Thursday, April 02, 2009

I Call Sexism!

Teachers at Hanham High School in Bristol, England, tackled sex education a bit differently this year.

Nude male models showed off their anatomy in the gym, while a live feed allowed the students in the main hall to study the bodies and ask questions, The Evening Post reported.

The students used their new knowledge when they took part in a sexual activity workshop. Topics covered included sexual hygiene and differences in each person’s body.

If someone can explain to me why this is more appropriate than "traditional" sex ed, I'm listening. This is just porn.

And why only male models?


Donalbain said...

Not even close to porn.

Fritz J. said...

Darren, I followed your link and then followed all the links as far as possible and unless you have a link not given, I have to take issue with your statement, "This is just porn." It may be porn, but no evidence was presented either way. Nakedness, in and of itself, is not porn. Talking about sexual hygiene is not porn unless handled in an inappropriate way. I would also point out that what might be considered porn under one set of circumstances may not be porn under other circumstances. (Think detailed examination of genitalia in medical school as opposed to in Playboy.)

As to whether or not it was more appropriate than "traditional" sex ed, I have no idea because there wasn't enough information presented to form an opinion.

Darren said...

Leave it to Donalbain to defend absolutely anything that happens in a British school.

As for Fritz, no matter what I cannot agree that this is close to necessary or appropriate in a school. And again, why only guys?

rightwingprof said...

I feel objectified. Violated! Raped!

Can I file a lawsuit?

Donalbain said...

So, you decide not to defend your claim. I am not defending or objecting to this. I am simply pointing out that it is not even CLOSE to being pornographic. Do you think that this is pornographic:

Of course, you could be like John Ashcroft who went to the trouble of covering up the breasts of statues...

Darren said...

You see no difference between a statue and nude people walking around?

And did Ashcroft really cover up the breasts of statues, or is that something you lefties like to believe?

Anonymous said...

I've long thought the very best example I've ever seen of sex ed is/was in Monty Python's "Meaning of Life."

Fritz J. said...

Darren, I'll address your last point first. The Bristol Evening Post starts their story with the following, "A Bristol secondary school has tried out a new style of sex education by letting teenage pupils examine a line-up of naked men." From the article you have no idea if there are sessions planned for females or not, so I find it a stretch to jump to the conclusion that the program is sexist. It may or may not be, but there is insufficient evidence to draw such conclusions from the story linked.

As to your first point. Is it necessary to teach in this manner. Obviously no, but, and this is a big but, throughout history advances are made by people and institutions trying different approaches to various problems or situations. For example, would you like to have the teaching profession go back in time and operate under the constraints of the Catholic Church such as took place in medieval Europe? Remember, there were a number of things the Catholic Church forbade being taught during that period which are now the foundation of our understanding of the physical universe. Obviously sex ed isn't in the same league as whether or not the sun revolves around the earth or the earth around the sun, but my point is that only when people were allowed to look for other answers was progress made. I could go on and point out that it was not that many years ago when a student was not permitted to even question a teacher even when the teacher had made an obvious mistake, but times have changed and we have learned that sometimes a teacher will make a mistake and a student will catch it and is now allowed to bring it up which I think is a benefit to the whole class. I could also point out that a number of subjects are no longer taught the way they were when my parents were in school, or for that matter when I was in school. For better or worse I was among the early students taught sight reading and my sister was taught the "new" math. I realize that this is a long way to get to my point, but my point is that over time people try different approaches and sometimes a new approach is found to work better than the old one. Will this approach turn out to be a better way to teach sex ed? I have no idea and there is insufficient evidence in the articles to say one way or the other, but automatically condemning it before knowing more about it or before it is given a fair trial seems more akin to the actions of the medieval church than anything else. The only real information we have on the subject is very brief description of what took place (to the point of only telling us that live feeds of some naked men were seen by 16 students who had their parents' permission to take the class), where it took place, and that two students (Tom Harvey and Jess Shepherd) said it was helpful. What the other 14 students thought is not mentioned.

allen (in Michigan) said...

Yes Donal, do explain why this is so clearly not pornographic and this time perhaps you could answer a question with an answer?

Also, why only men?

While progressives are acutely attuned to nuance and far above socially-constructed gender roles you appear to have completely missed the fact that only one of the two genders is represented in this educational tour-de-force. This smacks of a degree of sexism completely at odds with the elevated tone and purpose of The Sex Education Show.

Might'nt young, English lads and lasses form the inaccurate conclusion that the female form is in some way inferior to the male if there aren't nude women for teenage pupils to examine?

Oh, and what about English lads whose proclivities lead them to be more interested in the male then the female form? Do you think they'd be as adamant about the non-pornographic nature of these excitingly progressive educational adventures? Or less?

Ellen K said...

Here's my take on it. Nudity is what it is. Other cultures have different views of what is acceptable and what is not. For example, when attending a spa in Germany, it would be odd if you were not nude. On the other hand, I am not sure this is appropriate for a high school setting. I could probably make the case for nude models for advanced life drawing classes. I had those types of situations in college. But given the nature of teenagers today, I think it would be more distracting than informative. I am sure members of the faculty had a good time though.

