...

Gahrie said...
When it comes to 5 year olds federalism be damned...all levels of government should butt out and leave any decisions regarding sex education to the parents."

THAT WAS NOT WHAT OBAMA SAID. ROMNEY AND OTHERS TOOK THE FIRST HALF OF THE SENTENCE AND LEFT OUT THE REST WHICH WAS, THE AGE APPROPRIATE INFORMATION PART.

I think Romney should get a few more -4s for that kind of cheap political stunt. It is what is deplored by everyone.

Frankly I was willing to cut Romney a little slack due to his low IQ and family gene pool but not anymore.

Gahrie said...

hdhouse:
THAT WAS NOT WHAT OBAMA SAID. ROMNEY AND OTHERS TOOK THE FIRST HALF OF THE SENTENCE AND LEFT OUT THE REST WHICH WAS, THE AGE APPROPRIATE INFORMATION PART.

and what I said was: THERE IS NO GOVERNMENT IMPOSED SEX EDUCATION APPROPRIATE FOR A FIVE YEAR OLD.

rhhardin said...

A National Lampoon in the early 70s had ``Piddle : A Child's First Sex Magazine,'' in their Sexual Frustration issue, way ahead of their time.

P. Rich said...

Anyone who believes sex ed ought to be tought to small children by a public school ought to take the thinking one step further and consider who will decide the curriculum and who will perform the teaching. If you want your child indoctrinated by the feminist GLBT version of sex ed starting at age 5, go for it.

Projecting one's expectations of what should be taught onto the realities of the educational system is naive. And it is equally dangerous to assume that one knows what "age appropriate" means when an Obama, or anyone else in public life, uses the term.

As for Obama and federalism? Democrat. Self-evident contradiction. Nuff said.

TMink said...

Actually, sexual abuse safety training does not require a knowledge of sex! This is something I do on a several times a week basis.

There are three kind of touch. Good touch, bad touch, and secret touch. A good touch is a touch that makes you feel good and happy, like a hug or a high five.

A bad touch hurts and feels bad, like being punched or kicked.

A secret touch has two parts. First, it happens on your privates, that is the part of your body that you cover with a swim suit. You also cover it with your underwear. You know why? Because it is private and not for other people to touch or see!

The second part of a secret touch is that the person who touches you or tells you to touch their privates tells you to keep it a secret and not tell anyone. Or, they hide when the do it.

Now a doctor gives you a shot on the bottom with people in the room and does not tell you to keep it a secret. So that is not a secret touch. But if someone puts their pants under your underwear and touches your privates and tells you not to tell, that is a secret touch.

And you are supposed to tell! Tell your mother, tell your father, tell your teacher, tell me, but tell adults until one of them believes you. It does not happen to most people. It will probably not happen to you. But if it does, you tell!

That works like a charm. Now if I can just get funding I will make a 10 minute dvd and distribute it free of charge to every daycare, Kindergarten, Sunday School class, and Head Start program in the country. We could put a lot of child sexual abusers in prison for a long time, and save a lot of people a lifetime of grief.

Trey

AJ Lynch said...

Obama said:
"Of course, part of the coarsening of that culture is when politicians try to demagogue issues to score cheap political points."

Does he really believe that last part?? What a crock- bull like he is spouting cheapens politics. It does not affect pop culture.

Obama will be under (political) water soon- can't keep his stories and views straight.He makes it up as he goes along.

Romney wants parents not the schools to determine when 5 year old kids get sex ed not schools.

Ann seems to support taking that decision away from the parents- did you support that when your boys were 5 years old?

Lastly, there is a well-funded (Pew Charitable Trusts) Dem push for state-funded pre-K and state-funded all day kinergarten. Don't be fooled - Obama's views on sex-ed are probably influenced a bit by the folks leading this somewhat secretive iniitiave.

vet66 said...

The underlying theme of this discussion is that public education is competent to teach the subject of sex. It is not. The teachers unions want sole discretion into what is taught and who teaches it. Witness the sex talk recently regarding sex and drugs in Colorado, teachers having sex with students, and the availability of condoms on some campuses.

Let children enjoy that state of bliss as long as possible. If bureaucrats in education are empowered to teach sex education they will make a business out of it and the welfare of the child will become secondary.

