By Mark Early for Breakpoint.org
If you ever want a truly Herculean task, I can’t think of a harder one than diving into the sex education debate in this country and sorting through all the views and claims of both sides. But that’s exactly what sociologist Kristin Luker has done with her new book, When Sex Goes to School: Warring Views on Sex—and Sex Education—Since the Sixties.
Luker deserves full credit for tackling this tough subject and for doing her research so thoroughly that the book took two decades to complete. And she deserves extra credit for coming as close to an objective view of the issue as anyone I’ve ever seen. Although Luker is no conservative on sexual issues, she’s light years away from the pundits and researchers who consider the Christian viewpoint beneath contempt. Instead, she takes both sides seriously and is even willing to acknowledge many of the truths inherent in traditional views of sexuality.
In doing so, Luker gets to the very heart of the sex education debate in a way that few other social scientists have, because she discovers that the debate is not just about sex. What it’s really about is worldview.
“Sexual conservatives,” Luker explains, “ . . . believe that humans are fundamentally capable of the worst, and that it is only the combined power of an internal morality and external constraints that keeps most of us on the straight-and-narrow most of the time.” And this, she shows, is why we argue for “firm structures” and the teaching of moral boundaries. On the other hand, she says, “sexual liberals see a world in which the only way a diverse and heterogeneous group of people can be trusted to make good moral decisions is to ensure that all of them have the maximum amount of information possible.” So sexual liberals fight to give children as much sexual information as possible as early as possible, thinking “that if their children are given education and information, they will grow up to be morally good adults.”
Read the rest of this commentary
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge..." Proverbs 1:7