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The Article

Sensible parents of school-age children in Ontario won a significant victory last week by rising up en masse and persuading Premier Dalton McGuinty that his government’s ill-conceived new curriculum guidelines on sexual education in the elementary schools were in need of a “serious rethink.” Nonetheless, this battle is far from over.

The implacable proponents of ever more explicit sexual education for young school children are already mounting a concerted counterattack. They insist that the McGuinty Liberals should be commended for proposing to normalize homosexuality in Grade 3, instruct youngsters on vaginal lubrication in Grade 6 and admonish the boys in Grade 7 to avoid “anal intercourse without a condom.”

In a public statement, Dr. David McKeown, Toronto’s medical officer of health, has urged McGuinty to reinstate the new curriculum on sex education. “Kids need clear, unbiased, age-appropriate information,” warns McKeown, explaining: “Research shows that when young people have good sexual health knowledge, they postpone sex and have lower rates of teen pregnancy, and they practice safer sex when they become sexually active.”

Is that right? For more than 20 years, youngsters in the public secondary schools of Ontario have been bombarded with propaganda about how the consistent use of condoms can prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STIs). Consider the sorry results: As even McKeown acknowledges, “Rates of sexually transmitted infections are increasing.”

In this respect, Canada is not alone. Dr. Stephen Genuis, Clinical Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Alberta, pointed out last year in a peer-reviewed article in Acta Paediatrica: “Despite more than two decades of relentless condomania, rates of HIV/ AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have skyrocketed. In the UK and Canada, for example, rates of some STIs have doubled or tripled over the last 20 years despite ubiquitous safe-sex education.”

Genuis emphasized: “Numerous large studies have demonstrated that concerted efforts to promote condom use have consistently failed to control rates of STIs, even in countries with advanced sex education programmes such as Switzerland and Sweden – nations sometimes considered paragons in progressive sexuality instruction.”

Regardless, reputed experts like McKeown insist that what we need in Ontario is even more of the same safe-sex education starting with instruction of children in Grade 1 on the correct anatomical name for their sexual organs.

This is folly. On the post-secondary level, the madness is even worse. Currently, the Department of Anthropology at the University of Western Ontario features a course for undergraduates entitled “Sex, Sexuality and Desire; Cross Cultural Explorations of Queer Lives.”

In the online Course Outline for this offering, the instructor, Associate Professor Douglass St.Christian, who invites students to address him as “dr. d.”, states that in fulfillment of the course requirements, students must submit a photo essay on “the living history of your sexual selves.” He explains: “Hmm, you’re thinking – he wants amateur porn? Not quite but then again, maybe a pornographic gaze is something you will want to explore.”

St.Christian further advises that acceptable photos might be “accidental, staged, public or private, funny or dangerous and so on.” He assures: “There is no real limit to what you can choose to photograph.” Indeed.

“Have fun, use your imagination, take chances, learn,” St.Christian admonishes. “It won’t hurt, honestly. I know these things.”

Who would challenge this assertion? dr.d, the expert, has spoken: He knows that taking even dangerous photos of one’s personal sexual experiences won’t hurt.

What were members of the Department of Anthropology and the Faculty of Social Science thinking when they approved this course? Do members of the Senate take pride in this standing affront to the dignity of the University?

Western’s official Coat of Arms depicts the Cross of St. Andrew over the motto “veritas et utilitas” (truth and usefulness). As the main identifier of the university, this once-honoured symbol was replaced in 1998 by the University Tower Logo, which simply proclaims “Western.”

The Western Coat of Arms is still used, but only on University degrees and diplomas. In the interest of accuracy, it should be abolished altogether.

Rory Leishman
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