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Part 1: Secular Sex Values – The New Standard for the World

Part 1: Secular Sex Values – The New Standard for the World

**WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS GRAPHIC SEXUAL MATERIAL. PLEASE USE DISCRETION IN OPENING AND READING.**

 

“All young people have the right to…fully experience their sexuality and gender in a pleasurable way.”[1]

That statement, found in a “Young People’s Guide to Sexual Rights” by the International Planned Parenthood Foundation, pretty much sums up how our culture views sexuality.

And it both makes me want to weep for where we are going as a culture.

Rights. Always about rights. I’ve written before on how our culture of “rights” is the fundamental opposite of Christ’s kingdom, which is about the giving up of rights out of obedience and responsibility. But if I had to encapsulate what I believe to be the epitome of this “rights gone wrong” perspective in our world, it would be in the area of sexuality.

We see this “entitlement” to sex on our terms, everywhere. Casual sex in every form on t.v. programming and movies, the gay rights movement, the “hook up” culture in university life…sexual freedom is, in our world now, a right on par with the right to life and liberty. You can’t, the mantra goes, have a full life without unrestricted sexual freedom.

After all, you deserve it.

Although secular sexuality really revved up in the 60’s with the sexual revolution, its roots began a couple of decades earlier, with groundbreaking sex research done by Alfred Kinsey. The seeds that were sowed by this pioneering, yet sexually obsessed, scientist have grown roots into every aspect of cultural moral life, and have shaped the way society understands not only sex, but morality and truth.

This idea of a right to sexual pleasure is more than simply a passive view that people have “caught” over time. On the contrary, this principle of virtually unrestricted sexual freedom, as a fundamental human right upon which no one can define parameters or guidelines, is a carefully orchestrated vehicle for the establishment of a completely secular worldview that is being pushed, intentionally and successfully, on the world stage. It is a worldview based on man as the measure of all things.

Or, better – it is the principle of “self” as the defining reality of life.

This Series

This series of articles is going to illustrate the ways that values of secular sexuality are being promoted throughout the world, not just to adults, but to children (Parts 1 & 2). Parts 3 and 4 will investigate the man that started a moral revolution – sex researcher Alfred Kinsey. The articles will also attempt to demonstrate that, largely without the awareness of parents and families, a Kinsey-based, secular sexual education is being used as the gateway for changing the way future generations think about the world.

These articles will also show the contrast between secular values of sexuality and a biblical view of sexuality (Part 5), as well as the power of sex apart from its created intent (Part 6). It becomes clear that, in spite of cultural assertions to the contrary, everyone has values about sex, and those values about sex impact much more than simply one’s physical relationship with another person. Whether Christian or non-Christian, religious or secular, sex matters. Why? Largely because one’s belief about and practice of sexuality is directly related to one’s worldview – how a person understands and relates to the world (Part 7).

For that reason, every Christian must be clear about what the Bible says about sex, what our culture says about sex, and how to live out biblical values of sexuality in a world whose values are so very contrary. Doing so gets to the heart of not simply our sexual lives, but our spiritual lives.

Let’s take a journey into understanding how sex has shaped everything.

Principles of Secular Sexuality

The place to start is with the principles of secular sexuality – the dominant values about sex in our society today.

Few parents are aware of the pervasiveness of secular principles of sexuality. These secular sex principles can be contrasted with traditional, or Judeo-Christian sexual values (which state that sex should be enjoyed only as a part of the permanent marriage union between a man and a woman) which predominated American cultural life until approximately the 1960’s. Since that time, secular sex principles have become the basis of policy, education, and cultural life both in America and on the world stage, and are being actively promoted to children within public education.

This series will demonstrate that that is something about which every Christian should be deeply, fundamentally concerned.

This agenda of secular sexuality is based on the following fundamentals:

 

  1. The pursuit of sexual pleasure is a fundamental human right for both adults and children.
  2. Any desired sexual expression or behavior between consenting adults is good.
  3. Sexual orientation is primarily biologically determined as an inherent characteristic like race, and should be protected as such.
  4. Gender identity differs from person to person, is primarily a social construct, and is not an innate or biologically determined characteristic.
  5. Persons, including children, should experiment with their sexuality in order to have full sexual lives.
  6. Any barrier to sexual pleasure (including faith-based guidelines) is a violation of human rights and must be eliminated as discriminatory.
  7. One’s body belongs to oneself and, as such, abortion is a woman’s right.
  8. Sex can be compartmentalized from emotional, spiritual, or familial connections as simply a physiological phenomenon.

