2019 Ontario Health and Physical Education Curriculum
Healthy Living – Human Development and Sexual Health Strand
Curriculum Content found in Expectation, Teacher Prompt, or Student Response
Concerns & Suggestions
|Ministry Announced: |
Grade 1 to 8 – Expanding Anti-bullying to all Grades
|At first this appears to be a good step.. Unfortunately, the anti-bullying context is the platform used for LGBT affirmative messaging, and often takes a significant proportion of the time. If this was to include all aspects of bullying, we would not have a problem, but LGBT issues tend to be the leading examples.|
|Ministry Announced: |
Grade 2 to 8 – Consent expanded to Gr. 2 to 8
|It is believed that instruction on consent will reduce sexual exploitation. Concern is that we are continuing to affirm with students that sexual activity is OK, at any age, if the person consents. This seems counter-productive to the ideal message that teen sexual activity has many negative impacts.|
Mental Health focus throughout the curriculum
|Child/youth mental health issues are a major problem and need to be addressed. Concern is that in the Human Development and Sexual Health Strand expectations require students to positively consider their sexual orientation and gender identity and if the way the child feels is not supported by family/parents this contributes to stress and negative mental health.|
|Grade 1 |
Label the genitalia, penis, testicles, vulva, vagina
Rationale for Instruction on Labeling Genitalia
1) The publicly communicated rationale used by SRR proponents is this instruction supports a child that has been injured or abused. In such a case the child would be able to accurately communicate where they hurt and/or what part of the body was touched.
|Comments / Concerns|
It is agreed that children who can identify their body parts using accurate titles rather than pet names are better able to communicate. The concern is that this instruction needs to be done in a way that maintains modesty. During classroom learning there is often large graphic images and in some cases there has been plush-toy genitalia that can be handled by children. Such experiences in large mixed-gender groups will reduce modesty. Teachers in districts where this has been taught, have reported that it has led to increased investigation on playground. Although this is not a scientific study on the effects, it needs to be noted.
P. 43 of the 2019 Health and Curriculum document does state that, due to the sensitive nature of the material, there may be times when it is best to divide students into groups based on sex. To maintain the modesty, have a same-sex adult explain that we are in the same group to talk about important things that should not be discussed in a mixed group.
If the purpose is to communicate when they have been hurt or touched inappropriately, then it is only necessary that they learn to label the parts of their own sex.
Our suspicion is that this is pre-knowledge that supports discussion on sexual orientation, gender identity and pleasure.
The Health and Physical Education Curriculum states “parents are the primary educators”. If this is important then we should develop a way to have parents teach their kids at home.
EXPECTATION D1.4; P. 125 … STAGES OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
Outline the basic stages of human development (e.g., infant, child, adolescent, adult, older adult) and related bodily changes, and identify factors that are important for healthy growth and living throughout life.
EXPECTATION D2.3 P. 128 … CONSENT
|A) STAGES OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT – |
The detail with respect to human development is not clear. This will be up to what the teacher deems to be age appropriate. Some teachers will go into details with respect to body change or emotional changes that are not necessary at this time.
Re: Teacher Prompt – Interesting to note that we can talk about native spirituality- ‘cycles of birth’, and ‘ceremonies for native cultures’ – but not about teachings of other faith cultures that are dominant in the community.
Within the ‘Personal Safety and Injury Prevention’ strand instruction in consent has been added. The use of it in this strand is intended to be applied to broader situations not seeking consent for sexual activities.
C) SOGI – Teacher may include Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity as Supplementary Content – The government kept any reference to direct instruction related to sexual orientation and gender identity out of Grade 2. This is great news for teachers who did not want to include this in their programs. However, there is a history of SOGI instruction in many schools as part of health and physical education, and as integrated content into other subject areas (literature, music, math, anti-bullying days, etc). The curriculum does not prevent a teacher from including it as part of supplementary instruction.
