A Government legislator and church leader has led a savage attack on one of the United Nations’ key strategies for combating the spread of HIV and AIDS among children and young people.
Senator David Durant, senior pastor at Restoration Ministries in Brittons Hill, St Michael, has described comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) as “one of the greatest assaults on the health and innocence of children”.
The UN agency UNESCO describes CSE as “an age-appropriate, culturally relevant approach to teaching about sex and relationships by providing scientifically accurate, realistic, non-judgemental information”.
UNESCO says that by adopting a comprehensive strategy, CSE emphasizes “an approach to sexuality education that encompasses the full range of information, skills and values to enable young people to exercise their sexual and reproductive rights and to make decisions about their health and sexuality”.
In addition, it says the programme is integral to its strategy on HIV and AIDS “with a focus on HIV prevention, treatment, care and support for children and young people through in-school and out of school based responses”.
However, Durant said it was a sinister way to introduce children to sex, and he pleaded with the authorities here not to introduce CSE to Barbadian schools.
“I am appealing to the Ministry of Education and the PTA not to allow comprehensive sexuality education to enter our school system. It should not be embraced here because comprehensive sexuality education is one of the greatest assaults on the health and innocence of children. This is because unlike traditional sexual education, comprehensive sexuality education uses explicit material to promote promiscuity and high risk sexual behaviour to children as healthy and normal,” he said yesterday as he contributed to the debate on the 2017/2018 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure.
According to Durant, the programme has an almost excessive focus on teaching children how to obtain sexual pleasure or gratification in various ways, including masturbation, anal and oral sex.
“I do not think it is anything we should impose on our six, seven, eight, nine and ten-year-old children and even children a little older. The main goal of comprehensive sexuality education is to change the sexual norms of society. I am appealing that we do not allow it to have a firm root in our society,” he stressed.