The Left, Children and Sex

What is it with Leftists and their obsession with children and sexuality?

Seriously, on just about every aspect of sexuality, the Left has it wrong. Their preferred policies have already done incredible amounts of individual, familial and societal damage, and yet they keep pushing for more — and getting away with it. It’s bad enough when those negatively affected are adults. But children are increasingly the targets — and the victims — of these policies.

The “Sexual Revolution” of the 1960s and 1970s wrought havoc with divorce rates. The number of children in divorced and single parent households skyrocketed, with attendant consequences in child poverty and lower educational outcomes. The push to destigmatize promiscuity has been accompanied by dramatic increases in sexually transmitted diseases, particularly in young people. According to a 2021 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of cases of sexually transmitted diseases hit all-time highs for six consecutive years. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are two of the three diseases appearing in greatest number. (The third is syphilis.) Young people (ages 15-24) represent almost half of all STDs, and 61% and 42% of all chlamydia and gonorrhea cases, respectively. It is abundantly clear that sexual promiscuity is making our children sick. And yet we continue to tolerate educational and entertainment content that pitches casual sex to our children.

Abortion, too, is an ugly product of the sexual revolution. More than 63 million children have had their lives extinguished by abortion since the United States Supreme Court legalized it in all 50 states in 1973. Between 10-15% of all abortions are performed on females under 19 years of age.

The Left’s latest cultural battle is over their ability to inject sexual content into the curricula of grade schools, including kindergarten and early elementary school. Zoom videos and other online classroom technology utilized during the COVID-19 lockdowns exposed millions of parents across the country to the indoctrination taking place in their children’s classrooms. As a result, school board meetings in state after state have seen groups of parents protesting practices like the inclusion of explicit (and arguably pornographic) books in grade school libraries and class assignments, and gender identification policies that have facilitated sexual assaults by biological males allowed into girls’ bathrooms. The clash over parents’ rights in their children’s education is even credited for the election of Republican Glenn Youngkin in reliably blue Virginia, defeating incumbent Democrat Terry McAuliffe.

In response, state legislatures have begun passing laws restricting sex education to specific grades and age-appropriate content. Most notably, last month, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed HB 1557, Florida’s new Parental Rights in Education law. Smeared by the Left as the “Don’t Say ‘Gay'” law (the law has no such provision in it), the statute prohibits sexual content in the curriculum of kindergarten through third grade and requires “age-appropriate” sexual education thereafter. The law also requires that schools inform parents of any changes to services the school provides for their child’s “mental, emotional or physical health or well-being.” In other words, no school in Florida can begin helping students make “gender transitions” without informing the child’s parents.

There shouldn’t need to be a law to enforce such a completely uncontroversial position on young children’s education. Why should 5- and 6-year-olds be subjected to books or other materials with sexual content? And yet, the uproar on the Left has been nothing short of astonishing. Social media is now filled with TikTok videos in which teachers are demanding the right to discuss their sexual preferences and gender identity with the students they teach, as well as the right to encourage their students’ sexual experimentation and gender confusion — all without knowledge of the childrens’ parents.

This is warped. Teachers’ personal lives — including and especially their sexual activities and attitudes — are none of their students’ business. Nor do teachers have any responsibility for directing the children they teach to consider themselves a different sex or gender, or to change clothes or use different names or pronouns at school.

The outrage has not been confined to education. Even formerly family-friendly corporations like Disney have jumped into the fray. In videos of internal meetings leaked to investigative writer Christopher Rufo, Disney executives proclaimed their determination to pursue a “not at all secret gay agenda” and the inclusion of plenty of “queer stories” and “gender nonconforming characters” in their children’s programming.

The obsession with inserting sexual content into grade school children’s education and entertainment is being called “grooming” by some very vocal opponents. And it may very well be that. But it also reeks of a generation of adults so immature and insecure about their own identities, lives and choices that they need validation from children, over the objection of those children’s parents, and without any thought to the impact on the children’s own lives.

Broad and open discussion of sexuality is fine for adults, but it does not belong in the curriculum or entertainment of young children. Level-headed Americans need to put a stop to it once and for all.

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Laura Hollis

Laura Hirschfeld Hollis is a native of Champaign, Illinois. She received her undergraduate degree in English and her law degree from the University of Notre Dame. Hollis' career as an attorney has spanned 28 years, the past 23 of which have been in higher education. She has taught law at the graduate and undergraduate levels, and has nearly 15 years' experience in the development and delivery of entrepreneurship courses, seminars and workshops for multiple audiences. Her scholarly interests include entrepreneurship and public policy, economic development, technology commercialization and general business law. In addition to her legal publications, Hollis has been a freelance political writer since 1993, writing for The Detroit News, HOUR Detroit magazine, and the Christian Post, on matters of politics and culture. She is a frequent public speaker. Hollis has received numerous awards for her teaching, research, community service and contributions to entrepreneurship education. She is married to Jess Hollis, a musician, voiceover artist and audio engineer, and they live in Indiana with their two children, Alistair and Celeste.

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