These principles are not only embedded in messages from the media and cultural institutions or advanced through policy (although all of that is occurring); they are actively being taught to children through comprehensive sexual education programs. Most parents are completely unaware of the pervasive, explicit secular sexuality that is being propagated throughout the world to children as young as 5, and how the principles of this secular sexuality help to establish a secular worldview (a topic that will be addressed in Part 7).

Sex is being used to change the way future generations think – not only about sex, but about the nature of reality and truth.

Examples of Secular Sexuality Principles

Values of secular sexuality have become the foundation of sex ed and policy throughout the world. Through bodies such as the United Nations, and the International Planned Parenthood Federation, liberal sex policies, materials, and curricula are being implemented across the globe. With a focus on normative homosexuality, freedom of sexual expression, childhood sexual experimentation, abortion on demand, and the right of every person to sexual pleasure, power brokers are pushing an agenda of secular sex that emphasizes rights over responsibilities, and divorces sex from marriage and family.

UN Special Rapporteur

Consider these assertions about sexuality from the Report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education (an official recommendation to the UN on principles that are to be included in comprehensive sexual education programs throughout the world, starting at age 5):

 

  • “The right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health… sexual health requires… the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences…”[2]
  • “Pleasure in and enjoyment of sexuality, in the context of respect for others, should be one of the goals of comprehensive sexual education, abolishing guilt feelings about eroticism….“[3]
  • “It is a challenge for educational systems and communities to work together so that the concerns of different groups can be expressed without imposing personal moral values on the general public since this compromises the individual’s freedom to choose a lifestyle. The Special Rapporteur has seen many cases in which scientific sexual education programmes that had been designed and approved were never implemented because of undue ecclesiastical influence, which is a source of concern”.[4]

The right to pleasure. Abolishing guilt about sex on any terms. Concern over “undue ecclesiastical influence” – the influence of the church – on shaping the sexual lives of individuals. The importance of not imposing moral values that might compromise any person’s freedom to live sexually however they want. The Report is just one example of the ways secular values of sexuality have become the standard values for the world.

Yogayakarta Principles

Another example can be found in the sexual agenda set out by the Yogayakarta Principles. These international principles were developed by The International Commission of Jurists and the International Service for Human Rights (including nine United Nations Special Rapporteurs) and are being used to impact sexual policy and comprehensive sexual education around the world:

 

  • “Everyone has the right… to express, through cultural participation, the diversity of sexual orientation and gender identity”.[5]
  • “Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity includes any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on sexual orientation or gender identity”[6]
  • “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. This includes the expression of identity or personhood through speech, deportment, dress, bodily characteristics, choice of name, or any other means” [italics mine].[7]
  • Ensure that notions of public order, public morality, public health and public security are not employed to restrict, in a discriminatory manner, any exercise of freedom of opinion and expression that affirms diverse sexual orientations or gender identities” [italics mine].[8]
  • “Take all appropriate action, including programmes of education and training, with a view to achieving the elimination of prejudicial or discriminatory attitudes or behaviours which are related to the idea of the inferiority or the superiority of any sexual orientation or gender identity or gender expression”.[9]
  • “Ensure that the expression, practice and promotion of different opinions, convictions and beliefs with regard to issues of sexual orientation or gender identity is not undertaken in a manner incompatible with human rights.”[10]

Freedom of sexual expression, with very few limits. It is the calling card of secular sexuality, along with the understanding that limits on sexual expression are discriminatory violations of human rights. Rights over responsibilities. And it is the predominant belief system being inculcated worldwide.

International Guidelines for Sexuality

Beyond the emphasis on freedom of sexual expression, diversity of sexual orientation and gender identity, and, above all, “tolerance”, a hallmark of secular sex values is the importance of early childhood sex education. Liberal sexuality understands that children, who are sexual from birth, must be provided with information about sex as early as possible, so that they can understand and begin to explore their sexuality; without doing so, they will not have fulfilling sexual lives (to which they are entitled). As a result, secular sex education programs (known as comprehensive sex education, or CSE) use explicit information, pictures, activities, and even videos to ensure that, from the progressive sexual view, children understand their sexuality and have the best possible opportunity to utilize it to its full potential.

