Frankly, I think it's a good idea. When it is so easy for children to "learn" about sexuality via some truly awful stuff on the Internet, credible and meaningful material is needed earlier than before. I'd love it if parents actually could teach this subject to their children - but so few people can talk about sexuality openly and honestly in our society that it still ends up falling to our schools to attempt to stem the constant barrage of misconceptions and myths that permeate pop culture.
Predictably, the usual suspects have their panties in a twist:
Dr. Charles McVety, President of Canada Christian College, stated that “it is unconscionable to teach 8 year-old children [about] same-sex marriage, sexual orientation and gender identity. It is even more absurd to subject 6th graders to instruction on the pleasures of masturbation [and] vaginal lubrication, and 12 year-olds to lessons on oral sex and anal intercourse.”
“Mr. McGuinty plans to teach our children sexually explicit material that he did not give to his own,” Dr. McVety continued. “The Premier is not acting in trust. He must stop this form of corruption.”
I see ... of course, like any good prude, McVety immediately glues his eyeballs on what he thinks are salacious ideas (dear god, who would EVER think of oral sex without instructions? /sarcasm) and utterly ignores the fact that the curriculum will more than likely talk about what it is, and some of the safety steps you can take to minimize the risks that such activities can entail. (for example, using dental dams and condoms)
If McVety wants something to be shocked about, he should Google "Oral" and take a note of the first page of results - it doesn't include Oral Roberts.
What used to mostly be rumours and discussion on the school playground is pervasive in our world today. I suspect that kids are more than passing familiar with the language of sexuality long before Junior High (grade 7).
The curriculum, when you read past the emotionally loaded language of Lifesite's writers doesn't sound unreasonable:
Under the curriculum, students begin to explore “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in grade 3, as part of an expectation to appreciate “invisible differences” in others. In grade 5, a student is expected to recognize that “things I cannot control include ... personal characteristics such as ... my gender identity [and] sexual orientation.”
In addition to learning about masturbation in grade 6, the curriculum suggest that students can better understand “sexual orientation” by “reading books that describe various types of families and relationships,” including those involving two “mothers” or “fathers.” In grades 7 and 8, “preventing pregnancy and disease,” “gender identity,” and “sexual orientation” become “key topics.”
Grade 7s are expected to be taught about “using condoms consistently if and when a person becomes sexually active.” In grade 8, the use of contraception is a key component of the curriculum, and students are expected to “demonstrate an understanding of gender identity (e.g., male, female, two-spirited, transgendered, transsexual, intersex) and sexual orientation (e.g., heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual).”
I seem to remember getting some of that material in Junior High myself - although it was certainly not complete in any sense. The basics of contraception were certainly discussed, and in an era where HIV is an enormous risk, and other STIs are far from 'conquered', it seems to me not only reasonable, but prudent, to make sure that children have information available to make intelligent decisions about their sexuality as they are coming into it.
But, I wouldn't expect McVety to understand such things - after all, he's still in the world of denying sexuality exists at all.