Puberty is a period of maturation, not maturity
It is easy to predict the consequences of sex education in Russian schools, since we have seen the experience of the West. Almost everywhere in the West such classes are compulsory; in some countries from the age of nine or ten, and somewhere even from the age of six! And it has been taught for decades there. What are the implications? They are reported by child psychologists, who are raising the alarm about a catastrophic drop in the birth rate, an increase impotency, the legitimization and approval of same-sex relationships, and rise in incidents of incest—these are the short-term consequences of sex education in schools.
In addition to social implications, early sex education has an extremely detrimental effect on a child’s very vulnerable psyche, and it is never without personal consequences for children. This is what psychologists report:
“Our observations have shown that in the vast majority of cases when parents are carried away by innovations in the sphere of sex children’s education, this leads to a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders already in childhood.”
Priest Dimitry Vydumkin They cite a specific example: a woman who “was very thoughtful about the matters of sex education of children” and read to her sons aged seven and four (!) the Children’s Sex Encyclopedia. As a result, her elder son began to suffer from enuresis, and “the younger one took to masturbating and did it in public, in front of strangers, and all attempts to distract him from this... ended in hysterical breakdowns.”
Do we want to see this in our society and in the lives of our children? If not, what sex education classes at school can we talk about?
We must comprehend the natural periods of maturation that were given to us by the All-wise Creator. Puberty is precisely the period of maturation, not maturity! We don’t pluck a fruit too early but wait for it to ripen, otherwise it is bitter and harms digestion. So why encourage children to have sex when they have just started to grow up or maybe haven’t started yet? And this “education” is provocative in its nature.
We should not allow ourselves to be misled by stories that the purpose of such classes is to “educate” and thus protect children. Their real goal is to goad children into being sexually active from a very early age. Children are very curious. Once they are told about or shown something that arouses their interest, they will immediately “Google” ten times more visual aids and stand right at the edge of the abyss! And then (it’s just a matter of technique and time) we, as in Switzerland, will come to distributing free condoms to schoolchildren to fight AIDS!
May the merciful God save us from this!
Imagine the teenage slang for all this
I will answer this question not only as a priest, but also as a father, and a grandfather of two little schoolgirls. Comparing the time of my youth with today, I am horrified at how easy it is for modern teenagers to get access to what is absolutely undesirable and even harmful for them to see. The internet is an inexhaustible source in this regard. Without doubt it is necessary to talk to children about this. I’m only afraid that it makes sense to rehabilitate many teenagers morally rather than educate them.
Priest Alexander Dyachenko Neither of my parents talked to me about this. But I remember how doctors from the regional dermato-venereological dispensary came to our class and just spoke about their work. The girls and the boys were taken into different classrooms and introduced to the situations. As we listened, our hair stood on end. They instilled in us a very correct idea that we would have to pay for everything. I am still grateful to those doctors who took the trouble to go to schools.
Clearly, there are far fewer specialists than the classes in which our children study. But such meetings with intelligent people should be held. Perhaps it would be good to shoot a number of videos warning about the consequences of ill-conceived relationships between boys and girls and include these videos in the “Basics of Life Safety” course specifically for high schoolers. And they should watch them separately.
I would not advise them to introduce a special subject into high school curricula. To introduce such a course at school means to legitimize its content in the eyes of children. “If it’s being taught, then it’s okay”. A question arises: who will teach? Ideally, these should be doctors. But where can we get so many doctors?
And in conclusion: Imagine what the teenage slang for this will be.
The initiators of the course are capitulating to teenage premarital sex
The fact is that studying at school involves a student’s personal participation in subjects. That is, the following principle is at work: “We’ve given you the Pythagorean Theorem. Solve a problem using this theorem at home.” Or: We’ve taught you how to work with a literary text. Consider the Captain’s Daughter [a historical novel by Alexander Pushkin.—Trans.] at home.” With respect to all normal lessons this is fine. But what will a student do with the knowledge gained in the classroom about intimate relations, the use of contraceptives, etc.? He is already guided by the principle: “You must try everything in life”, and now he has been told how to try it correctly. If teachers talk about sexual activity, then students no longer see anything forbidden in it.
Of course, the introduction of sex education is an absolutely new experience for Russia, largely incomprehensible and unpredictable in terms of its consequences.
Let’s consider briefly the logic of those who support this subject. They state that teenagers become sexually active early. Still ignorant in this sphere, teenagers are vulnerable, which ends in early pregnancies and abortions. Statistics are added to the arguments. In particular, it is noted that our country has the highest abortion rate in the world. Moreover, every fifth abortion in Russia is done a teenage girl. In addition, Russia is one of the fastest-growing countries in terms of the spread of AIDS—its HIV rate is even higher than in South Africa. And in order to avoid unwanted pregnancies, abortions and AIDS they suggest teaching children how to use contraceptives, etc.
Thus, the arguments of those who support teaching this subject boil down to the following thesis, which is constantly repeated: “to give teenagers knowledge about safe sex.” That is, the course’s initiators actually capitulate to teenage premarital sex. “Let them fornicate, but at least be protected”—this is their basic logic. This is similar to how instead of fighting drug addiction we would talk about less dangerous drugs, how to use a syringe properly so as not to get an infection, etc.