Although proponents of comprehensive sex education claim that it is “value neutral”, even a cursory investigation reveals that CSE inculcates clear sexual values – principles of secular sexuality as listed above. These values, that sexual pleasure can and should be found outside of marriage, that all persons should experiment sexually, and that all sexual orientations, gender expressions, and sexual expressions are normal and natural, are being instilled into children from Kindergarten onward.

One of the clearest, and most influential examples of secular sex values can be found in the world’s guidelines for sex ed. UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) released in 2009 its International Guidelines on Sexuality Education[11], which are the official standards for comprehensive sexual education provided to children throughout the world.

Learning objectives for children ages 5-8 include:

 

  • “Bodies can feel good when touched” (p. 48, 49)
  • “It is natural to explore and touch parts of one’s own body” (p. 48)
  • “Touching and rubbing one‘s genitals is called masturbation” (p. 48)
  • “Masturbation is not harmful, but should be done in private” (p. 48)
  • “People kiss, hug, touch, and engage in sexual behaviors with one another to show care, love, physical intimacy, and to feel good” (p. 49)

Learning objectives for children ages 9-12 include:

 

  • “Relationship between excitement and vaginal lubrication, penile erection and ejaculation” (p. 44)
  • “Many boys and girls begin to masturbate during puberty.” (p. 44)
  • “Steps for proper use of condoms”(p. 51)
  • “Definition and function of orgasm” (p. 49)
  • “Legal abortion performed under sterile conditions by medically trained personnel is safe” (p. 51)
  • “Concept, examples and positive and negative effects of ‘aphrodisiacs’” (p. 49).
  • “Human beings are born with the capacity of enjoying their sexuality” (p. 48).

Learning objectives for children ages 12-15 include:

 

  • “Both men and women can give and receive sexual pleasure with a partner of the same or opposite sex.” (p. 50)
  • “Access to safe abortion and post-abortion care.” (p. 52)
  • “Description of the physical changes and stages of male and female human sexual response including orgasm.” (p. 50)
  • “There are many ways to give and receive sexual pleasure without penetration” (p. 50).
  • “Sexual behaviours include kissing, touching, talking, caressing, oral intercourse and penetration” (p. 50)
  • “People differ in their sexual identity and orientation and gender identity” (p. 50).
  • “People do not choose their sexual orientation or gender identity” (p. 48).
  • “Masturbation is a safe and valid expression of sexuality” (p. 48).
  • “Sexual feelings, fantasies and desires are natural and occur throughout life” (p. 48).

In these guidelines, abstinence-only education is described as “fear-based”, “designed to control young people’s behavior by instilling fear, shame, and guilt.” (p. 60).

When these guidelines were released, they created such an outcry[12] that UNESCO developed an adapted version, called International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education[13], in which some of the most offensive details from the learning objectives were omitted.[14] However, the thrust of the guidelines remained the same. Research into specific comprehensive sex ed programs actually being utilized with students around the world demonstrates that even the most offensive guidelines from the first draft are still included as learning objectives within sex ed materials.

It’s All One Curriculum

An example of these guidelines in action can be found in the It’s All One sex ed program[15], developed by a group of international organizations, including the IPPF (International Planned Parenthood Federation, which is funded by the United Nations) and the United Nations Population Council, for use in teaching students around the world. As listed on page 2 of the guide, It’s All One “is a resource kit for developing a unified curriculum on sexuality, gender, HIV, and human rights… [which] responds to the Millennium Development Goals and related policy mandates”.  Page 6 explains that the program, “is designed to present sensitive information appropriately in a wide range of such contexts in Africa, the Americas, the Arab world, Asia, Europe, and the Pacific”.

In other words, this is the gold standard for what should be included in sexual education programs to educate the world’s children about sexuality.

Although the program is intended for students aged 15 and up, the guide is quick to assure that “more and more, though, experts and policymakers see the necessity of starting this type of education at earlier ages….Many educators who teach children younger than 15 can draw on this kit to create an appropriate curriculum.”[16]

Some of the elements taught in this curriculum:

 