Hillary Clinton was wrong when she wrote the book, "It Takes A Village." She should have written a book entitled, "It Takes A Family" but we all know why she could not have written that one.

Once again, the scariest words a citizen can hear is when a bureaucrat shows up and says, "I represent the full force and majesty of the government and I am hear to help you!"

Note to educators! Stick with teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic. You do a poor enough job with that simple task. Don't over-extend your abilities.

Meade said...

""How much sex education is age appropriate for a 5-year-old? In my mind, zero is the right number.""

According to the Sun-Times article, Romney said, "In my view..." not, "In my mind..."

I point it out only because a large part of the problem in this case seems to have been caused by poor headline writing and/or lazy selective hearing: The "age appropriate" phrase Obama used was left out of the ABC News headline that Romney seized on to demagogue to his social conservative base.

My own view on mandatory sex education in public schools is that it needs to be taught to parents, not to children: evening classes on how to teach age appropriate sex ed. to one's child. And then leave it to the parents to do the job which properly belongs to the parents.

How much education about sex education is appropriate for a Mitt Romney? In my mind/view, quite a lot.

Mortimer Brezny said...

It's hard to tell how much the story was twisted by the reporter. She's probably a communist columnist and is certainly from the spin trying to get at Romney and support Obama.

Oh, please. Obama opportunistic? Obama hypocritical? Please, stop with the cognitive dissonance.

Obama gave a speech in which he laid out a position that he has always taken. He sponsored such a bill in Illinois. Romney twisted Obama's words and harshly attacked Obama to appeal to the religious right. In doing so, Romney flip-flopped yet again, contradicting positions he took as governor of Mass. So the Boston Globe covered it, because the voters of Mass have an interest in knowing that their former governor is now claiming laws he signed into existence are suddenly the work of Satan. Obama responded, noting that Romney was a flip-flopper and that Romney was twisting his words. Which is true.

The idea that the Boston Globe is pro-Obama but anti-the-former-governor-of-the-state-in-which-Boston-is-capital is frankly ludicrous. Can't you just admit Romney flip-flopped in a pathetic attempt to make Obama look like a child molester? Please. Romney obviously lost this salvo and Obama's response was surprisingly pitch perfect.

Obama stomped all over Romney's face in his hometown paper. Anyone who fails to see that needs to get his head checked, or stop talking about politics, forever.

Mortimer Brezny said...

I suspect you're being more insincere than you claim Obama is, because your partisanship won't allow you to admit Obama owned Romney.

Thank you. Romney is bleeding from his ass as we speak.

Simon said...

LoafingOaf said...
"If Obama's view would result in most local communities adopting the policy Obama does not prefer, why do you say he only supports local determination because it produces his desired results?"

Because he thinks that they will adopt his desired results. Or in the alternative, he's just using it as a line to answer the criticism, and the specific example served his purpose. I think it's almost inconceivable that Barack Obama seriously believes in getting the federal government out of sex education specifically, let alone education generally, or federalism more generally than that.


"You agree with Obama, but say he's being phoney and Romney has more credibility. I suspect you're being more insincere than you claim Obama is, because your partisanship won't allow you to admit Obama owned Romney."

That's not why. The reason why should be obvious (if unsatisfactory to you): Obama is a very ordinary liberal, and as as P.Rich noted in his 7:26 AM comment, liberals generally-speaking break into two categories (with honorable exceptions, of course): those who aren't interested in federalism in the slightest, and those who are outright hostile to it. Of course, it's also true that Obama has no credibility on anything. The commentary is on the untrustworthiness of Obama rather than any particular view of Romney, who I'm not especially interested in at this stage. As you point out, Romney's a fairly thin candidate, somewhat less than ideal. I wouldn't say he has no credibility (I thought MKH's friend Katie Favaza nailed the point about his change of heart over abortion, pointing out that mainly it's the timing that looks suspect - the conversion itself shouldn't be problematic since we want people to change their mind on abortion and come over to the light side of the force, so to speak). But he isn't my first choice, and I'm far more interested in Guilliani and Thompson. Thompson has indicated an intent to run as the federalism candidate, and as I explained here, I think Guilliani is the candidate who has the most personal reason to support federalism.


