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Science or Sex: Which Does the Right Hate More?

Parents and right-wingers revolt when a teacher dares answer fifth-graders' questions with honesty and respect.

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What’s a better alternative to answering the questions that naturally arise when a kid, say, catches wind of a raunchy joke on a TV sitcom — leaving them to Google “oral sex”?

Miller argues that it’s important to take off the rose-colored glasses and help kids navigate the world that they actually live in — not the idealized world of childhood innocence that some parents like to imagine. “It can be really confusing and really scary, and if you have a question and someone’s not willing to answer it or tells you you’re too young to know about it, that just makes it more scary and unsettling,” says Miller. One has to wonder about the message delivered to the Onalaska kids whose parents yanked them out of the class, or the school, after they relayed their newfound understanding of oral and anal sex.

It isn’t clear how big the parental uproar in Onalaska really was. The local TV news only managed to get four parents to vent their outrage on-camera. Gray was swamped with angry letters and calls, but that’s no surprise, given that hard-right outlets have seized on this local news story as grist for the culture-war mill. It’s yet another excuse for extremists to absurdly proclaim that SIECUS “is morally molesting your children” and that Planned Parenthood is “hooking kids on sex.” From that blinded backlash perspective, there is no way to see the actual innocence in a story about a fifth-grader asking about oral and anal sex — or in parents believing they can shield their kids from such concepts.

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