  • In the glossary, gender is defined as: “Differences in the social roles that societies and families expect from males and females. Gender is not the same as biological differences by sex”.[17]
  • “Gender roles are learned. They are not innate or ‘natural’” (p. 44).
  • “At birth, newborns are identified as male or female based on their sex organs. In many settings, people indicate a baby’s sex through the use of specific names, jewelry, clothing, and so forth. Some babies whose genitals are not clearly male or female are termed intersex. Some children (regardless of whether or not they are intersex) come to feel ambiguous about their gender identity, or clearly identify with the gender other than the one with which they were reared.” (p. 46)
  •  “Despite social norms, millions of young people are determined to ‘be themselves’ and to realize more of their potential as human beings. They believe in greater gender equality and in diversity” (p. 50).
  •  “Many of us want to develop our potential as human beings. Our ability to develop and interact fully is limited, however, by the norms and stereotypes we have absorbed.” (p. 75).
  • Under the heading “Sexual Rights”: “All people should be able to enjoy their sexuality.” (p. 85)
  • “There are many ways that people experience sexual desire (a longing for sexual expression or a feeling of sexual attraction). There is no one ‘normal’ way to experience sexual desire” (p. 92)
  • “For many people, fantasy may create or increase desire. Thinking about a sexual act is normal, not shameful.” (p. 93).
  • “People may experience feelings of love, attraction, and sexual desire for the other sex, the same sex, or both. This variation has always been true throughout history. It is true of all societies, whether or not the society accepts same-sex attraction.” (p. 94).
  • “Emotional and physical pleasure are important parts of sexual well-being. Public health and rights organizations have issued declarations regarding the rights of all persons to sexual expression. These rights include the right to seek pleasure in the context of safety and of mutual and meaningful consent.”  (p. 99)
  • “People, regardless of their sexual identity, gender, or physical ability – can express and experience their sexuality through a variety of sexual behaviors. Once sexual practice is not better (or worse) than another – as long as the partners respect each other, no one is harmed, and both partners fully consent.” (p. 101).
  • “Most children touch their genitals because it feels good; this is called masturbation.” (p. 101).
  • As children become aware of their bodies, they may explore their sexuality with friends of either sex.” (p. 101)

In addition to these statements, the program includes graphic explanations of sexual response and the methods of giving and receiving sexual pleasure.

The program includes a series of activities for learning. Examples of some of these activities include:

 

  • A worksheet that students complete on sexual desire that includes questions on erection, vaginal lubrication, masturbation and sexual fantasies (among other topics). (Activities, p. 67)
  • Case studies on informed consent including the following: “Isaac has had several partners but lets Ivan, his new boyfriend, believe that he is still a virgin, as Ivan is. When they have sex, Ivan agrees not to use a condom, thinking there is no risk of infection. Can Ivan give free and informed consent?” (p. 80, Activities)
  • An activity in which the word “man” and “woman” are written on the board, with 2 columns under each word, one labeled “biological” and the other labeled “social”. Students are asked to come up with words that are associated with “man” and “woman”, and assign that characteristic to either column.  The teaching guide states, “If students assign a ‘social’ characteristic to the ‘biological’ category, correct them by asking: ‘If a boy or man does not possess this characteristic, is he still a male?’” (p. 32 Activities).
  • An exercise where the teacher writes the steps for proper use of condoms on flash cards, and then gives the cards to students for them to put in the proper order – which things are done before sex, during sex, and after sex. Teacher suggestions include bringing in sample male and female condoms for demonstration purposes. At the end of the activity, graphic case studies are provided for which students must determine the solution – solution options range from “A safe place to discuss concerns about sexual performance” to “Greater equality and shared power between the girl and the boy” to “Information about correct condom use”. A sample case study: “These two young people have intercourse, using condoms. After the boy ejaculates, he lies still for five minutes. His penis becomes soft and smaller, and when he moves a little, he is shocked to realize that a little bit of his semen is dripping out of the condom at the opening of his girlfriend’s vagina”. (p. 150-155 Activities)
  • Under the activity entitled “Walking in Her Shoes: The Decision to End a Pregnancy”, 4 case studies are presented in which all of the persons depicted choose an abortion. After reading and discussing the cases, students are given the assignment to relate quotes about not judging others to each case study. A sample quote: “I should love to satisfy all, if I possibly can; but in trying to satisfy all, I may be able to satisfy none. I have, therefore, arrived at the conclusion that the best course is to satisfy one’s own conscience and leave the world to form its own judgment, favorable or otherwise”. ( p. 167 Activities).

Conclusion

The themes are evident: Sexual pleasure is a right. Moral (particularly religious) guidelines around sexuality are oppressive, discriminatory, and unhealthy. Children and adults should experiment with their sexuality to have full sexual lives. Sexual orientation is biologically-determined and immutable, gender identity is not. Opposite sex attraction, same-sex attraction, or bisexual attraction are equally good. Abortion is a right for everyone. Any type of sexual expression between (or amongst) consenting partners should be encouraged. Gender norms are culturally-created stereotypes that are unhealthy. Acceptance (and practice) of gender and sexual diversity leads people to realize their potential as human beings.

