PASIG City, Sept. 12, 2013—Consider it advice from a country that has “been there and done that”. An American chastity speaker believes, by being sufficiently vocal about their disgust over sex education in schools, parents can actually wield unbelievable civic and social influence.
“The [Filipino] parents need to get a hold of the curriculum. They need to read everything from beginning to end and broadcast what is being taught…They need to put up a stink over this,” Jason Evert said in a press conference at the University of Asia and the Pacific before a series of talks on chastity in Manila and Cebu over the weekend.
Power to the parents
When asked what Filipino parents can learn from American parents who vehemently opposed ‘comprehensive sex education’ in the public school system, Evert said, he knew of schools in America where parents created such an uproar about lessons on ‘safe sex’ that the school administration decided to simply call off the issue to prevent further conflict.
One reason behind a sluggish response from Catholic parents on the issue, according to Evert, is that they simply do not know how bad it is.
“A lot of parents kind of turn a blind eye. They don’t get the curriculum; they don’t read it. Very few parents even knew that this junk was being taught to the kids,” he explained.
While the Department of Education website has yet to make actual sex ed materials available for “age- and development-appropriate reproductive health education for adolescents”, as referred to in the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of R.A. 10354 or whether it will be integrated into all the subjects, as once suggested, it is not hard to conclude, it will probably be a twisted cousin of America’s ‘comprehensive sex education’, similar to other sex ed modules used in the West.
‘You’re going to have sex anyway”
According to Evert, the deception of so-called ‘comprehensive sex education’ is subtle.
He explained, the main focus of sex ed is to send the message to young people that abstinence is ideal, but impossible – and there are other ‘safe’ ways to be sexually active.
“Understand that it will come in all of these nice terms… [They seem to say], ‘Here is abstinence, it’s the best way not to get pregnant, but since you’re going to have sex anyway, let’s spend 8 months talking about how to do it safely,’” Evert added.
True enough, in a sex ed module for Canadian middle schools, under ‘assigned readings’ for the topic, abstinence, students were asked to study a chart from the Canadian Youth, Sexual Health and HIV-AIDS Study that showed how a third of Grade 9 students and more than half of Grade 11 have had oral sex. Another assigned reading, also for the topic on abstinence, was a news summary of the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewsinky sex scandal that described how the most powerful man in America at the time had indeed engaged in oral sex with a female intern.
Counter culture of chastity
According to Evert, who was in the Philippines with his wife, Crystalina to talk to young Filipinos about the benefits of chastity, parents should believe a better alternative is available for their children.
“Filipino parents can help promote a counter culture against sex education. The parents really need to speak up. It’s so important for the young people to know that even if the government is pushing [sex ed] down their throats doesn’t mean they need to follow suit,” he added.
Crystalina Evert, who was also misled by the mixed message of ‘safe sex’ in her early teens, said, the power of personal testimonies can help convince young Filipinos that abstinence and chastity are not restrictive, but are linked to finding true love. [Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz]