Tuesday night, while I was off having drinks and generally enjoying myself with her and her and her and her, and my husband was down at the harbor having fish tacos with our kids, the rest of the parents of my son's 5th grade class were at an informational meeting about the upcoming course on "Family Life", aka, Sex Ed.
I emailed Jake's teacher, letting her know that we were
slacker parents who opt for food and cocktails over active participation in our son's education unable to attend and would she please send home the course information so we could give in the once over... I mean, we're not totally irresponsible.
Last night, Jake handed me a textbook with a cover depicting a family out on a nature walk... I guess gearing up to talk about periods and sperm... or maybe see some wildlife doing it...
When I cracked the cover, a small note fell out on which was scribbled the title of this post: be prepared to barf.
Funny and, as it turns out, not too far off the mark.
I skimmed through chapters entitled: Marriage Love (sex + love = fun in marriage), Getting Ready for Motherhood (periods + breasts = babies!) and Getting Ready for Fatherhood (sperm + erections = babies!) all in all it is straightforward, shiny and clinical. Until I get to "Healthy & Well" on pg. 37 in which the following appeared: Masturbation is always a misuse of God's gift of sexuality; it can be seriously sinful
Insert needle across the record sound here.
Seriously, what fucking era is this? Will masturbation also make you go blind and grow hair on your palms?
Was it too late to take back the permission slip I had already signed as there is no way I am going to let my son get this kind of information... hello. Orgasm = guilt, just what he needs for a healthy sex life.
So, I sent the following email off to his teacher last night:
Thank you for sending home the Family Life workbook with Jake; I am now very sorry I wasn't able to make last night's meeting.
My husband and I have some serious concerns about the Healthy and Whole section on masturbation. We don't believe/agree that masturbation is a sin and it is the very last message we want to have given to our son as he enters puberty.
While we can provide Jake with discussion and literature at home to reinforce a healthy sexual identity, we don't want to have to undo "damage".
Please let me know how much coverage this topic is going to get in class as I am considering not allowing him to attend...
I am awaiting a reply.
Has anyone else had this come up? What would you do?
And that, by the way my friends, is the most I ever want to think about my son's sex life.
excerpt of email received from teacher:
We generally say that's a very old fashioned view and that nowadays people don't consider masturbation a sin; we don't linger long on the subject...
So, I am (fairly) satisfied. My concern is that those words are still in the book, my son will still read the book and I don't want that lingering around in his brain, so I guess we're forced to do a preemptive strike.
With regards to an email I received from a blog reader, here my answer to that:
When my kids were little babies did I ever imagine there would be a day when I would be fighting for their right to guilt free masturbation? Of course not, but my boys are growing up and so are the problems we're dealing with and as much I wish I could keep them in a world of Power Rangers and Guitar Hero, I have to face the fact that some of the issues we are going to be dealing with are of a more adult nature and I am not doing anyone any favors if I am uncomfortable with the basic truths.