Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: It's Not Sex, and It's Not Education

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  • Paul Williams,

    Oh sure, your argument makes complete sense if you start from the premise that sex might be good... oh wait... I see what you did...

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2191 posts Report Reply

  • Max Rose,

    You know the only thing that could make the Herald's coverage more awesome? A Garth George piece.

    Excerpts of special awesomeness:

    The horrific result is that thousands of our children are today finding themselves abused, impregnated or poxed because they've been taught how to do it.
    ...
    our sex education is devaluing what can be one of life's most glorious experiences. It takes no account of the emotional and spiritual dimensions of the sex act, the means by which two, a man and a woman, can become one flesh.

    ...and then there are the comments, some of which seem to have been generated by an "insane curmudgeon" bot.

    What do you expect from a society that finds sodomy and buggery acceptable!
    The influence of pinko-liberal do-gooders is the root cause of the ongoing decline in moral and ethical standards.

    Sodomy and buggery?! I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2011 • 72 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Max Rose,

    It takes no account of the emotional and spiritual dimensions of the sex act, the means by which two, a man and a woman, can become one flesh.

    I actually really hate that, when you wake up in the morning and discover you've become one flesh. It's really inconvenient. Also, you have to admire the efficiency with which he's told us how many people should be involved, AND their correct genital arrangement.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4328 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart,

    I take great exception to the anti sex-ed campaigners that abrogate their responsibility as parents for teaching their own kids - about sex, about anything!

    Too many parents want the state/education-system/anyone to do all the tougher parental responsibilities and leave them free to think being a parent is all about being unconditionally loved.

    People (obv not PAS readers) need to recognise that parenthood is a very responsible position and that they need to instill in their kids the values that will work best for them. Ignorance, aggression and bigotry are not values that work to improve their holders' lives.

    Te Ika A Maui - Waitakere… • Since Oct 2008 • 557 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart,

    Sorry, a bit ranty and not in keeping with the generally light-hearted tone - sorry chaps (of all genders and persuasions).

    Te Ika A Maui - Waitakere… • Since Oct 2008 • 557 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Max Rose,

    Sodomy and buggery *and* tautology. Evil.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4359 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Stewart,

    I take great exception to the anti sex-ed campaigners that abrogate their responsibility as parents for teaching their own kids - about sex, about anything!

    It is ironic, if hugely predictable, that the people most insistent that teaching sex education is their job as parents are the ones least likely to actually DO it.

    Sodomy and buggery *and* tautology. Evil.

    Oh, that tautology is really going to smart in the morning.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4328 posts Report Reply

  • octopusgrrl, in reply to Max Rose,

    Sodomy and buggery?! I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

    Don't ask me, he already had me in hysterics at "poxed". Ah Garth, reading you is like reading the Onion, just not as nuanced!

    Dunedin • Since May 2009 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    My favourite aspect of all this?
    Almost everyone on Your Views bases their opinions about the reality of sex education in New Zealand schools entirely on the comments of "grubby-stuff-dad" and "pregnant teenager".

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Emma Hart,

    least likely to actually DO it.

    In all senses of the word?

    For the purposes of reproduction only, children! Like your mother and I did!

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2326 posts Report Reply

  • Nik C,

    From the odious "Your Views" section: "I also tell her (daughter) that girls want love, boys want sex."

    O RLY.

    As someone who's had sex ed within the last 6 years, it tends to be a mixed bag. At a private single sex school, we had the Family Planning Nurse come in and talk to us. (Very educational, although I was identifying as a lesbian at the time. Though I never *did* forget how to put on a condom)

    And then we had some happy clappy pro-abstinence people come and chat to us. But then we WERE a supposedly religious school, so I guess that was form.

    Neither, as far as I can remember, talked about LGBTQ issues. But then I went to a Queer Youth Group, and had the internet.

    As far as being taught about oral sex at 13, we had another FP nurse come into my primary school and ask us if we had any questions. I put down 'what is a blow job'. The nurse said it was oral sex. I thought she meant french kissing. I was corrected by a classmate later on. He also informed me of a penile rash called a lipstick remover. I'm still not sure about that second one.

    Honestly, get an FPA nurse to come in. They're brilliant, funny and professional. (And they do, contrary to what hysterical parents say, talk about abstinence.) It's better than learning off your classmates at any rate.

    Since Aug 2009 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Max Rose,

    A Garth George piece.
    Excerpts of special awesomeness:

    Can you imagine a female schoolteacher standing before a class of 15-year-old girls and simulating for their edification the noises she makes while in the throes of sexual orgasm?

    A bit too much subconscious oversharing, there, Garth....

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2326 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Of course, in New Zealand, even if you’re straight getting decent sex education is a complete lottery.

    I’m always a bit fuzzy on what I picked up through school sex education and what I didn’t, due to spending a lot of time as a child hanging around Family Planning and reading semi-pornographic historical novels (only occasionally at the same time), but if I had got the bits on clitorises and anal sex and so forth it would have made parsing certain scenes in said novels far, far less confusing.

