Sunday, October 24, 2010

When does No Know mean No No?

Never as far as I know. But then we live in strange times and sometimes us Sri Lankans prefer to hide our heads in the sands rather than face reality.
There were two articles today which appeared in the Sunday Times today which distressed me. One was the picture of the head of the ICRC crying because the tractors which were to be given to poor people in the North were given to the supporters of some politician. The other was this article which appeared about a sex book which was given out to students at CIS. Apparently a parent is revolted about the fact that his child of twelve should learn about making love, birth control and abortion. He alleges that it’s a book given to 15 year olds in the UK and since his request was refused has reported it to the media and the Child Prevention Authority.

To me this is a classic case of sensationalisation. Sometimes I wonder why a respected paper like the Sunday Times does not check the facts. A simple google search would have shed so much light on this issue. That’s what I did and this is what I found.

First of all it’s not a sex book. It is a book titled “Moral Issues” and a very good one at that. I did find it on google books and did skim through some of the pages. All I found was a publication which takes some of the situations young people face head on and provide honest and clear views about them. On the other hand what I found most revolting was the way the chairman of the NCPA reacted. One would think the school has been found guilty of distributing hardcore pornography amongst the kids. Take a look at some of the screen captures I have published and decide for yourself if someone is being overly puritan or not.

I think she and this parent believes that by educating the children about birth control, sex and abortion will encourage them to go out and procreate like rabbits. In other words prevention breeds practice. Also the fact that this book is only given to students is also false. In fact this book is introduced to students in Key Stage 3 which is years 7-9 (11-14 year olds) in the British Education system.

Sadly this kind of view it seems is more prevalent in Sri Lanka than I thought. And I was surprised when I was confronted with it in my own home whilst my wife and I were having a chat about a neighbor’s daughter. Now don’t get me wrong we were not gossiping. This girl is like an extended daughter to us. She has just turned 18 and found a job. She had a very rigid and closed upbringing when she was young. And now she is enjoying the new found freedom adulthood and work has brought her. However this has caused great agony to her mom and grandmother. Sadly they don’t have the patience or the tact to handle this kind of situation. Since this girl was experimenting with boys I was telling my wife I think it was wise if she told her a little bit about birth control and other adult stuff which her mom would be too shy to do. They are quite old fashioned and conventional. Sadly my wife too was of the same opinion that if she was to give her some basic sex education it would encourage her to be promiscuous. I nearly fell off my chair when I heard this but there was nothing I could say or do because I had hit a wall of moral objection.

This is the same attitude taken up by the Catholic Church about contraceptives. Sadly the world does not work the way we would want it to. If so there would be far less teenage pregnancies and less aids.

No one taught me about sex when I was young. I had to find out all I know from my friends. Fortunately I was not negatively affected by this. But today girls are attaining age at a very young age. I know this for a fact. I have two daughters and one has already become a woman though she is not even in her teens. And I would like her to be informed about what could happen to her and what options are available to her than suffer the consequences of my false sense of pious morality.


David Blacker said...

I don't think there's any newspaper in SL that deserves the prefix "respected".

PP said...

this whole thing is a bit silly because even in the local syllabus, we were taught about the reproductive organs and reproduction itself when we were 12-13 years. of course, never in my time at school, not even when we were doing biology for a/ls were we told how the sperm gets to the ovum in the uterus. that, we were to figure out/assume/read up on/whatever. my al bio teacher turned beet red when a classmate asked her when in the menstrual cycle it was safe to have sex without risk of pregnancy. i suppose she thought that was unnecessary as it was not part of the syllabus. i remember we got a government issued book called "udavoo yauvanaya" which talked about some (not all, but i guess what was deemed "safe") of the issues and questions you have at adolescence. this sounds like a more meaningful next step to that book.

you'd think that the ncpa would be more worried about the fact that there are 3 children being raped everyday instead of becoming outraged at a school trying to equip their students with more than just how to add numbers.

Anonymous said...

I read about a 12 year old girl gave birth to a child of her 14 year old elder brother couple of weeks ago. and the both siblings had told the police that they were not aware of the happenings after what they did....

And this NCPA morons are accusing CIS....

Nothing to say.... *sighs

N said...

Like you, it took me two google searches to find out what was alleged was nonsense. While 3 children are being raped a day as PP says, the NCPA is wasting its time and our money on allegations like this. What fools.