Donalbain said...

It is not pornographic because it does not even come close to what the word means.


Dictionary: por·nog·ra·phy (pôr-nŏg'rə-fē) pronunciation

Home > Library > Literature & Language > Dictionary

1. Sexually explicit pictures, writing, or other material whose primary purpose is to cause sexual arousal.
2. The presentation or production of this material.

Naked != Pornographic

As for why only men? I don't know. Maybe the next part of the lesson will be women's bodies.

allen (in Michigan) said...

Purpose being in the eye, or in this case the pants, of the beholder the pornographic nature of the presentation is open to discussion and, more important, the approval of those least respected of creatures in public education, parents.

> As for why only men? I don't know. Maybe the next part of the lesson will be women's bodies.

Such imperturbable assurance about the necessary but non-pornographic nature of the presentation of the male form and such uncertainty and even dismissiveness about absence of any opportunity for teenage boys to examine and ask questions about the naked female form.

One is tempted to the conclusion that women are consigned to a second-class role in English society if the importance of presenting a balanced view of the human form in all it multivariate forms puts the female form second to the male.

Alternatively, it could just be that the phony sophisticates in English society derive their sense of superiority not from accomplishment but from baiting those they desperately need to perceive as their intellectual inferiors.

This is nothing so much as the sort of edu-crap with which pedagogical philosopher kings try to impress each other. Defending it does you no credit.

allen (in Michigan) said...

Oh, and what about those English lads whose proclivities, etc. etc? Mightn't they disagree with your certainty as to the educational purity of the program?

I believe that would make it two questions you're unprepared and unwilling to answer.

Donalbain said...

allen: Please can you demonstrate that this form of education is less effective than any other? If not, you are just making stuff up(just like you are making up your own definition of pornogrpahy) and are not really worth bothering with any more.

PeggyU said...

I just really don't see the necessity of it. Just seems as though it was done gratuitously for shock value, if you ask me.

allen (in Michigan) said...

Oh Donal, I suppose you can be excused for having a flawed understanding of how scholarship/science works since you're not only an employee of the public education system but a proponent of public education orthodoxy as well.

Outside public education, and left wing politics in general, someone making an assertion is expected to have, and pursue, some method of proving that assertion. You construct an experiment or predict an observable phenomenon, the results of which must support your assertion - hypothesis - or your hypothesis is undercut, perhaps proven false.

You see how that works? I, as a critic, am under no obligation to prove anything whereas proponents of this self-congratulatory exercise in faux education ought to be under some obligation to prove that it provides some value beyond that provided by less overtly inflammatory methods. But that's only if what they're interested in is education.

If what you're interested in is pleasing yourself, in rationalizing self-indulgence then all those demands for proof are just a dreary bore and beneath contempt and notice.

Since it's self-indulgence that lies at the heart of all progressive policies it was only a matter of time before you grew tired of not being able to assert your intellectual and moral superiority by repeating the cliches lifted unashamedly from whatever progressive well-springs you frequent to enjoy the excitement of risk-less courage, cost-free generosity and irresponsible morality.

That's the down-side to having an understanding of the motivations that animate progressives and acting from that understanding. Sooner or later you all descend into silence or vituperation.

It's the rare progressive who can rise above their conceits to confront the shortcomings of the ideology that tells them what they want to hear. I guess you're not one of those rare progressives.

Donalbain said...

OK.. you asked for evidence. The story says that two of the students found it useful. Now, please feel free to rebut that.

And as for not knowing how science works, I will happily stack my scientific qualifications and experience up against yours.

allen (in Michigan) said...

Ah, I see you're sticking to your defensive determination that I'm not worth bothering with any more. I suppose that's easier then manning up and admitting that there's not a shred of evidence to support the notion that this idiotic bit of elitist self-indulgence is even remotely connected with education.

As for your scientific qualifications and experience I'd say your responses in the discussion about anthropogenic global warming put those beyond any reasonable hope of redemption.

I'd point out that endlessly repeating the mantra of "peer reviewed publication" doesn't constitute science but you can only lead a horse to water.

rightwingprof said...

Clearly, you guys just have not yet learned your lesson, so let's review. Nothing presented under the auspices of "sex ed" or "art" can ever be pornagraphic, but is to be celebrated, no matter how disgusting. There was that convicted child molester a few months ago in Australia, who took pictures of little girls, then called it "art" when he got busted. Every liberal came down on his side because he was "making a statement" of some sort, and it was "art."

If they took kids to watch some porn film getting filmed and called it "sex ed" or "art," Donalbain here would be defending it. Making sure every kid is screwing everybody within ten feet by the time they are 13 is every leftist's greatest dream. You're swimming uphill here.

Donalbain said...

OK.. you asked for evidence. The story says that two of the students found it useful. Now, please feel free to rebut that.