Mitt Romney: Never age-appropriate to talk to 5-year-olds about sex

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Barack Obama and Mitt Romney I don't tap into the mainstream media news broadcasts often, but I was in the pizza place last evening and caught a story about Mitt Romney and Barack Obama and something about sex ed for kindergartners, so of course I had to pay attention! Here's an ABC News link about the story.

I wonder how many 5-year-olds Mitt Romney has spent much time talking to. Yesterday Mitt Romney attacked Barack Obama, who supports age-appropriate sex ed for all school kids, including kindergartners, saying that it was never age appropriate to talk about sex to 5 year olds.

Now, it happens that my partner just got off the phone with his daughter the other day and said her nearly-5-year-old son was already asking questions about "where babies come from," and he was pretty insistent about getting an answer despite her discomfort. I'm glad she was brave enough and quick enough to give him an answer even though she was uncomfortable doing so. She started simply and he was happy with that much information, and later I'm sure he'll want more. But that's what "age-appropriate" means: you give the child as much as the child is ready to handle and you don't make the child embarrassed about asking the question.

Obama has another reason for wanting to start age-appropriate sex-ed in kindergarten. He says he wants children to be able to distinguish appropriate from inappropriate touching. Another good goal.

This is not a "religious v. anti-religious" issue, either. The Unitarian Universalist Church has one of the best sex-ed curriculums out there. It's called "OWL" (Our Whole Lives) and it starts with material for K-1st grade and goes all the way through high school.

Here is Romney's spokesperson laying out his position:

"The issue is whether children in kindergarten should be taught science-based sex education which is what Obama said he favors. Gov. Romney does not support that,"

and

"Let's let our 5-year olds be 5-year olds. When students are old enough for sex education they should be taught abstinence as part of their health curriculum and that marriage should come before babies."

Here is Obama explaining his own:

"But it's the right thing to do," Obama continued, "to provide age-appropriate sex education, science-based sex education in schools."

and

"If they ask a teacher 'where do babies come from,' that providing information that the fact is that it's not a stork is probably not an unhealthy thing.

First of all, it is unbelievable that in a 21-st centure technologically advanced society that there continues to be this denial of science. JanieBelle has written extensivel on that, and I'm sure she'll have something to say about this as well.

Second, it's less unbelievable but still terribly sad, that we live in an age where it is politically dangerous to acknowledge that all children have sexual curiosity, or need answers to questions. The idea that kids have a need for sex info

It's an easy shot for Romney to take at Obama because while lots of Americans would defend science in other areas of life, they're more reluctant to do so when it has to do with sex, and even fewer people are willing to criticize an anti-science position when it comes to kids and sexuality.

If you have a minute, check out the OWL material linked above.

Meanwhile, I'd love to hear what the other candidates would want a 5-year-old to be told if she asked where babies came from!

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