Children should not have to pay the price for grown-ups closing their minds
By Gavin Ashenden
THE Conservative government in the UK is to impose a new sex and relationship curriculum on schools this September, elements of which will be compulsory. You can’t withdraw your child from the most controversial part of the project.
One of the oddest things about the project is that a Conservative government has been captured by progressive campaigners and is using the law to deprive parents of their freedom of thought and conscience.
The way the issue is presented appears (as always) benign enough. The relationship element of the curriculum will begin with helping children live with difference and variety. Of course that’s one of the great things about going to school. You meet all different kinds of people. You learn about them, and you get help living alongside the ones you like very much and the ones you dislike very much. So far, so normal.
But that isn’t what lies behind the LGBTQI+-driven agenda. The intention is to normalise non-heterosexual relationships. The recognition in a free society that people are entitled to live as they choose so long as they do no harm to others (the harm they do to themselves is their business mainly) is a no-brainer. But the problem here is that harm is being done by the way it is being done.
You can’t introduce homosexuality without introducing sexuality itself. A child’s world (despite the best efforts of Sigmund Freud’s exploration of the unconscious) is made safe by parental affection and a variety of wholesome friendships. The only way of introducing the adult world of sexual attraction is to sexualise children.
So what happens to children when you expose them to sex too early in their maturation process?
The psychiatric and psychological advice is unambiguously clear. You make them ill. You undermine their mental wellbeing. The Royal Australian College of Psychiatrists issued a warning recently: ‘There is growing evidence that premature exposure to adult sexual images and values has a negative impact on the psychological development of children, particularly on self-esteem, body image and understanding of sexuality and relationships.’
The American Psychological Association has been saying the same thing: ‘We have ample evidence to conclude that sexualisation has negative effects in a variety of domains, including cognitive functioning, physical and mental health, and healthy sexual development.’
What does this mean in real life? Research links sexualisation with three of the most common mental health problems diagnosed in girls and women: eating disorders, low self-esteem and depression.
Most of us know already that our children have been engulfed by a tsunami of mental distress. There are complex causes, made very much worse by the pressures of social media, which so few people seem to want to live without.
But the inexorable growing tide of sexualisation, in which our children are drowning at a younger and younger age, is one of the most destabilising factors. Sex is powerful. There is every indication that adults aren’t handling it very well. How can we impose it on our own children, driven as it is by predators who either want to make money (sex sells like nothing else), or who want to impose their fundamentalist world views on them?
How dare any government tell us that we are in breach of their laws when we demand the most fundamental right which is at one and the same time a fundamental responsibility – to protect and nurture our children?
The problem is that this sexualised climate grows increasingly fanatical.
Are our children who suffer from gender dysphoria in good hands? No, they are not. Marcus Evans, a consultant psychotherapist who acts as a governor at the Tavistock clinic, has just resigned in protest at the ‘blinkered and one-sided’ response to doctors who had raised the alarm about the woeful inadequacy of the clinic’s practices. There was now a climate of fear among the doctors. In a report published this week by another governor and clinician, David Bell, it has been claimed that ‘children were making life-changing decisions with inadequate examination and consent.’
In other words, ‘the lunatics have taken charge of the asylum’. The doctors have been too terrified of the activist campaigners to exercise proper restraint.
If a consultant clinician can’t stand up to the ‘activists’, how on earth will an infant school head teacher? At some point in primary school these classes become compulsory. This has been well described as the ‘pornification of the curriculum’.
We need to be able to reassure our children that their worth does not lie in being sexually attractive; that their intrinsic humanity has nothing to do with sexual appetite or sexualised identity.
If we can’t do that, they will continue to starve and cut themselves in ever greater numbers in an incoherent broken-hearted protest at the stupidity of the adults they looked to for love and protection. They will remain victims of what has become an authoritarian and ruthless experiment in cultural engineering by government. Parents, protest!