The existing texts of sex education courses are provocative in nature. When a teacher talks about a natural inclination to sexual relationships, describes this process, and adds: “Attention, children! Don’t forget about contraception”, then the students will surely answer: “We won’t forget, Maria Ivanovna.” Such classes essentially corrupt teenagers and aim to legitimize depravity with the help of contraceptives.
Priest Valery Dukhanin Many people’s life experience, and priests’ experience of hearing confessions show how easily we succumb to temptations. At first someone just wanted to study, to get to know the theory of sexual life more thoroughly, to accumulate more knowledge for implementing it in marital relations. But the immersion in theory unexpectedly triggers hitherto unknown weaknesses in his soul, unbridles the desires of the flesh, and a person falls into various types of carnal sin. He did not even imagine that this would happen to him, but he fell into sin because he showed interest in a dangerous sphere.
There have always been taboo topics in Russia from ancient times, and it had always been considered indecent to speak about them publicly. Marital relations are among such themes. Although the discussion of this subject was forbidden, it never caused problems in having children or in family life. On the contrary, the countries where people talk about this publicly and where cinema and the internet have long torn down the veil of mystery are notorious for their dramatically declining birth rates. People stop having children and get divorced easily, but they have extensive knowledge of sexual life.
Chastity presupposes the privacy of sexual life. A secret is something that is not spoken about out loud—it is reverently preserved in silence. Thanks to this privacy every family has its own life beyond the control of other people’s eyes. Thanks to privacy, married life is not some mediocre or vulgar satisfaction of the desires of the flesh, but the reverent mutual love of spouses and the sacred participation in Divine Providence for the birth of children.
There is only one way out for us—to speak in schools about the beauty of virginity and chastity, about what happiness it is to find your only chosen one, to have children in your unique family without previously having numerous “relationships” and “partners”. And, of course, to set a positive example.
A woman I know once confessed, “If I had known that I would meet my husband, I would have preserved my virginity for him.” Lack of trust in God that He will give you the best leads to the worst. The woman in question had lived for pleasure and had abortions; she became infertile after this, and could not give birth to a child once she got married.
Sooner or later every fornicator regrets his falls. Immoral relationships eventually turn out to be joyless. That’s what we want to protect our dear teenagers from.
These courses are seduction, not education
Archpriest Fyodor Borodin Archpriest Fyodor Borodin:
I think that such lessons in fact corrupt children and adolescents and affect their psyche. Unfortunately, there is a lot of so–called technical information about sexual activity between men and women on the internet, but it does not speak at all about how to build and preserve a family, about what a great virtue chastity is, and all the troubles it can save people from later, especially in family life.
Practice shows that depraved people take the sphere of so–called sex education into their hands very quickly. Their goal is to immerse young people into the world of promiscuity as early as possible. I think this is the true goal of people pushing for such projects in schools. And we see that the situations with family in the countries where these projects have been implemented are not only no better, but are much worse than ours. We have a real national catastrophe with our families in Russia, and there is a terrible nightmare in those countries. The value of traditional family has been almost completely lost there.
In general, the more depraved someone is, the less he wants a family. Therefore, what effects will this “education” have? Only that our Russian family system will be falling apart even more rapidly. As a Christian, I can’t call it “education” at all. These lessons are seduction and temptation, not education.
We need “chastity lessons”
Thank God, we Russians as a nation identify ourselves as bearers and guardians of the Orthodox tradition. So, let’s say bluntly that there are no forbidden topics in Orthodoxy. And the theme of the relations between the sexes, the theme of sexual attraction, the sinful passions that are parasitic on this attraction, and the struggle with these passions were among the topics which were repeatedly and seriously raised by the Savior Himself in the Gospel, the apostles, and the Church Fathers throughout the history of Christianity. So, it is possible and necessary to talk about these subjects with teenagers, including in the format of a school subject.
Priest Dimitry Shishkin However, it would be good for us to give such a subject an appropriate name—for example, “Chastity Lessons”. Because chastity is a profound concept, the essence of which is in the Orthodox teaching about the integrity of our spiritual, mental and physical life in harmony with the Holy Spirit. Only such a life can serve as the basis for a good and fruitful life both here on earth and in eternity in the state of bliss. That’s what we can and should talk about.
As for the “Sex Education” courses that are being imposed on us, they are part of the implementation of the plan for the spiritual enslavement and corruption of our people, of our total submission to an alien liberal and godless worldview with its self-worship, worship of man. When the old, carnal man, with all his passions and lusts, is considered the only basis for building a prosperous private and public life. We must resist together—wisely and firmly—these attempts to enslave us. I believe this is our task: to work consistently and patiently to return to the good path of Orthodox Statehood, remembering and implementing all the good that we acquired on our centuries-old path; and if possible, freeing ourselves from everything that is wrong and harmful. We must be bolder in speaking and acting as befits Orthodox Christians, setting a good life in our common Fatherland so that our young people can as soon as possible have a clear idea of what this way of life should be and what the mission of man in the eyes of God is.