"Romney supports a federal ban on same-sex marriage, inconsistant with federalism. He takes this position presumedly to (again) suck up to the Religious-Right. "

Well, to some extent, that's still better than Obama. Federalizing marriage law through a constitutional amendment violates federalism principles, and I oppose it for that reason, but it at least has the honesty of doing it properly. It doesn't violate the Constitution itself, it's merely in tension with one of its premises - much like the 17th Amendment, actually. In all events, better that than a program that simply assumes that the constitution as it presently stands permits the federal government to do anything necessary to address any problem it likes, per my 8:17 PM comment above.

vet66 said...
"The underlying theme of this discussion is that public education is competent to teach the subject of sex."

The more important underlying theme is whether that decision ought to be taken nationally, or state-by-state. If the citizens of Massachusetts want their "child[ren] indoctrinated by the feminist GLBT version of sex ed" from the age of five onwards, as P.Rich delicately put it upthread, then that's their prerogative. It's not necessarily the policy I want here in Indiana, but that's for Massachusetts to figure out, without intervention from me. There are only two questions - has the federal government been delegated any power over this area of policy, and if so, to what extent should it exercise it?

EnigmatiCore said...

"Score another for Obama."

That was partly my point.

The only real problem I have with Obama's suggestion is a two-parter: 1) it is a Washington proposal, and 2) as such, when it is inevitably changed (assuming it is ever adopted) there are no assurances that it would remain opt-out. And that gets back to my whole issue with being able to move from places that start going a bit batty in their approaches.

I guess another minor quibble is that opt-in is so-much-better. Much harder to make it that the opt-out is opt-out in name only.

M. Simon said...

I was under the impression that sex education began around 5.

"I'll show you mine if you show me yours"

I remember the girl up the block - Kathleen. Well it was a long time ago and far far away.

Cedarford said...

Federalism! Let state and local government decide matters having to do with children, education, and morality.

No, it really isn't government deciding but the professional educrats in academia formulating pedagogial theory on what socialization agenda and views should be pushed down to the earliest age possible for better habituation and indoctrination. Then getting state teachers unions, state bureaucrats to agree to the devotion of less teaching more "values-giving".

The argument seems to be - there are bad parents - so because of bad parents, it is best the state supplant ALL parents in terms of imparting values through teachers and other government employees.

It's not just "inappropriate touching" where the child is told to report to a state employee. It is "safety nazi stuff". Some cities have tried to get children 5-7 years old to report on whether or not their parent has a firearm in the house, if they are exposed to second-hand smoke, if Mommy or Daddy ever said anything mean about the parents of "children of diversity".

And we all remember the early feminist GBLT efforts to push their agenda downwards in the Age 5-7 childrens books like "Heather has Two Mommies" that got such backlash. And the insipid multiculti role-playing exercises detected in some elementary schools where some played peaceful Indians or Muslims and others played white oppressors. Or efforts in later grades by some teachers to belittle some Christian beliefs. Shut down fast in some places, still enshrined in others..But the desire to push that Lefty agenda is still there.

We get soda bans, peanut butter, candy bans because parents are too ignorant to be trusted with their kids lunches or keep deadly peanut butter away from those with allegies, whose own parents can't be trusted with such important matters.

And every community that forms up of younger-age couples that find themselves socializing because their similar age kids brings them together generally have at least one or two horror stories of kids taken away for weeks or months when a zealot teacher and social worker discover a bruised-p kid and decide it is possible parental abuse or negligence.
The same community of parents worries about teachers that belittle some of the parents values and beliefs to the children....and like when I was in their age group doing the same awesome job along with my wife of child-rearing, wanted the "village" to butt out as much as possible and focus on academic education.

(A co-worker went through that nighmare of trying to fight teachers and administrators over discplining a teacher that called her and her husband "racist" to the kid and the classroom because they told the kid they only wanted him to play with local neighbors kids..)

IMO, Althouse is wrong. It is not a "Federalism" issue as much as it is a parental authority vs. functionaries at all levels of government trying to horn in and expand their control - while schools in America are failing their mission of basic education - to surrogate parenting.