SUGGESTIONS FOR SCHOOLS& PARENTS
Do not include SOGI instruction (direct of supplementary) before the identified grade levels (SO -Grade 5, GI – Grade 8). Inform parents if this is not the case.
|Grade 3 |
EXPECTATION D1.4; P. 146 … HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS, BULLYING, CONSENT
TEACHER PROMPT: “Sometimes we are different in ways you can see. Sometimes we are different in ways you cannot see – such as how we learn, what we think, who we love, and what we are able to do. Give me some examples of things that make each person unique.”
A) EXPECTATION D1.4; P. 146 … HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS, BULLYING, CONSENT
Need to ensure that bullying because of SO/GI is not a focus of instruction, but only an example of the many types of bullying.
RE: CONSENT: The context presented is non-sexual and age appropriate. I do wish they could have used a synonym for “consent” (permission, compliance, authorization, agreement), because the term ‘consent’ is so strongly tied to the sexual activity expectations within the Comprehensive Sexual Education philosophy.
B) EXPECTATION D3.3; P.151 VISIBLE & INVISIBLE DIFFERENCES
This is intended to prompt the discussion to include consideration of sexual orientation, gender identity, etc.
C) SOGI – Teacher may include Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity as Supplementary Content – The government kept any direct instruction related to sexual orientation and gender identity out of Grade 3. This is good news for teachers who did not want to include this in their programs. However, there is a history of SOGI instruction in many schools as part of health and physical education, and as integrated content into other subject areas (literature, music, math, anti-bullying days, etc). The curriculum does not prevent a teacher from including it as part of supplementary instruction and the Bullying and Consent contexts will be places a teacher could add sensitive content.
SUGGESTIONS FOR SCHOOLS
Do not include SOGI instruction (direct or supplementary) before the identified grade levels (SO -Grade 5, GI – Grade 8). Inform parents if this is not the case.
Parents – need opt-out of instruction or to introduce these topics before the school does.
EXPECTATION D1.3 – BULLYING, ABUSE & NON-CONSENSUAL BEHAVOIUR
EXPECTATION D1.5 – PUBERTY: PHYSICAL CHANGES, EMOTIONAL AND SOCIAL IMPACTS
Teacher prompt: “During puberty, our bodies undergo many changes. Everyone experiences these changes at different rates and at different times. Increases in weight and body fat are normal. Sometimes it is hard to get used to the changes that are happening so quickly. Feelings can be much more intense. What are some of the feelings you might have as you start to experience changes with with puberty, and how can you manage them?”
Student: “Relationships with friends can change, because sometimes people start being interested in different things at different times. Some people start ‘liking’ others. They want to be more than ‘just friends’ and become interested in going out. Sometimes people treat you as if you are older than you actually are because of how you look, but you should be treated in an age-appropriate and respectful way. Sometimes classmates, friends, or family make comments or tease you about the changes. That’s not okay.”
|A) EXPECTATION D1.3 – BULLYING, ABUSE & NON-CONSENSUAL BEHAVOIUR|
In this section the teacher prompts and student responses deal with bullying and abuse. The abuse includes social, physical, verbal, and sexual.Re: BULLYING
Parents should be cautious because the topic of bullying has been used as a context to instruct on SOGI (sexual orientation, gender identity). Engaging children in celebratory activities and role-playing is used to build empathy for SOGI individuals.ABUSE
The teacher prompts indicate that discussion will include various types of abuse – physical, social, sexual, etc.NON-CONSENSUAL BEHAVOIUR – Although consent for sexual activity is not directly stated as an expectation, when discussing bullying and sexual abuse, ‘non-consensual behaviour’ will include context of sexual activity.+++++EXPECTATION D1.5 – PUBERTY: PHYSICAL CHANGES, EMOTIONAL AND SOCIAL IMPACTS
Discussions on social, emotional and impacts of puberty and “liking someone as more than just a friend” will often open the door on sexual orientation and gender identity discussions.At this age, the child’s friend-group tends to be of the same biological gender. During puberty, as emotions and feelings change, emotional feelings of love, caring, and physical attraction begin to develop. The child’s friend group are all the same biological gender, and when these feelings begin to surface, the child wonders if they could be homosexual. This has always been a question that arises as students go through puberty.IN the past when the students would ask, “Could I be homosexual?” teachers would respond….
