There has been an unsettling uproar on social media recently. This is about the Comprehensive Sexuality Education curriculum by the Department of Education. The constant misleading media that people share make parents wary about the content of the curriculum. The goal of the curriculum has also been misconstrued along the way.
There are many petitions taken out by organizations, some religious-based and some not. The biggest criticism is that the CSE sexualizes children and encourages them to be sexual.
One such petition is by the Concerned Young People of South Africa (CYPSA). They argue that this curriculum:
-Encourages kids to experiment with alternative sexual options
-Encourages them to engage in sex with the same sex
-Exposes them to pornography
-Disregards parent’s involvement in the education of their children
What such organizations are not considering is that young people are already having sex. This is why 30% of South Africa’s youth is falling pregnant. They are also ignoring the fact that kids start watching pornography form the age of 11. So in essence, parents are allowing porn to teach their children a sexual relationship looks like.
We are also in this position as a country because the sex talk starts and ends with “boys are bad, and boys bring babies”. So as a parent, I fail to understand which parental involvement the curriculum is disregarding. A lot of parents are not having honest conversations with their children about sex.
What I also have not seen discussed is the important concepts taught as part of this curriculum. Not only are children learning to respect their bodies, but they are also taught to respect other people’s bodies. So, the concept of consent is an important part of this curriculum. This means that children are able to identify unbecoming sexual behaviors.
25 November 2019 marked the beginning of the 16 days of activism in SA. Young children are being exposed to sexual abuse at a young age. They hardly report it because they either cannot comprehend what is happening or hear from the abuser that this kind of behavior is okay.
Now, there is a curriculum that tells kids it is not okay for someone to play with their genitals.
CSE information got filtered down and created unnecessary panic. We need to raise self-aware and confident children, and this curriculum serves this purpose. We can’t ignore the sex subject forever.
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