At least thats what Tess and Lia along with Ms. Wynne think so, when Ms. Wynne accepted the mandate of 13-year olds from an online campaign.
- Only 33% of population in India is affected by Herpex Simplex but 89% of Ontarians are!
- Chalmydia infection among women from conservative region in India is only 0.1%
...these kids were indeed influenced...
Tessa and Lia’s school project garnered 40,000 signatures that eventually led to an audience with the premier of Ontario and inclusion of “consent” in the new sex-ed curriculum1. While the effort is worthy of appreciation, using their ignorance to push a personally motivated agenda is not.
“parents should not use their children as political pawns”
“All the opposition is coming from uninformed perspective”
“We knew we wanted to do the project on something surrounding feminism because that’s something we’re both really passionate about and we wanted to do something that really affects us as young people and as women”
establishing a consent culture is the best way to stop rape culture
“…People don't like to admit that sex is about pleasure and desire, not just reproductive stuff, and that teenagers are having sex as young as middle school,”
These are some of the responses of the kids during the interview. Their responses were replete with innocence and ignorance while scarce on critical thinking and immaturity.
Coming from a family with good exposure of the to the internals of politics, I wouldn’t be surprised if these kids were indeed influenced by some proxies of Ms. Wynne. Unfortunately, it seems the girls have played right into the hands of politicians who couldn’t care less for their future. My suspicions are further strengthened by their claims that the opposition is ill-informed, which only could mean someone (teachers and parents, most likely) “well-informed” them. Further, they also seem to be seriously mis-informed of the socio-economic factors that drives the culture of rapes in that they believe this culture could be abolished by consent culture. The girls while further disparaging parents exposed the typical teenage prurience and immaturity in saying the sex is about pleasure and desire. While it is no doubt pleasurable, unintended teenage pregnancy, STIs, etc., are not. And sex due to love is more pleasurable than the raw gratification of animalistic instincts.
Though Ms. Wynne is a woman, a mother, has a master’s in education, and has served as a school council chair and minister of education6, she is apparently no specialist in Children’s psychology. The entire debate would have been healthier if the effects of the curriculum on the mental faculties of children are extensively/exhaustively studied by both Govt. and independent psychologist, which never happened.
Like Ms. Wynne I’m not a psychologist. Hence, I cannot comment on how this curriculum would affect the children in long term. However, I do have a PhD (in another field), and do research different information to identify patterns and anomalies. With that ability when I compare a conservative region in India, where sex education is mostly limited to knowing the names of reproductive system in biology (for high school students), with the West the following are conspicuous:
- HSV prevalence in India is only 33% while it is over 99% in the West (89% in Ontario)2.
- Chlamydia infection is rare with increase in the conservativeness of the society. In a rural community only 0.1% of the women were found positive for Chlamydia infection. However, that’s not the case in the West3.
- While teenage pregnancy is intended (due to early marriage*) in India, it is mostly unintended in the West affecting the development of the children as well as the parents 4-5.
I have intentionally stayed away from whether the contents are age-appropriate or not as it is subjective and usually changes with the region and demography. I believe parents are usually the better judge of what is better for their children. I would have admired the premier, had she shown the same determination in educating the parents instead of using children as her political game.
The only fault of the parents here is their failure to educate their children to try and understand the ulterior motives behind suggestions.
*I would like to reserve the discussions on early/child marriage for another post due to their irrelevance in this context.