“What you are feeling is very normal. Your friend group is all the same sex as you, and as you mature the feelings of caring, loving, and physical attraction start to develop. In a few years, your friend group will expand and include both sexes. At that time the feelings you have may apply to the other sex and you will better know if you are homosexual or heterosexual. I recommend you wait so that you can accurately tell.”
As you can see the way teachers respond to this question has shifted with the culture to be politically correct. The 1995 response, although very accurate, would likely get you labelled as homophobic.
C) SOGI – Teacher may include Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity as Supplementary Content – The government kept any statements about direct instruction related to sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) out of Grade 4. This is good news for teachers who did not want to include this in their programs. However, there is a history of SOGI instruction in many schools as part of health and physical education, and as integrated content into other subject areas (literature, music, math, anti-bullying days, etc). The curriculum does not prevent a teacher from including it as part of supplementary instruction, and the Bullying, Abuse, Consent topics are contexts where a teacher could add sensitive content.
EXPECTATION – identify the parts of the reproductive system, and describe how the body changes during puberty [A1.5 Self]
Teacher prompt: “Female body parts that mature and develop as a part of puberty include the vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, endometrium, and clitoris. Male body parts that mature and develop during puberty include the penis (with or without the foreskin), scrotum, urethra, testicles, prostate gland, seminal vesicles, and vas deferens. These changes occur as people become capable of reproduction. Not all bodies experience changes of the same kind, or at the same time. What are some physical changes that may happen during puberty?”
C2.4 FACTORS AFFECTING SELF CONCEPT – Sexual Orientation
identify intersecting factors that affect the development of a person’s self-concept, including their sexual orientation (e.g., self-awareness, self-acceptance, social environment, opinions of others who are important to them, influence of stereotypical thinking, awareness of their own strengths and needs, social competency, cultural identity, availability of support, body image, mental health and emotional well-being, physical abilities), and how these factors can support their personal health and well-being [A1.1 Emotions, 1.2 Coping, 1.5 Self]
D2.5 STRESSES IN PUBERTY
describe emotional and interpersonal stresses related to puberty (e.g., questions about changing bodies and feelings, adjusting to changing relationships, crushes and more intense feelings, conflicts between personal desires and cultural teachings and practices), recognize signs that could indicate mental health concerns, and identify strategies that they can apply to manage stress, build resilience, keep open communication with family members and caring adults, and enhance their mental health and emotional well-being (e.g., being active, writing feelings in a journal, accessing information about their concerns, taking action on a concern, talking to a trusted peer or adult, breathing deeply, meditating, seeking cultural advice from Elders, Métis Senators, knowledge keepers or knowledge h
|Parts of the Reproductive System|
In previous curricula students would learn the reproductive process – parts of the reproductive system, conception, fetal development and birth.
This expectation reinforce the focus is on CSE (sexual activity, sexual pleasure, capacity for sexual feelings):
C2.4 FACTORS AFFECTING SELF CONCEPT – Sexual Orientation
Sexual Orientation is a Key Topic
Students are determining their sexual orientation. (SO) Sexual orientation is taught within the context of positive self-concept and mental health. Note the teacher prompt states, “Having an understanding of your sexual orientation is an important part of developing your sense of self and well-being.” There are also external factors that impact your development.
This resource tells the students If they do not have support from external sources (home, church, friends, etc) then that can contribute to stress and mental health issues.
At this age, the child’s friend-group tends to be of the same biological gender. During puberty emotional feelings of love, caring, and physical attraction begin to trigger. The child’s friend group usually tend to be the same biological sex, and when these feelings begin to surface, the child wonders if they could be homosexual. This has always been a question that arises as students go through puberty. In the past we were allowed to explain to the students, “This could be true, however, as your body matures the feelings of love, attraction, caring begin to trigger. Your friend group is all the same biological sex and these feelings cause you to wonder. It is recommended that you wait a few years. Your friend group will expand to include both sexes and you will be able to better tell.”
