Atheist Scruples: Let’s talk about sex, maybe…

You have adolescent children. An out-of-town friend is visiting with her new boyfriend. Do you let your guests sleep together?

This is a two bedroom duplex so no. The kid has one room, we have the other. Any guests have to make due with the couch and the floor…

If this were happening today, anyway.

Hypothetically, we’re talking a house situation here where kids have their own rooms and there is at least one guest room to offer (plus the sofa).

Yeah, sure. Let them sleep together. Whatever. It’s 2014, not 1983. Hell, even in the late ’80s a cousin would come for a visit with his or her current fling and Mom would kick me out of my bedroom and give them my double bed.

I’m reminded of a time when an older cousin was staying with us in such a situation and the phone had rung around 10 or so in the morning; it was her father calling from out of town. I’m pretty sure I knocked on the bedroom door first but I might not have. Either way, I poked my head in to let her know she had a phone call. She was pretty annoyed at me. “Well, what would you have been doing?” I legitimately asked when she came out to take the call. I’m sure I knew what sex was at the time and I was pretty sure this cousin of mine wouldn’t bonk her boy toy in the room right beside my parents’ bedroom anyway.

CFI Saskatoon had a meet-up on Sunday with a Show-and-Tell theme. I shamelessly promoted my blog. Hi local readers!

One of the other topics that came up for discussion was sex education in public schools and what Saskatoon has been doing. One of the guys mentioned that his daughter wound up having to take a sex-ed course that promoted abstinence over everything else and she couldn’t finish Grade 12 without taking it. He did some research into the guy who designed the course and apparently it was bible-verse free but still fundamentally inspired and he was annoyed to find out that she couldn’t opt out. He didn’t want to kick up a fuss while she was in school but our organizer suggested he could do it now that she’s done school. Time will tell.

They also talked about the Edmonton school board that got a bit of bad press this year because of this issue. Emily Dawson and her mother, Kathy, filed a human rights complaint over a sex-ed workshop offered at Emily’s school. It was being run by an anti-abortionist group. Quoting from the National Post article:

Norah Kennedy of the Pregnancy Care Centre says the organization is “shocked and upset.”

Kennedy says her group was brought in to teach free of charge and has always been open about its “abstinence-based” teaching.

Parker said that a board review found the group’s workshops followed all guidelines for the sex education portion of CALM — or Career and Life Management, a course required for high school graduation.

“The information being provided was not of a religious nature and was aligned with the curriculum and scientifically based,” he maintains.

But not based on the science – social science – that has effectively panned abstinence education as a waste of effort and tax dollars. The Board has now dropped the group from their schools and will look for other presenters for this coming school year.

The Guardian writer Jessica Valinti noted:

Students need sexual education that’s comprehensive, medically accurate, and free from shame and ideology. Not just because sexuality is an integral part of our humanity, but because when you withhold medical information about sexuality from children and teens, you are endangering health and lives. That some students today are actually learning less than their parents did in sex ed is a scandal. Do we really want our children to be less-informed than we were?

Dawson claimed that the workshop included false information about sexually transmitted diseases, shamed many of the women, and weren’t very supportive of the boys, either. Valenti again:

Teens – whether you like the idea of them having sex or not – deserve access to information that can keep them healthy and safe. Anything else is criminal.

So, dragging it back to the question posed at the beginning, I would expect by this point that the adolescent kids have a solid understanding of the point of sex, the value of safe sex, and the natural desire of two people in love (or not) to want to undertake sex for pleasure or procreation or panacea.

It would be a non-issue to have a friend and partner sharing a room while the kids are around. That’s all there is to it.

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