Accuracy in Media

HuffPost avoids the point about comprehensive sex education. The point is not about age-appropriate sex education — it’s the definition of the word “comprehensive” that makes the difference. This is exactly the part of the argument that HuffPost glides over.

As in the headline: “Worried about Grooming? Teaching Kids Comprehensive Sex Education Could Help.”

This is, of course, about Florida’s HB 1557 law. By placing restrictions upon what may be an aid in sex education classes, those who do teach it are complaining about it. But then that’s rather the reason to place limits upon their teaching, that it doesn’t meet community standards. And that’s the point that is really at the heart of all of this.

Sex educator Jaclyn Friedman is similarly alarmed by the “grooming” claims.

“It’s harmful and misguided at best, and cynically endangering kids for political gain at worst,” said Friedman, who is the vice president of strategy at SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change, a group that advocates for progressive sex education policy and implementation across the country.

Well, yes, again rather the point. Rather a large number of parents would prefer that sex education not be progressive – for those parents are not progressives. This is exactly what is creating the complaints from the sex educators – they are progressives. After all, what’s the point of working to control a part of the education system in order to create that future society if people can just stop you from doing so by passing a mere law?

“Every single legitimate study about the effect of age-appropriate, comprehensive sexuality education shows positive outcomes for the kids who are lucky enough to take these classes,” said Amy Lang, a sexuality and parenting educator in Seattle.

But who is defining what is positive here? Amazingly, positive is what the sex educators think is a good think, not what parents do. Which is, again, the reason for the pushback.

“I feel very lucky to live and teach in a state where sex education must be comprehensive ? starting in elementary school and continuing throughout middle and high school ? and inclusive, including LGBTQIA+ topics and consent/sexual assault,” she said.

El Ed has to include LGBTQIA+? Again, we come to that conflict between what parents would like their children to learn and what the sex educators are teaching.

HuffPost was set up as a determinedly progressive alternative to the conservative media of a decade back. Currently, it’s a part of the BuzzFeed empire and gains some 60 million visits a month as a result. It’s still determinedly progressive.

This is why they’re not seeing the basic conflict here. There’s some set of things which the progressive want children to be taught. There’s a much smaller set of things that parents would, by and large, like their children to be taught about sex. The conflict isn’t so much about who is right but who should have the power to insist? HuffPost, being progressive, thinks it should be the progressives. Everyone not progressive thinks the parents – and there’s the conflict.




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