Recommended Methods of Sex Education
Blogged by James Preece on 12th September 2012
This is what the Church says about Sex Education (you wouldn't know it)...
129. The normal and fundamental method, already proposed in this guide, is personal dialogue between parents and their children, that is, individual formation within the family circle. In fact there is no substitute for a dialogue of trust and openness between parents and their children, a dialogue which respects not only their stages of development but also the young persons as individuals. However, when parents seek help from others, there are various useful methods which can be recommended in the light of parental experience and in conformity with Christian prudence.
130. 1. As couples or as individuals, parents can meet with others who are prepared for education for love to draw on their experience and competence. These people can offer explanations and provide parents with books and other resources approved by the ecclesiastical authorities.
131. 2. Parents who are not always prepared to face up to the problematic side of education for love can take part in meetings with their children, guided by expert persons who are worthy of trust, for example, doctors, priests, educators. In some cases, in the interest of greater freedom of expression, meetings where only daughters or sons are present seem preferable.
132. 3. In certain situations, parents can entrust part of education for love to another trustworthy person, if there are matters which require a specific competence or pastoral care in particular cases.
133. 4. Catechesis on morality may be provided by other trustworthy persons, with particular emphasis on sexual ethics at puberty and adolescence. Parents should take an interest in the moral catechesis which is given to their own children outside the home and use it as a support for their own educational work. Such catechesis must not include the more intimate aspects of sexual information, whether biological or affective, which belong to individual formation within the family.
134. 5. The religious formation of the parents themselves, in particular solid catechetical preparation of adults in the truth of love, builds the foundations of a mature faith that can guide them in the formation of their own children. This adult catechesis enables them not only to deepen their understanding of the community of life and love in marriage, but also helps them learn how to communicate better with their own children. Furthermore, in the very process of forming their children in love, parents will find that they benefit much, because they will discover that this ministry of love helps them to "maintain a living awareness of the 'gift' they continually receive from their children". To make parents capable of carrying out their educational work, special formation courses with the help of experts can be promoted.
Notice that "personal dialogue between parents and their children, that is, individual formation within the family circle" is "the normal and fundamental method".
At this point you are supposed to say "but James - not all parents are happy talking to their children about sex!" which is fine because the Church has backup plans: 1) For parents to receive help in for the form of meetings, books or other resources. 2) For parents to go along with their children to meet with somebody who might be able to help and only 3) For parents "in particular cases" to entrust part of education for love to a trustworthy person "if there are matters which require a specific competence".
Nowhere does it say - "The diocese should put together or choose a sex education programme which should be routinely presented to all children in a school unless parents go out of their way to get involved" but it does say "To make parents capable of carrying out their educational work, special formation courses with the help of experts can be promoted". No doubt I've just missed the posters?
Is it that the Catholic education people don't read these documents or do they ignore them on purpose?