Today educators would have us help the child celebrate these feelings, seek mentors to help them affirm their feelings, and join the school gay straight alliance club.
D2.5 Stresses in Puberty
The expectations affirm that stresses can happen when your personal desires conflict with cultural teachings. This would include religious instruction. Will the instruction lead the child to believe that their personal desires, trumps religious instruction.
Teacher Prompts and Student Responses affirm:
Curriculum does not seem to be helping to establish boundaries. Does the last point mean that, with permission,10 year olds can touch sexually, with permission? Further there is no statement that naked photos of a friend is a boundary that should not be crossed.
Increased confusion in the minds of children – this is a very complex topic. (Dr. Miriam Grossman, MD, Psychiatrist).
Placing Faith Children Above their God
When faith children are told they get to choose their gender/orientation, we are affirming that they are above their God who determined their biology and gender via DNA.
Lack of Contentedness – Students are being told they do not need to learn to be “content with boundaries”. This has always been an important value. There is evidence that a lack of contentedness leads to increased mental health issues. We are concerned that the curriculum will lead to increased confusion/conflict that will result in increased lack of contentedness and negatively contribute to mental health issues.
|Grade 6 |
demonstrate an understanding of the impacts of viewing sexually explicit media, including pornography (e.g., leads to a limited or distorted understanding of relationships; reinforces harmful gender norms; promotes an unrealistic or idealized body image)
Teacher prompt: “Sexually explicit material is easily accessible and can be found in a variety of media, including social media, online games, music videos, movies, and pornography. This content can portray people and relationships in ways that are misleading and inaccurate, and can promote harmful gender stereotypes. It may not show people behaving with respect for themselves or their partners, or giving or respecting consent. What are some other ways in which viewing sexually explicit media can affect healthy development?”
D2.5 Lay a Foundation for Healthy Relationships
describe how they can build confidence and lay a foundation for healthy relationships by acquiring a clearer understanding of the physical, social, and emotional changes that occur during adolescence (e.g., physical: voice changes, skin changes, body growth; social: changing social relationships, increasing influence of peers; emotional: increased intensity of feelings, new interest in relationships, confusion and questions about changes) [A1.1 Emotions, 1.4 Relationships, 1.5 Self]
D2.6 Respect for Self, Consent to Build Healthy Relationships
make informed decisions that demonstrate respect for themselves and others and an understanding of the concept of consent to help build healthier relationships, using a variety of social-emotional learning skills (e.g., self-awareness and identity skills; emotion management skills; critical and creative thinking skills; skills based on First Nations, Métis, and Inuit cultural teachings, such as medicine wheel teachings connected to the life cycle, the seven-grandfather teachings, or other cultural teachings) [A1.1 Emotions, 1.4 Relationships, 1.5 Self, 1.6 Thinking]
Marriage Teacher Prompt:
Teacher prompt: “Why might people decide to get married?”
Student: “Many religions and cultures place importance on marriage. Marriage can be a healthy and loving committed partnership between two people who respect each other. Many religions and cultures affirm and celebrate marriage and family life as a fulfilling aspect of human life.”
It is encouraging to see this added, however the instruction is limited.
Students are told that a high percentage of porn presents distorted understanding of relationships; reinforces harmful gender norms; promotes an unrealistic or idealized body image. Based on the research this is correct of a high percentage of the video porn on the internet.
This is leading to a classification system for pornography. The argument will be if pornographic videos show sexual activity where there is consent, partners are treated with respect and everyone is satisfied – then this kind of porn (it may not even be called porn) is acceptable.
What we are NOT telling the students is:
D2.5 Lay a Foundation for Healthy Relationships
Within CSE masturbation is a strategy encouraged to investigate what an individual likes sexually so that it is possible to communicate and provide consent.
Within this expectation masturbation is a strategy that is encouraged to help a child “Lay a Foundation for Healthy Relationships”. The Teacher Prompt tells students, “Exploring one’s body by touching or masturbating is something that many people do because it feels good. It is common and is not harmful and is one way of learning about your body.”
Concern is there is no caution about how this can become an addiction, and the negative effects on school, work, and relationships in the future. Even Ask Men ezine and other webpages indicate that masturbation can become an addiction that can interfere with school, work, intimate releationships, etc.
Edwina Reyese, Sexual Addictions Therapist, Hawaii, shared that as we affirm masturbation, more children will use this as a way of dealing with stress and this will lead to increased addictions.
D2.6 Respect for Self, Consent to Build Healthy Relationships
Within this expectation the message is sexual activity engaged in at this age is affirmed if it is done with respect and consent. Emphasis is not being placed on setting boundaries of avoiding sex to protect the child’s future.
Does not meet the learning needs of students.
Differentiated learning theory requires programs to be selected based
on 3 criteria:
A) student experience; B) student interest; C) preferred learning methods
In Grade 6 more than 91% of students have not had any sexual experience. Based on differentiated instruction guidelines, Sexual Risk Avoidance programs best meet the learning needs of sexually non-experienced students.
Emphasis is on Consent rather than developing refusal skills. Most students believe that most kids are having sex (even though that is not the case). When asked to engage, some will ‘consent’ because they think it is a normal choice (excessive instruction on consent reinforces this) and do not have the knowledge and skills to effectively refuse.
We need to focus on knowledge that most teens are not sexually active, and the negative impact of teen sex and skills to be able to deal with negative coercion.
Students need a strategy that is rehearsed to be able to effectively resist – this is not being provided. PEACE SRA programs have students use, and practice, the S.A.F.E. Strategy. See chart below.
S.A.F.E. Strategy – Refusal Skills
Things to consider when making a decision about a relationship – There is no consideration of the goal of long term, monogamous relations. This is not even a desire.
Concerns– Ending a Relationship
Teens who become sexually active will have different relationship partners over time. The reality is “breaking up is hard to do”. Hence this is a topic to be instructed on. However, students are not told about the most important factor in long term relationships.
When you do have sex with someone neurochemicals are released in the body resulting in strong feelings of bonding to the person. That bonding is an important factor for people to have long-term, committed relationships.
Students are not told is that the repeated bonding / break-up cycle is a conditioning activity that reduces the natural effects of neurochemical bonding and leads to increased difficulties when people desire long-term relationships.
Marriage Prompt– A teacher prompt that was added, “Why do some people get married?” Student Response indicates’ that it is a done for religious/cultural reasons and it can be a loving committed partnership’.
Research proves the benefits of children living in married family relationships. It is unfortunate that the fear of offending prevents providing accurate information about the benefit of marriage. Interesting to note, however that most children desire to end up in a married relationship.
Keep in mind as a teacher prompt, it is not mandatory information to be discussed.
D1.3 Shared Understanding with a Partner
explain the importance of having a shared understanding with a partner about the following: delaying sexual activity until they are older (e.g., choosing to abstain from any genital contact; choosing to abstain from vaginal or anal intercourse; choosing to abstain from oral-genital contact); the reasons for not engaging in sexual activity; the concept of consent, the legal age of consent, and how consent is communicated; and, in general, the need to communicate clearly with each other when making decisions about sexual activity in a healthy, loving relationship
D1.4 Identify Sexually Transmitted Infections & Symptoms
identify sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBIs), and describe their symptoms
D1.5 Contraception – Preventing Sexually Transmitted infections / Pregnancy
identify ways of preventing STBBIs and/or unplanned pregnancy, such as delaying first intercourse and other sexual activities until a person is older and using condoms and other forms of protection consistently [A1.2 Coping, 1.4 Relationships, 1.5 Self]
D2.4 Factors Affecting Sexual Health Decisions
demonstrate an understanding of physical, emotional, social, and cognitive factors that need to be considered when making decisions related to sexual health (e.g., sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections [STBBIs], possible side effects of contraceptives, pregnancy, protective value of vaccinations, social labelling, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, self-concept issues, relationships, love, respect, desire, pleasure, cultural teachings) [A1.1 Emotions, 1.2 Coping, 1.4 Relationships, 1.5 Self]
Shared Understanding with A Partner
D1.4 Identify Sexually Transmitted Infections / STBBIs
D1.5 – Contraception
Students are NOT told:
In addition there is a higher risk of infection if someone puts their fingers in their mouth or a partner’s mouth after touching the genitals or anus. (Source: https://helloclue.com/articles/sex/stis-common-questions-and-misconceptions).
