g l o o m y s u n d a y (gloomy__sunday) wrote in moraltheory,
g l o o m y s u n d a y

Today's Topic

Is it moral or immoral to teach sex ed in schools?
At what age should we begin? And at what ages is it immoral/moral?

Late highschool?
Early highschool?
(Middle school, if you have it where you are?)
Late elementary school?
Early elementary school?

Please back up your position with reasoning or evidence, not just opinions founded upon assumption.
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It's immoral. It's the same thing as teaching religion in schools; I wouldn't want my kids being taught about something as important as sex by someone who I didn't even know.
You don't KNOW your children's teachers?

What kind of a parent are you? If you're so negligent of your child that you haven't ever gone to a single parent-teacher night, isn't that at least partially your own fault?

Also, it is your choice whether or not to homeschool them.
I'm not a parent, I was speaking in the hypothetical. Going to a single parent-teacher night is NOT a sufficient interaction for me to consider someone as "known." "Know," to me, means that I am intimately familiar with a person's opinions, convictions, and morals. It takes more than a night of orientation to get to "known" status with me.
"There is no such thing as morality or immorality in thought... anything is good that stimulates thought, at whatever age..." ~Oscar Wilde

Teaching sex ed is neither moral or immoral. Would teaching photosynthesis or cellular division be a question of morality or immorality? No. These two things fall within biology and biology is a science and science is a description of the real physical world and the real physical world can be neither moral or immoral as it simply IS. As sex ed deals with a function of the body and so fits within biology, morality or immorality is non-applicable. As such, the age of the person it is being taught to is irrelevant in regards to morality or immorality.

One could argue at what age it is appropriate to teach sex ed to a child, but appropriate and moral/immoral are not synonymous. Determining when it is appropriate to teach sex ed to a child would depend entirely on the parents, the individual child, and the situation in which they found themselves in. Such considerations as the desires of the parents, the cultural customs, the family customs, the imposed sex customs of the religion of the parents/family, maturity of the child, curiosity of the child would all be inherent in determining such a thing.
A lot of people also say speech is harmless, but almost no certified psychologist would agree to that.

And if speech is harmless, and thought is harmless, what about premeditated murder- intent to kill, all that sort of thing?

"biology is a science and science is a description of the real physical world and the real physical world can be neither moral or immoral as it simply IS."

So then are creationism and evolution neither moral or immoral? They're both theories. Should we teach both of these in school on this basis as well?
I never mentioned speech so I don't see how it is relevant to this discussion. I never said thought was harmless, I quoted Oscar Wilde claiming that thought is neither moral or immoral (which I believe). Harmless is not the same as moral or immoral.

Premeditated murder is only immoral (or convictable for that matter) if it is acted upon. The mere thought of killing someone is irrelevant as far as morality or immorality go as it only exists in the mind of the thinker. Only acts are moral or immoral. How can a thought even be proved to exist by anyone but the thinker of that thought? Effectively, to others, a thought doesn't exist unless it is acted upon.

Creationism and evolution are neither moral or immoral in and of themselves. Only the teaching of them has the possibility of being moral or immoral. But they are not both theories. A theory is a widely accepted hypothesis that has yet to be definitively disproven. Creationism is a creation story (emphasis on story) which relies on a presuposition of that which is unable to be proven or disproven (the existance of a god as the bible describes); an act of faith. It is not science. Evolution is a scientific theory that is based on evidence and is open to being disproven though it has yet to be definatively disproven.

As far as the teaching of both of these in school (and I'm assuming you mean public school since private schools can do whatever they please in this regard), if it weren't for our Constitutional rule of separation of church and state, there wouldn't be a problem. There would be (as is) a problem, though, if Creationism were trying to be taught in science classes as it is not science. Literature classes, comparitive religion classes, or philosophy classes might be appropriate places to present Creationism were it Constitutionally legal to do so.
not to offend, but saying that creationism is a 'theory' is a bit misleading. nobody in the scientific community would support that claim. creationist 'theory' isn't published in scientific journals or papers, and there's absolutely no way to test it, making it un-scientific in pretty much every regard. the only people debating about the scientific validity of the 'theory' of creationism are the layman masses.
As sex ed deals with a function of the body and so fits within biology, morality or immorality is non-applicable.

