Many of us have been saying it for a long time, but it’s nice to be backed up by experts. The Catholic Medical Association has released a 55-page report recommending the US bishops end “safe-environment sex education” programs like Talking about Touching because of the damage it does to children and to their relationships with their parents. (For a review of what I originally wrote about Talking about Touching.)
The group released a 55-page study, “To Prevent and to Protect: Report of the Catholic Medical Association Task Force on the Sexual Abuse of Children and Its Prevention,” Oct. 27 during the association’s annual conference in Boston. … The study states that sex abuse prevention programs that empower children to protect themselves are ineffective, inconsistent with the science of the emotional, cognitive, neurobiological and moral development of the child and contrary to the Church’s teaching on the education of children in matters pertaining to sex.
John Brehany, executive director of the CMA, boiled the debate down into one question: “Are (the programs) well designed, effective in practice, consistent with the Church’s teaching on human persons, family and sexual love?”
If you read my initial report on Talking about Touching, you’ll see that it isn’t. It was written by a group whose founding principle was the legalization of prostitution and whose founder was a “Dianic Wiccan priestess.” Even setting aside those problems, it promotes a worldview that sets aside questions of morality in favor of a relativistic approach of “Is it a bad touch?”, i.e. is this wrong in my subjective view? It also makes children the front-line of their own defense and undermines parents’ authority. As I showed in the article, the implementation of such programs also frequently undermine parental rights’ and authority as set out in Church teaching. What these programs do is turn children in good witnesses for the prosecution; they don’t prevent abuse. But then identifying and isolating abusers is properly the role of parents and other adults, not the children.
Ignoring the causes, real solutions