The way I see it, Obama says because some parents are bad, we need less math, reading, other academics taught and more "supplemental parenting" delivered in school - with good parents, assuming they know about these "extras" government employees are sneaking into the curriculum - allowed to fill out paperwork and talk to functionaries to "opt out".

Romney's perspective is most parents are good, doing the right thing, and more math and less "inapropriate touching education", please. And the Romney perspective is if YaKisha's mother is a crack wh*re and her kids needs "extra help" in life lessons or Dr. Snottlebottom & wife favor extensive "state values and safety training" given their kids - the way to do that is for those parents to "opt-in" to a pre-school or post-school "enrichment" class outside the period that should be devoted to basic learning and getting our kids as educated as the Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, French kids get in their elementary and onwards schools.

For voters - edge to Romney in his Primaries voting pool and with independents. Parents and those of us who have raised kids who are conservative or moderate have long been concerned with school PC, of school administrators and state child services taking kids away or undercutting parental teachings, of dilution of school education efforts with "surrogate parenting" efforts.

Obama, for his Primary voters, just agreed and signed on with Hillary's "It Takes a Village to Educate a Child and Correct Bad Parental Programming" veiwpoint.

As much as blacks and progressive secular Jews - teachers unions are an absolute core Democrat activist group.

The matter of what schools do with kids when they have them is a great dividing point in terms of policy between liberals and conservatives.

Daryl said...

I thought what Obama said was extremely typical of him and why I can't stand the man.

He purports to be taking a stand, but then qualifies it with the vague term "age-appropriate." In other words, he hasn't said anything at all, because everyone has a different idea of what is age-appropriate.

For example, I half expect him to say things like:

We should keep troops in Iraq, but only as many as are appropriate for the situation.

We should invade Canada, but only to the extent that it's geo-politically appropriate and not overly bellicose.

etc. etc.

Of course, Mitt (America is an ocean of filth!) Romney is in poor form here, as well. (I won't say "characteristically" poor form because I don't know enough about how often he does this sort of thing.) Mitt Romney is a bottom feeder who comes off as desperate to score some points. That's not presidential.

Luckyoldson said...

the key portion of obama's comment:

"age appropriate"

if it's up to the conservatives our kids would ever even know there was something called sex, protection or birth control.

this is just another example of the right wing dumbing down america.

Luckyoldson said...

Daryl said..."I thought what Obama said was extremely typical of him and why I can't stand the man. He purports to be taking a stand, but then qualifies it with the vague term "age-appropriate."

that's bullshit. he was asked a question about whether he approved of sex education for kindergartners and responded accordingly.

"age appropriate" means exactly that.

Simon said...

LOS, that just begs the question, as Daryl said, of what sex ed is "age-appropriate" for children of that age? Gahrie's made clear what his opinion is: the age-appropriate level of sex-ed for children that age is none. You also have an opinion about what level of sex ed is appropriate for five year olds, I'm sure, and I'm equally sure that you don't agree with Gahrie's.

Luckyoldson said...

simon,
unless you think obama is a complete fool, you can't really believe he wants some kind of full-on sex education for 5 year olds.

he merely feels (according to his comments) that when asked, teachers should respond honestly or consult parents if the question is not something they feel comfortable answering without permission.

this is yet another silly exercise in american politics...especially considering the fact that we have a president who says god told him to be president.

vet66 said...

Lucky;
"Right wing dumbing down.."

The leftie schools I have substituted at would just as soon have you drop your kids off and go to work, leaving the child raising to the self-appointed experts. Better yet, have Mom go back to work as soon as the baby is weaned and let the same experts take over.

You can rest assured that nothing involving dumbing ideas like Duty! Honor! Country! would be taught. No Patriotism or those pesky sayings like In GOD We Trust, E Pluribus Unum, the pledge of allegiance, and personal responsibility.

As stated above, the leftwing agenda is to prepare the girls for
role models like Bratz dolls and abortion. That way when they inevitably get pregnant they can always get an abortion when birth control fails (Parents wouldn't be notified.) Drugs and alcohol? No problem, just drink at home even if you are underage. Turn 18? Let's celebrate like Natalie Holloway and we will send you to a place (Aruba)with parental superivision, no less, where drinking, gambling, and sex are encouraged at 18 and the exploits of the fairer sex are captured on Girls Gone Wild. Open season on girls? No problem. They get raped and murdered, the perp pleads insanity, gets some feel-good counseling and is turned loose on society for more of the same. Check the local police department's list of pedophiles living in your neighborhood.

