Should Porn be on the School Curriculum?


This is in the news at the moment and poses some really interesting questions if you are a parent and a Catholic. The Church teaches that parents are children's primary educators (see Compendium of Social Doctrine of the Church, 238ff). Despite this, the Catholic Education Service has welcomed the UK government's decision to introduce compulsory relationship and sex education in England for 4-year-olds and upwards (see here).

While it is clear that children need to be educated in a broad range of social and sexual issues, my own experience of sex education in Catholic Secondary Schools is that it is inadequate, mechanical and damaging. All three of my own sons were disturbed by what they were taught at 11. Not because they didn't know about it, we had discussed it a great deal at home, but because it was given without the social context they were used to hearing about it in.

The point I'm making is that I don't trust schools to provide this important, delicate information to my children, the young minds most precious to my wife and I. I look at society's idea of sexuality and I abhor it. I do not think it is healthy or beneficial. I think it is dark and dangerous. Sex without consequences, abortion, pornography, abuse, these are prevalent and I don't want my children to grow up thinking they are normal in any way. As society at large moves away from denouncing these objective evils, I find myself in a position where I do not want to be dictated to by society, and I do not want society to undermine my parental authority by teaching my children things that are at odds with what I am teaching them.

Of course I recognise that  this is at odds with the reality that not all parents take responsibility for educating their children about anything, let alone sex.

I think the idea of subsidiarity would allow for a system which intervened where necessary, the question is, how do we measure what is necessary?

The matter would be greatly assisted if our Catholic schools taught authoritatively and effectively on this matter, or if our diocese helped parents in issues like this by providing a framework that parents could perhaps subscribe to. Porn should be taught in schools insofar as it is taught that it is out there in spades and that it is wrong.

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