Cathy Ruse is Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Human Dignity at Family Research Council. This article was co-written with Austin Ruse, President of C-Fam. This article appeared in The Stream on April 20, 2018.
The craziness continued at the recent meeting of the Fairfax County sex-ed advisory committee. That’s the group responsible for creating over 80 hours of sex-ed for every public-school child.
No wonder we’re lagging in math.
On the agenda this time were abstinence, party drugs, and the very notion of male and female.
Silencing Discussion of Controversial Issues
Public exposure has allowed dissenting committee members to speak, but still there is no real engagement of dissenting concerns or questions.
One of us reported recently about how the committee shut down discussion of any controversial issue. The two conservative members of the 26-person board were simply not allowed to speak their objections. Public exposure forced a changed in this practice, but still there is no real engagement of dissenting concerns or questions. Case in point was the “debate” about biological sex.
Last month, the advisors changed the lessons so that whenever the kids hear a reference to a person’s “sex,” they are to be informed that sex is “assigned at birth.”
This is a central faith claim for the sexual revolutionaries. We are not born male and female. Rather the delivery room doctors look at genitalia and then pronounce a sex that may, after all, turn out to be totally wrong. Surely women can have penises too. Just ask the committee.
At the last meeting, advisor Dan Press, a local Democratic activist without even a passing knowledge of science and medicine, announced that “biological sex is essentially meaningless.” He said that everyone in the medical and scientific establishment agreed. Well, last week, advisor Laura Murphy made an incontestable rebuttal of those claims. She moved to put the phrase “biological sex” back in, and quoted from numerous credible sources, for which she presented written documentation.
Dismissing Murphy’s Studious Response
In her rebuttal, Murphy quoted from the diagnostic manual of the American Psychological Association (APA). It defines sex as the “biological indicator of male and female.”
She quoted the National Institutes of Health, which use the term biological sex. The National Academy of Science says a person’s sex is established in the womb. These scientific experts say the biological sex of either male or female is an “undeniable and irrevocable medical reality.”
She quoted the World Health Association that defines sex as “the different biological and physiological characteristics of males and females.”
She cited numerous examples of how doctors prescribe certain drugs differently based on biological sex.
Murphy pointed out that even the APA defines sex as male or female based on biological indicators like chromosomes and genitalia. The group also recognizes the notion that transgender is fluid — that is, changeable — something that sex-ed advisors confidently deny. In an odd twist, they say that sex can be changed, but gender cannot.
When the 3-minute timer ran out, Murphy asked for 30 more seconds to finish her statement. The Chairman asked, does anyone object? Yes, there were objections. No, Murphy would not have 30 more seconds. Such is the Stalinism of this group.
Speaking against “biological sex” was Dan Press, among the most radical and intransigent of the committee. He was the person responsible for taking it out of the lessons in the first place — on the grounds that all of science and medicine now uses “sex is assigned at birth.” Press dismissed Murphy’s well-researched argument with a flippant statement. “We discussed this last time. Let’s move on.” And so they did. The committee voted 24-2 against Murphy and science.
But, the committee was just getting started. Current lessons suggest that kids with concerns about sexual orientation and gender identity should talk to a trusted adult. Why, that creates stigma! How terrible to suggest a kid could have such concerns! In the end, they left in “concerns” and took out “clergy” from the list of trusted adults, to appease the gods of the pelvic Left. They allowed a lone clergyman to speak on this matter. A leftist woman, who wanted the group to know that not all clergy are judgmental. Take that, you benighted Catholic priests.
The committee talked about whether to leave “abstinence” in the lesson as a goal for 9th graders. Press, quoting studies he did not produce, railed against abstinence education as an utter and even harmful failure. When the dust cleared, abstinence remained. The committee grudgingly acknowledged it was mandated by Virginia state law.
Perhaps the most shocking decision of the evening was to promote to kids grade 9 and above a daily drug regimen called PrEP, which is supposed to inhibit the spread of HIV. PrEP is advertised all over the New York City subway system as a way for gay men to party out at night and not worry about infection in the morning. Michael Weinstein, founder and director of the AIDs Healthcare Foundation, told the New York Times in 2017 that the use of PrEP “will cause a ‘public health catastrophe’ by triggering a dangerous increase in risky sex.” Public health data now shows this to be true. HIV infections are skyrocketing.
But adding irony to insult, PrEP is not even FDA approved for people under the age of 18. That’s right, this oh-so-scientifically minded committee of experts is pushing a drug on kids that the FDA says is not for them, and that gay-friendly experts call “a catastrophe.”
Soviet Science is Alive and Well
But this is not a committee of experts. Nor is it made up of parents with a real stake in the outcome. But what they lack in professional training they make up in political correctness, for they are in lock-ideological-step with the trendiest ideas in human sexuality.
So, what happens is that pure ideology is in the driver seat.
The Stalinist nature of this committee is not just in shutting down debate, it is ignoring medical and scientific facts in order to advance a particular agenda. There was such a thing as “Soviet science” and God help those who might disagree. Well, Soviet science is alive and well at the sex-ed committee of our local school board.