Conservatives are very upset that a Wisconsin school district has reasonable guidelines for answering elementary schoolers' questions about masturbation without shaming them or sticking their fingers in their ears.
Last year, Wisconsin's legislature revoked the state’s comprehensive sex ed law and brought back abstinence education; the state also lets schools offer health classes that don't mention contraception (so inconsequential) or puberty (pshh). But Wisconsin's right-wingers can't sleep peacefully without worrying that their kids are being corrupted by non purity ring-centric sex ed: welcome “masturbation education policies," the terror of our times.
The Wisconsin Reporter, a project of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, found a booklet that one public school district uses to answer kids' questions about "human growth and development.” It's very sensible! Students are allowed to ask questions anonymously, which will be "answered simply and factually, as much as the student is ready to know." Questions regarding sexual experiences of any particular person will not be answered, and if students ask questions reflecting personal, sexual values, they will be referred to their parents.
Specifically concerning masturbation:
- Define the term: the stimulation of one's own genitals for the purpose of achieving sexual pleasure.
- Explain that some people masturbate; some people do not.
- Help students understand that attitudes toward masturbation may be a strong part of family values and beliefs and opinions often vary. Students will be encouraged to talk to parents in order to help them develop their own values and beliefs about masturbation.
Useful, appropriate information? Unacceptable! Think Progress brings us the rage so you don't have to read it yourself:
The Wisconsin Reporter’s breathless headline proclaims, “Wisconsin schools introduce masturbation in fourth grade.” Fox News picked up the story, claiming that “some Wisconsin school districts are reportedly authorizing detailed sex education at elementary schools that includes such topics as masturbation.” Other right-wing outlets piled on, insinuating that parents are “unhappy” with the curriculum.
The only alternatives to the extremely moderate guide would be to say "I dunno!" "Masturbation is the devil's handiwork" or "Go to detention." All surefire ways to promote a happy, healthy sex life that doesn't result in unplanned pregnancy or STIs.