Good idea. Let's teach these kids how to understand sex from secularists who seem to be preparing society's harem for exploitation! Age appropriate? The last time I checked, each grade level had at least three years of age represented. Age appropriated would soon degrade to grade level.

That is the current state of curriculum in many schools today. If it feels good, you are entitled to do it.

Luckyoldson said...

Vet: my point regarding the right "dumbing" down america is based in many trying to teach creationism instead of evolution and not providing any form of sex education at all, along with ignoring any form of birth control, other than pure abstinence.

every "objective" study that has been conducted proves abstinence doesn't work and never will, yet they continue to try to tell kids to "just say no."

Kevin said...

Also, don't forget, re: Romney--He's articulate, he's handsome, he seems the ideal presidential candidate, and many Republicans like the conservative things he's saying these days. But many see him as a flip-flopper, grabbing onto conservative ideas rather late in the game. The Politico found another example on Thursday, and it was on just this issue:

Former Gov. Mitt Romney attacked Sen. Barack Obama yesterday for purportedly wanting sex education in kindergarten.It turns out, Romney himself once indicated support for the same sort of sex-ed approach -- "age-appropriate" -- that Obama backs.In a Planned Parenthood questionnaire he filled out during his 2002 gubernatorial run, Romney checked 'yes' to a question asking, "Do you support the teaching of responsible, age-appropriate, factually accurate health and sexuality education, including information about both abstinence and contraception, in public schools?"

I wrote about this here:

http://fundamentalsandfalsehoods.blogspot.com/2007/07/mitt-romneys-biggest-problem.html

M. Simon said...

C4,

I'm a progressive secular Jew. I vote Republican. Go figure.

Cedarford said...

M. Simon -

I figure your definition of "progressive" is quite different from secular progressive Jew's definition - where it substitutes for Leftist - and means transnationalist, agressive atheist, hostile to Israel, post modern, post-communist.

Unfortunately, "your side" of the Jewish people that vote REpublican is a small minority of Jews - where the vote is normally as lop-sided for Democrats as the black vote, and teacher's vote - is.

James said...

Simon said...

LOS, that just begs the question, as Daryl said, of what sex ed is "age-appropriate" for children of that age? Gahrie's made clear what his opinion is: the age-appropriate level of sex-ed for children that age is none. You also have an opinion about what level of sex ed is appropriate for five year olds, I'm sure, and I'm equally sure that you don't agree with Gahrie's.

But I think Gahrie is missing a fundamental point about what we are talking about as "age-appropriate" sex ed for these kids. In the case of say 5 year olds, it would be the stuff that we expect every good parent to have already taught their kids. In other words, it would essentially be a repetition of what most kids have already heard. The issue is that abusive parents aren't likely to tell their children the "bad touch" or "swimsuit area" things. If we butt out completely until middle school as gahrie recommends, you are leaving the abused kids, the ones who actually need the information most, out of the loop and vulnerable. So, the choice is, basically, either teach these sort of things and have the kids with good parents maybe get bored by hearing the same thing over again, or butting out and leaving those with bad parents without the knowledge they need.

Joe said...

If Obama promises to abolish the federal department of education he has my vote regardless of anything else he stands for.

vet66 said...

LOS;

You make a valid point. The point of preaching "Just say no" is to instill a value system based on a moral compass. I recall recently a young lady was wearing some sort of jewelry proclaiming that she had taken the abstinence pledge. She was removed from school for a dress code violation.

How about creationism and evolution as viable topics for discussion? What we have now are teenagers parsing the definition of what constitutes sex like an ACLU lawyer. Apparently sex only happens when the "plane" is broken so to speak. Everything else is something else. Then there are those pesky sexually transmitted diseases to consider, pregnancy, or single Moms dumped for younger females.

We need some help here!

Joan said...

