There is a sex education bill sitting before Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker that is the most wildly irresponsible assault on common decency and common sense ever proposed; in a stealth move, it was passed by state lawmakers on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. It has little to do with sex education as most people understand it; rather, it is a radical sex engineering bill.
The National Sexuality Education Standards is an initiative of the Future of Sex Education (FoSE) and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS); the latter was established in the 1950s by disciples of the sex-abusing king of sexology, Alfred Kinsey.
The scope of the curriculum goes far beyond conventional sex education programs. Indeed, it is the most extreme attempt to transform the norms and values of young people ever envisioned.
By the end of the 2nd grade, when most students are 7-years old, they will be expected to list "medically accurate names for body parts, including the genitals." They will also define "gender, gender identity, and gender-role stereotypes." Bodily autonomy will also be stressed, as well as knowledge about different family forms, including "cohabiting" and "same-gender" variants.
By the end of the 5th grade, students will be expected to "distinguish between sex assigned at birth and gender identity and explain how they may or may not differ." They will also learn about the "differences between cisgender, transgender, gender nonbinary, gender expansive, and gender identity."
By the end of the 8th grade, students will be expected to explain what it means to be "bisexual, lesbian, gay, queer, two-spirit, asexual, [and] pansexual."
By the time students are ready to graduate from high school, they will be taught to become an "advocate" for "all genders, gender expressions, and gender identities."
There is another part of the curriculum that speaks to issues of anatomy and physiology. Between third and fifth grade, for instance, students will be taught about "hormone blockers on young people who identify as transgender." By the time they graduate from high school, they will have learned about "the role of hormones and pleasure" and have been instructed to become "advocates" for "people of all sexual orientations."
There is a glossary for students to learn as well. Terms such as "gender expansive," "gender nonbinary," "gender nonconforming," and "genderqueer" appear in the Appendix. "Gender pronouns" that are considered normal include referring to oneself as "they/them/theirs."
Abortion is treated as a "pregnancy option." "Sexual intercourse," students learn, "may mean different things to different people, but could include behaviors such as vaginal sex, oral sex, or anal sex."
The curriculum is a wholesale attack on parental rights and traditional moral values. Worse, it sanctions behaviors that are positively dangerous.
No one is ever "assigned" his or her sex. Fathers determine the sex of the child born as the result of a heterosexual union; hospital staff validate it. Not all family types are equal: not to tell students that there is a gold standard, one that provides the greatest opportunity for a boy and a girl to be a success in school, work, and marriage—it is called the intact family—is intellectually dishonest and does them a disservice.
Terms such as "gender nonbinary," "gender expansive," "asexual," "pansexual," and the like are linguistic inventions that are not based on medical science; they are ideological predilections. Moreover, no one in his right mind goes around calling himself "they" anymore than someone goes around calling himself "we."
Teaching ten-year-olds about hormone blockers is done to advance the transgender movement. What will not be taught is how such therapies can create all sorts of long-term problems—they are irreversible—for those who take them. Just as irresponsible is to teach tenth graders about sexual pleasure. Why are they not instead being instructed on the merits of individual responsibility and the necessity of exercising restraint?
The curriculum crosses the line in a serious way when it instructs high school students to become "advocates" for the LGBT agenda. Students can advocate for any cause they want, but it is not the right of educators to tell them which cause they must adopt.
Finally, to teach students that anal sex is the equal of vaginal sex is pernicious. If they want to teach about this subject, they should teach what WebMD says about it. It has a frank discussion on the health dangers that anal sex incurs. No wonder it concludes, "The only way to completely avoid anal sex risks is not to have it." That is what students should be taught.
Educators need to know their place. They are employed to help students become literate, master the basics, and become good citizens. They are not there to sexually engineer them.
To read the longer and more graphic version of this analysis, click here. That is the one being sent to Gov. Pritzker.
Bill Donohue is president and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the nation's largest Catholic civil rights organization. He was awarded his Ph.D. in sociology from New York University and is the author of eight books and many articles.