A Talk on Gender and Education
In 1981 my daughter came home from secondary school with information about her first day in health class. The teacher did not allow the students to bring the materials home, but what she told me caused concern. I went to the school and asked to see the materials they were using. I was shocked. It was far worse than I had imagined. Basically, every form of sexual sin was promoted, the course even downplayed the harm of incest and child abuse. I asked to have my daughter removed from the class and was told that the health class was a requirement for graduation.
The most troubling part of the course was not the open promotion of the sexual revolution, but use of what was called values clarification. Morality and virtue were replaced by values. Students were told they should make decisions based on what they chose freely to value. The course equated what music you chose or flavor of ice cream you like with the decision to have sex. Choice was the key word. The pro-abortion movement calls itself pro-choice.
The underlying goal was to encourage students to challenge their parents’ religion and adopt the values their teachers favored. I did not simply infer this from the materials. In the course of our debates, the teachers of the course admitted as much.
After a protracted debate, during which we were ridiculed in the press, our daughter was allowed to graduate without taking the health course. At the time, we received very little support, but years later some of my daughter’s classmates admitted to her that we had been right. They had bought what the teachers were selling and paid a heavy price in unwed pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, and heartbreak.
For me, this was the beginning. I committed myself to the battle to protect our children, and in pursuit of this goal I discovered the gender agenda. According to gender ideology while sex is biological, gender is the way we self-identify. Gender, they claim, is socially constructed, can be changed and doesn’t have to be the same as biological sex. For gender ideologues, equality means that all differences between men and women should be eliminated so that women and men participate in all activities in statistically equal numbers. They are particularly offended by the fact that when two people are sexually intimate only one gets pregnant and it’s always the woman. Therefore, for them, contraception and abortion are a priority. Likewise, if there are no differences between men and women, then there is no reason why two men or two women can’t be sexually intimate. If gender is constructed, then people can change their gender. Thus the gender ideology supports lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and recently queer rights. Those who self-identify as queer don’t want to be tied down to any particular orientation or identity. Any identity, any sexual partner, any sexual act is okay. The gender ideology is totalitarian by nature. It uses Marxist theory and strategy. Since students are expected to believe things which are obviously untrue, the gender ideologues need absolute control. No opposing views are allowed. If students voice doubts, they are shamed into silence.
The gender ideologues are angry because they feel discriminated against and in one sense they are oppressed by reality. They can change laws, force people to pretend that all the real differences between men and women are mere social constructs, that can be eliminated to create a more equal world, but the reality of male and female is written in the DNA in every cell of our bodies and no matter how hard they try to ignore it, it keeps pushing through. For example when women therapists were asked to interview men who had been surgical altered to resemble women, they were not convinced. They said that they know women and these were not women.
Gender is being pushed at all levels and in all subjects, but compulsory comprehensive sex education continues to be a major vehicle for propagandizing students. Those pushing these programs first used parents’ fears of teen pregnancy to convince the public their program was necessary. When the AIDS epidemic broke out, they used the epidemic to push homosexuality, even though the gay sexual revolution was the vehicle by which the infection spread. I attended to an AIDS education class at which a young, HIV positive gay man told the students that gays were born that way, couldn’t change, and were just like everyone else and the answer to the epidemic was for everyone to use a condom every time.
None of this was true. I personally looked up every study that supposedly supported these claims. What I found were poorly designed studies, with small samples, unsupported conclusions, outdated studies that had been refuted by numerous well-designed studies, and opinion pieces. Unsubstantiated claims were repeated over and over, but when traced back to the source, there was nothing there.
There is no evidence that same-sex attraction is genetically predetermined and unchangeable. In spite of years of searching no gay gene has been found. Even the pro-gay advocates admit that same-sex attraction is the result of a combination of factors including early childhood experiences. Each person with same-sex attraction has his or her own personal story, but we often find a history of trauma, failure to identify with the same-sex parent, or childhood sexual abuse. Many children experience confusion about their sexual feelings and identity. Most grow out of it, but the LGBTQ activists use that youthful confusion to encourage students to self-identify as LGBTQ and experiment sexually. Such students could benefit from compassionate counseling. However, to prevent students from developing their heterosexual potential, the latest campaign of the gender activists involves a massive push to make therapy to help vulnerable young people deal with such confusion illegal.