This is adding more explicit content, but if the goal is to reduce STI transmission, and we are not providing all information then we are misinforming. A better option would be to provide a dual program approach where students who need this information are able to get it, and students who need Sexual Risk Avoidance (new abstinence) messaging will get what they need.
Abstinence Has Been Redefined
Concern with Consent rather than Refusal Skills
Emphasis is on Consent rather than developing refusal skills. Students believe that most kids are having sex (even though that is not the case). When asked to engage, some will ‘consent’ because they think it is a normal choice (excessive instruction on consent reinforces this) and do not have the knowledge and skills to effectively refuse.
We need to focus on developing knowledge of the negative impact of teen sex and skills to deal with negative coercion.
D2.4 Factors Affecting Sexual Health Decisions
Re: Sexual Orientation
At this age, the child’s friend-group tends to be of the same biological gender. During puberty emotional feelings of love, caring, and physical attraction begin to trigger. The child’s friend group are all the same biological gender, and when these feelings begin to surface, the child wonders if they could be homosexual. This has always been a question that arises as students go through puberty. Let’s look at how teacher’s responses have evolved over the last 30 years.
Evolution of Responses to the Student Question “Could I be homosexual?”
Question: “I like someone as more than just a friend, but they are the same sex as me. Could I be homosexual?”
1995 Teachers Would Say:
“What you are feeling is very normal. Your friend group is all the same biological sex. As you mature the feelings of caring, loving and physical attraction start to develop. In a few years, your friend group will expand and include the opposite sex as well. At that time the feelings you have may apply to the opposite sex and you will better know if you are homosexual or heterosexual. I recommend you wait so that you can accurately tell.”
2019 Teachers Say
“What you are feeling is very normal. It is possible your feelings are accurate. There are many people who feel the same way you do. Here is a book/video about ____________ (a mentor, successful leader, etc). They were very successful and attracted to people of the same sex. You might want to read/watch it.
You should also be join our school’s Gay/Straight/Alliance club
where your feelings will be supported.”
Question: Are we providing students with the right information. I am not opposed to accepting and respecting those who
choose differently, but we are putting children in a position where we are expecting them to make life affecting decisions when their brains are not fully mature.
D1.4 Factors Affecting Decisions Around Sexual Activity
identify and explain factors that can affect an individual’s decisions about sexual activity (e.g., previous thinking about reasons to wait, including making a choice to delay sexual activity and establishing personal limits; perceived personal readiness; peer pressure; desire; curiosity; self-concept; awareness and acceptance of gender identity and sexual orientation; physical or cognitive disabilities and possible associated assumptions; legal concerns such as the legal age of consent; awareness of the risk of sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections [STBBIs]; concerns about the risk of becoming a parent; use of alcohol or drugs; personal or family values; religious beliefs; cultural teachings; access to information; media messages), and identify sources of support regarding sexual health (e.g., a health professional [doctor, nurse, public health practitioner], a teacher, a guidance counsellor, a religious leader, a parent or other trusted adult, a reputable website)[A1.1 Emotions, 1.2 Coping, 1.5 Self]
D1.5 Gender Identity
demonstrate an understanding of gender identity (e.g., male, female, Two-Spirit, transgender), gender expression, and sexual orientation (e.g., heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, asexual), and identify factors that can help individuals of all identities
and orientations develop a positive self-concept [A1.2 Coping, 1.5 Self]*
demonstrate an understanding of abstinence, contraception and the use of effective and suitable protection to prevent pregnancy and STBBIs, and the concept of consent, as well as the skills (e.g., self-awareness, communication, assertiveness, and refusal skills) they need to apply in order to make safe and healthy decisions about sexual activity (e.g., delaying first intercourse; establishing, discussing, and respecting boundaries; showing respect; opting to seek additional information and support; having safer sex) [A1.3 Motivation, 1.5 Self, 1.6 Thinking]
This statement is an indication that the program will reach out to all student needs. However, the criticism of CSE is that not enough time is spent on abstinence / refusal skills to be effective.