I think the reason the commenter asked this question in the first place was not because they were concerned with the biological aspect of it that is essentially harmless for the reasons you stated, but because in the sex ed program, teachers generally speak about abstinence vs. safe sex, provide information about birth control, and sometimes even go into detail about what actual sex involves. The question is, are these things moral?

Perhaps it isn't a question of morality per se, because sex in itself may not fit into moral theory. What is the nature of the question, then?
Sex education is moral and necessary. It should start around the age of ten or eleven. And it needs to be taught again, more in depth in junior high and high school.

If single parent and/or broken homes weren't as common in the States, sex education wouldn't be needed here. One out of three children is born from wedlock and children growing up in homes, absent of a father figure are said to be twice as likely to have kids out of wedlock (along with the higher probability of being incarcerated and/or hitting poverty at one point in his/her life).

Along with my parents teaching me, I had proper sexual education when I was younger. As part of my sex ed, my class and I visited a facility for young and basically homeless mothers. These girls had gotten pregnant and kicked out of their homes for it and some of these girls were as young as ten years old. At the time and even now, I think that was great for stressing the importance of waiting and/or abstinence.
You say it's moral, but you don't really explain how that links with your other claims. Can you connect these, please?
Okay, how about... If we didn't have such a problem with children being born out of wedlock and broken homes, then teaching sexual education could be left to children's parental units. However, a good portion of our children don't have the luxury of their parents having the time or taking the time to sit down and educate them about sex. And even of the parents who take the time to sit their kids down and educate them on the subject, there's a chance that the parents are either purposely or not mis-educating them, which opens leaves the kids only knowing half-truths. These half-truths won't protect them from pregnancy and STD's. Sexual education reduces the risk of an individual concerning pregnancy and/or catching an STD. Since keeping sexual education from children ends up harming more than helping (by increasing the risks of pregnancy and STD's), it's immoral not to teach sexual education in school.

So how is teaching sexual education moral? By teaching sexual education, children become aware of the risks, the dangers of sex, along with given a better understanding of the process. This education frees people from ignorance concerning sex and gives kids a better choice to make up their own minds, along with better protecting themselves.
Sex ed ought to be taught before they reach reproducing age so as to protect them. 10 or 11. Yes, that is just my opinion, but...it shouldn't be done without the parents consent as ultimately it is up to the parent to decide what their child learns or does not learn.
ultimately it is up to the parent to decide what their child learns or does not learn
How does a parent acquire such extensive powers over their child's life? Does this mean that parents have the right to deny their child any education at all? Isn't this against the idea of national curricula?
sex education is a neccisary part of curriculum. sex is a fact of life that a person is going to have to make decisions on regardless of race, religion, or creed. it's kind of like balancing a check book, which they teach in home economics class (a required credit in my highschool). when you become an adult, you're going to need to know the ins and outs (ahem) of the situation. if you choose to be celebate, fine. however, sex education assures that you will choose to be an informed celebate.

i heard a story once about a military officer who was newly married and wanted children. his wife and him tried for a period of time, with no success. they saw a doctor, who could find nothing wrong with them, except that the man's wife was a virgin. he asked them how exactly they were trying to go about procreating and discovered that they were ingaging in a form of intercourse not normally associated with pregnancy. this story could just be an urban legend (it probably is) but i don't think it's even that far out there. it's concievable that someone just might not ever know how to make babies. lacking this information, and feeling that sex is a shameful thing (something that could happen if it wasn't taught in public schools) they might never figure out what the problem is.
It's immoral to teach people anything. When people want to know, they ask and should be helped to learn.
but isn't it our responsibility to help those too stupid to help themselves? if someone lacks the desire to persue the most basic living skills to allow themselves to compete in todays world/market/bedroom, then they become a drain on society. a parisite, if you will. and that's just bad for everyone.