South Africa: The Grim News About Why Our Children Need Sex Education

opinion

Parents opposing sex education, I appeal to you: think about what you're doing.

There has been a huge to-do lately - a fight between a growing number of parents and the Department of Basic Education (DBE). What's the furore about? These parents are outraged and vociferous in their opposition to the lesson plans currently being tested by the DBE in about 1,500 schools - Grades 4 to 12. The purpose of these lessons, as the DBE states, is to make learners "more aware of gender violence".

A friend sent me an invitation to join a Facebook group - 100,000 members strong and growing fast - called #LeaveOurKidsAlone. This group is dedicated to stopping the DBE from implementing these plans and they have a list of "demands". I was shocked. How could an educated friend have these views and believe they should be spread?

I explored the page, trying to understand the arguments of these 100,000 parents, virulently opposing sex education on gender-based violence. And they are not limiting their outrage to gender-based violence lessons, they are calling for sex education to be all but banned. I'll try to summarise their views and outline some counterarguments.

Only parents must teach children about...

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