Dalton McGuinty finds himself in distinguished company, having flip-flopped on changes to Ontario’s sex-ed program faster than Stephen Harper could throw Helena Guergis under the bus.
The product of several years of consultation with experts in the field and parents’ groups, Ontario’s new sex-ed program was released back in January. No one paid any attention until this past week when some Christian conservative groups found out about the changes and threatened to protest.
Of course the media didn’t help either, with their, some would say unnatural, obsession with “masturbation”, “vaginal lubrication”, and “anal intercourse”. Reporters and news anchors couldn’t wait to say those words on air as they excitedly informed the great unwashed who apparently all managed to survive into intolerant and ignorant adulthood without having to learn all that nasty stuff in school.
These changes are not only timely, but necessary because while some parents are conscientious and teach their children the facts of life at an appropriate time, most children’s sex education occurs in the schoolyard or from watching porn videos on the cable channel or the internet. And presumably not even the incensed Christian lobby groups would agree that’s appropriate. (Although they would defer such education until well after the time it was needed by the kids, and eliminate most of the stuff they don’t agree with, absurdly rendering the whole exercise pretty much useless.)
Sadly this episode also shows Dalton McGuinty for what he is, an opportunist for whom principles are merely trial balloons to be floated to see which way the wind blows. This was not his finest hour. Instead of showing courage and doing what’s right, he ran.
But the highlight of this news item for me was when Sister Joan Cronin of the Institute for Catholic Education said, presumably with a straight (and very pinched) face, “The church disapproves of masturbation on any level”. Apparently it is even lower on the Roman Catholic acceptance scale than some other sexual practices that have recently (again) been in the news. To which I would suggest better sex education and a little (or a lot) of masturbation might be just what the Catholic Church needs.