- The Washington Times - Monday, August 24, 2009


Rebecca Hagelin’s recent column “Assaulted by sex-ed” (Culture, Aug. 10) uses overcharged rhetoric to further its position rather than engaging with the actual content of the issue of sex education. Ms. Hagelin holds that “perverted and immoral sex propagandists” shouldn’t be teaching children about sex. By describing respectable organizations such as the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) in such extreme language, Ms. Hagelin conflates the concept of discussing sex with the views of people with whom she disagrees.

If it is our goal to raise children to become happy, healthy and productive members of society, we need to ensure that when we talk about sex — at home or at school — it is done in a way that gets us to a productive end, not a pathological one. Unfortunately, Ms. Hagelin’s choice of words has the opposite effect.

Moreover, Ms. Hagelin’s argument contradicts key conservative principles about personal responsibility, evaluating economic impacts and driving our society forward in innovative ways. If we expect our children to be able to think for themselves, they need to have access to complete and reliable information. Strong moral teachings should help children process and deal with “sordid” information rather than avoid it entirely. And parents can always opt out — personal choice is key.

So, yes, Ms. Hagelin sounds like an alarmist. But let’s get real: Minimizing the overheated rhetoric on this issue would make the debate more accessible to the average parent. It also would make it easier for Ms. Hagelin’s goals to be realized. Let’s have a meaningful conversation that gets to the root of the issue and to the solutions.



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