See comments for Grade 7, Expectations D1.3, D1.4, D1.5 and D2.4
Many apply here.
1) Increased confusion in the minds of children – this is a very complex topic. (Dr. Miriam Grossman, MD, Psychiatrist).
2) Placing Faith Children Above their God
Faith families believe that gender is determined by biology and is evidenced in the person’s DNA. When faith children are told they get to choose their gender, we are affirming that they are above their God who determined their biology and gender via DNA.
3) Lack of Contentedness – Students are being told they do not need to learn to be “content with boundaries” – an important value. There is evidence that a lack of contentedness leads to increased mental health issues.
4) Artificial Increase in Gender Dysphoria
There has been an astronomical increase in children and youth being treated for gender dysphoria. Reasons for this may be
more social conditioning than a true personal mis-alignment of biology and gender feelings –see graph and explanation below.
In 10 years, there has been a 14x increase in youth identifying as gender dysphoric. Many reports share a concern that there may be social factors at play. For example, the number of natal males transitioning to female has traditionally been more than 3 times greater than the number of natal females transitioning to males. However, recent studies show rates of transgender identity of natal female to male more than 4 times greater than natal male to female. There is also evidence that high proportions of youth experiencing gender dysphoria post-puberty, have been directly exposed to one or more peers who had recently “come out” as trans, and/or had exhibited a marked increase in social media consumption dealing with transgender issues. (Source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/culture-mind-and-brain/201811/why-is-transgender-identity-the-rise-among-teens )
There is merit in the concern that individuals who do not fit the typical stereotypical roles have suffered socially. However, rather than labelling a person a gender that is not consistent with their biology (effeminate males identify as female and tom-boy girls identify as males), a better solution may be to recognize and affirm that there is a spectrum of maleness and femaleness.
Jacob and Esau
In scripture recognize individuals that represent the spectrum of maleness.
For example Jacob and Esau.
Jacob was the effeminate brother who stole Esau’s birthright, but was recognized by God and became the Patriarch of the Israelites.
Esau was the masculine of the two. He made some poor choices that that disappointed his family, and may have been the reason for his mother supporting Jacob in the lie to award Esau’s birthright to Jacob. In retribution he married a Canaanite woman and founded the Edomites, an enemy of Israel.
Interesting that although both brothers became successful, it was the effeminate brother who was favoured by God.
Jael in scripture is a woman who may not have expressed typical femininity. She is mentioned in the Book of Judges, as the heroine who killed Sisera by driving a tent stake through his temple, delivering Israel from the troops of King Jabin.
D2.3 Contraception – See Grade 7 Expectation 1.4 and 1.5
Ontario is a very pluralistic province with a broad spectrum of worldviews. There is no other subject that is so values-laden than human sexuality. Comprehensive Sex Education (Sexual Risk Reduction), is a one-size-fits-all approach where ALL children are taught the same program and this does not meet the varied learning needs of many students.
If the government truly wanted to effectively respect all families, two approaches to sexual health instruction should be provided – sexual risk avoidance and comprehensive sex education – and allow the parents/students to choose the approach that is best for them.