The use-a-condom-every-time prevention strategy has failed miserably among gay men. It was been thirty five years since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic and in spite of massive so-called safe-sex education initiatives, the number of gay men newly infected each year continues to increase in the US and around the world. Experts in the field now recognize that they are facing a syndemic – a situation where several different epidemics exist together each making the others worse. In this case the HIV epidemic is intensified by the co-occurring epidemics of other STDs, substance abuse, psychological problems including depression and suicidal thoughts, and a history of childhood sexual abuse and victimization.
To secure their hold on confused students, the gender activists have initiated the Safe-School movement and anti-bullying programs. Of course, children should be safe in school and bullying should discouraged, but these programs are used to spread myths about sexual orientation and gender identity and to target vulnerable confused students and encourage them to seek pro-LGBTQ counseling.
US government officials are using anti-discrimination laws to force schools to allow boys who want to be girls, or girls who want to be boys, to come to school dressed as the other sex, use the bathroom and locker room of the other sex, and play on the sports team of the other sex. When a school in Illinois tried to accommodate a boy who wanted to be a girl with separate facilities, the federal government insisted that he be treated exactly like the real girls or the district would lose significant federal funding.
What should parents do?
First, be vigilant. We have seen various programs come and go, and come back again in a different form: values clarification, AIDS prevention, Safe Schools, anti-bullying, transgender rights, and compulsory comprehensive sex education. You win one battle and they change their strategy.
Second, always remember science is on our side. Our opposition claims science is on their side and there is no place for our religious opinions in public schools, but we can be confident that when all the facts are in they will support us. It’s God’s world and his laws are for our good. However, sometimes it takes a while for the consequences to manifest themselves. For example, small samples of lesbian couples raising children were surveyed and claimed their children were doing just fine, but a larger study looking at objective outcomes like education and employment found that these children as young adults compared poorly when compared to young adults raised by their married mother and father.
Our opposition knows that their programs fail to protect vulnerable students, so they resort to name calling and accuse us of being sexist, homophobic, transphobic, heterosexist, racist, hate-filled bigots. We must shake off this lie. We warn people about real dangers because we genuinely care for them. Sometimes in the midst of a battle, it is easy to forget that our opponents have suffered deep wounds. While we cannot surrender to their schemes, we are obliged to love them and pray for them.
Given the present situation, there is a good chance that our children or grandchildren will have a friend who identifies as LGBTQ. If we have raised them well, they will be concerned and compassionate. However, if we have not educated them about the origins of same-sex attraction and gender dysphoria, they may be open to believing the myth that lesbians and gays are born that way and can’t change or that people can change their sex. We have to be compassionate and at the same time help our children understand the roots of LGBTQ identification. For example, we can explain the various situations that can precede same-sex attraction. Sometimes it simple. A deep friendship between two girls may be so intense that, with all the talk about lesbianism, a girl may assume she must be a lesbian. Or a boy, who is not athletic, may identify with his mother rather than his very athletic father and may be labeled by classmates as gay. He may feel attraction to males, because he is looking for something he missed – a closeness to his father. Some of those who want to be the other sex may believe they will be safer or loved if they were the other sex or they may be envious of what they see as the privileges of the other sex. Some LGBTQ have serious psychological problems. A significant number have been victims of childhood sexual abuse. We can pray for these troubled young people, but not give in to their demands.
While the first priority should be to keep these pernicious programs out of our schools, it is not enough. We need more than a defensive program. We have to do more than just erecting a fortress to protect them; we need to train our children to be warriors, defenders of the truth about life and love.
We must teach them how to be compassionate without compromising the truth. We must explain to them that love cannot lie. We cannot call killing an unborn child a woman’s choice. We cannot call the relationship between two persons of the same sex marriage. We cannot call a man a woman even if he has had surgical alterations. We must be people of truth. We will not lie.
The movement to fight the gender ideology in all its manifestations needs a symbol. I would suggest a drawing or a pin in the shape of the XX and XY chromosomes. This would illustrate the scientific truth of sex difference. The chromosomes contain the DNA, the directions for building the cells of our bodies, one set for women, a different set for men, both fully human, but clearly different. Justice for women cannot ignore the differences. It takes one XX, one XY to make a baby. Two XX’s cannot make a baby. Telling a child he has two mommies and doesn’t need a daddy is a lie. DNA is not socially constructed. Every cell in our bodies is marked either XX or XY and external modifications cannot touch that. These are undeniable truths that can be explained even to young children.
This is our battle. We must not be afraid. We must embrace it with joy.