    I do remember, though, being absolutely horrified at what some of my religious classmates had, er, swallowed about sex (belief that their siblings had been conceived via consecutive bathing, etc.) If you don’t educate teenagers about sex they will, basically, make shit up and pass it around as fact. (This is true of everything novel and interesting, but especially of sex.) That doesn’t help anyone. If you want to stop them talking and/or speculating about sex…well, good luck with that aerial pig farming thing.

    . I put down ‘what is a blow job’. The nurse said it was oral sex. I thought she meant french kissing.

    I do remember very clearly being told in "sex education" (also at a single-sex private school) that masturbation was when you touched your breasts and it felt nice. Most of us had barely hit the sports-bra stage, so this was less than informative.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2092 posts Report Reply

  • Max Rose, in reply to Rich Lock,

    A bit too much subconscious oversharing, there, Garth....

    Yes, just imagine it! I'm imagining it right now, and ... I'll be, as they say, in my bunk.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2011 • 72 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I want my kids to have lots of it. I'm also fully approving of them both having a solid understanding of the clitoris.

    And it's never too late for that. Why, just today thanks to your facebook link, I discovered more about the clitoris than seems necessary to produce female orgasm, but surely the more the merrier?

    I actually really hate that, when you wake up in the morning and discover you've become one flesh.

    Yes, in more than one case I've been tempted to chew my own arm off just to slip away quietly. But I had fun the night before...I think.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    The Granny’s Mazengarbism, and the associated public reaction, is yet another example of anti-PC gone mad. Surgeon-General Elders was right – sexual risk-taking thrives on ignorance.

    Come to think of it... Mazengarbism for PA Word of the Year, methinks?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4060 posts Report Reply

  • Max Rose,

    Best comment on Darth George's column? This one:

    You want to go to a time when none of this happened? Better head back to before humans had self awareness. Pretty sure that was when the dinosaurs were still around. I'm sure you'll fit in nicely.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2011 • 72 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I put down 'what is a blow job'. The nurse said it was oral sex.

    On a slightly tangential note, a woman in a careers advisory class at high school told us to comb our hair before interviews, because "you wouldn't want to look like you just had a blow job on the back of your motorbike". She got a good solid laugh from the whole class, before the penny dropped on what she had just said, and she blushed from head to toe. It was really cute.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Max Rose, in reply to BenWilson,

    a blow job on the back of your motorbike

    Now that's risk-taking behaviour.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2011 • 72 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    I'll confess to wondering how I'll approach certain topics with my daughters, but whatever I say it'll be premised on respect, consent being necessary preludes to fun (with fun as a perfectly legitimate objective absent any other). My brother and I went to a Catholic school, he's older than me and tells the story of one of the Brothers simpling writing the letters W A N and K on the board before declaring all the kids terrible sinners. Things had improved when I went through but it was still strictly hetro and vanilla.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2191 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich Lock,

    Can you imagine a female schoolteacher standing before a class of 15-year-old girls and simulating for their edification the noises she makes while in the throes of sexual orgasm?

    A bit too much subconscious oversharing, there, Garth....

    No, I don't want him to stop, it's just getting hot. Then, the PE teacher comes in and... hey, this actually DOES remind me of school. Only difference, at the time I went "ewwww", rather than "fworrr". Incidentally, said teachers subsequently married, and have gone on to greater things.

    About 20 mins later, another female teacher came in and described for all of us what giving birth was like. "It's like pooing a pumpkin", she said. Ouch, we said. Small wonder that the X generation is mostly having kids in their 30s.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    This is both tangential and anecdotal, but I was told (by a christian working in the education sector) that Parachute is responsible for a larger number of unwanted conceptions than any other NZ festival.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4359 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Paul Williams,

    I’ll confess to wondering how I’ll approach certain topics with my daughters

    I'm sort of hoping that any kids I end up having will be enough like me and my partner that we can just leave books around the place and they'll do the research themselves.

    Come to think of it, that pretty much worked for my siblings as well, although the large role Footrot Flats seems to have played in my brother's gradual understanding of How Sex Worked probably wasn't optimal.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2092 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Paul Williams,

    Tough one, eh? Maybe their mum could do it?

    I remember being given the Birds & Bees lecture by my mother at around 9 or 10. It seemed rude and embarrassing to me, but she was serious and straight faced, so I paid attention. Then she handed out literature. We read it, of course, it was of intense interest. The literature probably does a much more thorough job - the only purpose of the lecture is to declare the topic discussable, and important.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams, in reply to BenWilson,

    Tough one, eh? Maybe their mum could do it?

    Is that a cop out? It's kinda what I'm hoping for but what to do when a question is posed and she's not around... "wait to ask mum" seems like it could convey unintended messages. But, as a man am I the best person anyway; I have real insight into what it feels like to be a young man... in this sense, perhaps a critical role fathers play for daughters is showing them what to expect of men (if that's hetro-biased, showing what to expect of a partner)?

    ETA

    Come to think of it, that pretty much worked for my siblings as well, although the large role Footrot Flats seems to have played in my brother's gradual understanding of How Sex Worked probably wasn't optimal.

    Tell me this is about Wal's relationship with Cheeky Hobson?

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2191 posts Report Reply

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