Sex education and driving

Dear Editor,

Sex education and driving have this in common: neither should be taught by parents.

I tried to teach my oldest to drive for about a half an hour before I realized I needed an expert.

Know what else I am not an expert on? How to help kids navigate learning about sex in an era of online porn and social media.

If I didn’t teach my kids about driving, I certainly did set rules: when the kids could have the car and when they couldn’t.

What happened if they get a speeding ticket, or forgot to fill up the tank?

It’s was also my job to set rules about teenage romance: what age they could date, where they go on dates, who they dated, what the limits of behaviour were.

Setting rules is an important job because there is another thing sex and driving have in common: they are life-threatening.

The leading causes of death among teenagers are car accidents and suicide. (If you don’t think sex education and suicide are related, look up what happened to Rehtaeh Parsons.) Sex education is not just about mechanics, it’s about acceptable behaviour.

The last thing anybody wants is for their child to be raped, or be charged with sexual assault and labelled a sexual predator for the rest of their lives, all because they lacked basic information about sexual consent.

Sexual consent and sexual assault legislation are very complex: best taught by experts.

Sex and driving have another thing in common: your kid is not the only kid you have to worry about.

Your kid can be informed, trained and careful.

They can get hit by a drunk driver or killed in a car driven by a reckless friend. Same with sex.

All it takes is one kid with a bad idea to set tragedy in motion. The Ontario provincial government just cancelled their new sex-ed curriculum, and the same thing could happen here within a year.

Let’s make sure that our schools always provide the education that supports safe, healthy, and joyful sexual development…which in no way interferes with the parental job of teaching morals and setting rules.

 

Nora Abercrombie

Beaver County, Ab.

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