Sex on our terms…the right to pleasure, as we deem fit.

The right to self.

“You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

”Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their lifewill lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.” Mark 8:34

These principles, as Part 5 will demonstrate, could not be further from the message of scripture. Every part of the Christian life is a fight against self; the battle to lay down one’s own desires and personhood in obedience to the Lord. And it is for that reason that every Christian should be concerned about the values of secular sexuality… they are just off-shoots of the vine of a secular worldview.

And in the center of that worldview is not Christ – but self.

 

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Read the other parts of this series here:

Part 1: Secular Sex Values: The New Standard for the World

Part 2: Comprehensive Sex Education, Secular Sex Coming to Your Children

Part 3: The Man Who Changed Morality: Sex Researcher Alfred Kinsey

Part 4: Alfred Kinsey and Cultural Moral Transformation

Part 5: The Power of Biblical Sex

Part 6: The Power of Sex Gone Wrong

Part 7: Sex and Worldview: A Battle for the Soul

Part 8: Summary: How Sex Has Changed the World

 


[1] International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) (2009). “Exclaim: Young People’s Guide to Sexual Rights: An IPPF Declaration”. Retrieved from http://www.ippf.org/NR/rdonlyres/9CDED64D-5750-41A1-994D-E7D35D0F1580/0/Exclaim.pdf, p. 21

[2] Report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education (2010, July 23).  United Nations General Assembly A/65/150. I B-11, p. 120. Retrieved from http://www.right-to-education.org/sites/r2e.gn.apc.org/files/SR%20Education%20Report-Human%20Right%20to%20Sexual%20Education.pdf

[3]  Report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education (2010, July 23).  United Nations General Assembly A/65/150. I C-16, p. 6. Retrieved from http://www.right-to-education.org/sites/r2e.gn.apc.org/files/SR%20Education%20Report-Human%20Right%20to%20Sexual%20Education.pdf

[4] Report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education (2010, July 23).  United Nations General Assembly A/65/150. III C-74 p. 18.  Retrieved from http://www.right-to-education.org/sites/r2e.gn.apc.org/files/SR%20Education%20Report-Human%20Right%20to%20Sexual%20Education.pdf

[5] Principles 26

[6] Principle 2

[7] Principle 19

[8] Principle 19 d.

[9] Principle 2 f

[10] Principle 21

[11] UNESCO (2009). International Guidelines on Sexuality Education: An Evidence Informed Approach to Effective Sex Relationships and HIV/STI Education. Retrieved from http://www.foxnews.com/projects/pdf/082509_unesco.pdf

[12] Erlanger, S. (2009, Sept. 2). “U.N. Guide for Sex Ed Generates Opposition”. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/03/world/03unesco.html?_r=3&scp=1&sq=Sex%20Ed%20Generates%20&st=cse&

[13] UNESCO (2009). International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education. Retrieved from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0018/001832/183281e.pdf?bcsi_scan_2C647EB3599034DE=0&bcsi_scan_filename=183281e.pdf

[14] McKeegan, T. (2010, Nov. 4). “United Nations Agency Bashed, Promotes Sex Ed from Birth”. Life News. Retrieved from http://www.lifenews.com/2010/11/04/int-1676/

Family Watch International. “Special Report. Comprehensive Sexuality Education: Sexual Rights vs. Sexual Health”. Retrieved from http://www.familywatchinternational.org/fwi/documents/Special_Report_CSE_Revised_1_12.pdf

[15] The Population Council (2009). It’s All One Curriculum: Guidelines and Activities for a Unified Approach to Sexuality, Gender, HIV and Human Rights Education. Population Council, Inc.: New York. Retrieved from http://www.ippfwhr.org/sites/default/files/ItsAllOne.pdf

[16]The Population Council (2009). It’s All One Curriculum: Guidelines and Activities for a Unified Approach to Sexuality, Gender, HIV and Human Rights Education. Population Council, Inc.: New York. P. 7. Retrieved from http://www.ippfwhr.org/sites/default/files/ItsAllOne.pdf

[17] The Population Council (2009). It’s All One Curriculum: Guidelines and Activities for a Unified Approach to Sexuality, Gender, HIV and Human Rights Education. Population Council, Inc.: New York. Retrieved from http://www.ippfwhr.org/sites/default/files/ItsAllOne.pdf

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