And as for teaching them "enough" to deal with sexual abuse? No such possibility

Actually, you're wrong. In addition to TMink's 3-touch recognition course, all a kid really needs to know to scare off predators are the names of their private body parts. During the Safe Environment Training I had last year at my church, there was a film that had interviews with pedophiles, and they each talked about picking out children who were completely ignorant of their own physiology, so that they could not describe what had happened to them.

So I would go so far as to say that it's appropriate for all kids (3 and up) to know that correct names for their private parts, but that's as far as I'd go with that -- Trey's 3 types of touches would complete the course.

reader_iam said...

all a kid really needs to know to scare off predators are the names of their private body parts

and

So I would go so far as to say that it's appropriate for all kids (3 and up) to know that correct names for their private parts, but that's as far as I'd go with that -- Trey's 3 types of touches would complete the course.

Contemplate.

reader_iam said...

Trey did an excellent job of expanding what I alluded to in my comment last (and made a point of saying was shorthand), to be clear.

I think there are one or two unaddressed factors, however, and I also think that, when it comes down it, what we're not dealing with on this thread is the continuum nature of things, from 3 to 4 to 5--and what about that sudden leap to pre-teen (apparently defined as middle-school/jr high, which, as far as I'm concerned, is more earliest teen than pre-, both of which are different in this day and age than previous ones).

reader_iam said...

3 to 4 to 5 and etc.--

Synova said...

"...if it's up to the conservatives our kids would ever even know there was something called sex, protection or birth control.

this is just another example of the right wing dumbing down america."

I'm trying to figure out in what reality objecting to public school sex education equates to not wanting one's children to know about sex or birth control? Or even more importantly, protection?

Coming from a christian homeschooling back ground I can assure you (not that it's likely to make a difference) that the people I know aren't the least bit impressed with ignorance.

Not of physiology, not of birth control or protection. Granted, they aren't impressed with telling kids that a condom makes you "safe" either. Safe-er perhaps, but the illogic of acting like something that isn't even trusted for primary birth control is presented as *reliable* to keep from catching something that will kill you...

No, a whole lot of people are not at all impressed with the ignorance that results from "sex education."

Synova said...

I'll stand by my statement.

There are things that will help and things that are effective but in the end a child is vulnerable if for no other reason than they can not physically resist someone larger then them.

There is no "enough" that will make them immune or make them able to "deal" if something happens.

What there is is what is possible and effective within limitations and vigilance by the adults who are closest to the children.

LoafingOaf said...

Simon: Of course, it's also true that Obama has no credibility on anything.

Not on anything? Ohhh...your links that prove it go to your blog. :)

You list lobby groups and how often Obama pleased or displeased 'em. I already knew Obama's a Democrat as he doesn't have an "I" next to his name, and scorecards are msyterious to me.

I'll look at one: The Secular Coalition for America. You say he voted with them 90% of the time and no Republican voted with them more than 30% of the time.

Most of those votes were partisan votes on a few judicial nominees. Where Republicans sometimes voted with the Secular Coalition was on issues: Stem cell research and the radical Federal Marriage Amendment.

Obama is more a centrist on those than the Religious Right, and I wouldn't expect many Republicans to oppose Republican-nominated judges.

Moreover, your attempt to suggest Oabama is owned by the Secular Coalition based on a 90% voting record is in error.

Obama made a speech - 'Call to Renewal' Keynote Address - wherein he bucks hardcore secularists within his party and moderates away from an extreme view of Separation of Church & State.

The commentary is on the untrustworthiness of Obama rather than any particular view of Romney...a fairly thin candidate, somewhat less than ideal.

You're generous to Romney ("somewhat less than ideal") in contrast with your treatment of Obama ("no credibility on anything"). I'd flip those. :)

A Rudy vs. Obama campaign (where I'd most likely choose Rudy) would be healthy for America and a step up from Clintons and Bushes. Obama's got his work cut out for him if he wants my vote, but he's a likable, refreshing dude for a liberal Democrat and I'm gonna give him an open mind and fairness as a reward for that. You don't have to, of course. :)

Romney should just go away. He's a clown and a cancer and degrades everything.

Today I looked at TMZ.com and found Romney holding up a sign: "No to Obama, Osama, and Chelsea's Moma". Only somewhat less than ideal?

Thorley Winston said...
This comment has been removed by the author.