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LONDON (ChurchMilitant.com) - Four-year-olds in English schools are to have lessons in "how we touch our own and each other's bodies" under the new Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) program which will become compulsory in September 2020.
The "All About Me" sex education curriculum for Reception (age 4–5) instructs teachers to give children "the opportunity to explore a variety of different touch and feel sensations" and allow them "to decide which they like and dislike."
Children in this age group will also be taught the names of private parts like "penis and anus (bum) for boys" and "vulva, vagina and anus for girls."
Teachers are to "encourage the class to shout out and name the private body parts using the correct terms."
Further, "when it comes to naming female genitals we would like to encourage you to use the term vulva, instead of vagina," the Reception year curriculum states.
"We would like to encourage girls to own their whole sexual anatomy, including their pleasurable parts rather than reducing it to merely their baby making body parts," explains the teaching material.
The lessons do not mention marriage or commitment in sexual or romantic relationships even though the Education Act 2002 requires schools to teach children "the nature of marriage and civil partnership and their importance for family life and the bringing up of children."
Six-year-olds (Year 2) are taught masturbation or "self-stimulation" and told it is "really very normal" and should be done "only do when we are alone, perhaps in the bath or shower or in bed, a bit like picking your nose, it is certainly not polite to do in class when everyone is watching."
The lesson adds as an example for discussion: "When Autumn has a bath and is alone she likes to touch herself between her legs, it feels nice."
The curriculum is consistently explicit and shows naked depictions of boys and girls from ages 4–5 onwards. An activity for Year 4 (age 8–9) involves asking children to "draw hair" on pictures of a man and a woman "in a variety of places."
Year 4 are also told that "a girl's vulva has lips too and just like the ones on your mouth they cover a doorway into her body, the vagina, which leads to the entire baby making kit inside."
In Year 5 (age 9–10) children are given "a copy of the guided tour to girls and boys bits worksheet" and asked "to complete the missing parts and colour in the sheet."
Traditional views on sex are associated with "very strong beliefs and values about sex" or with people who think sex is "rude" and "funny."
"No one has the right to tell you how you should feel or what to believe and that includes your attitudes to sex, but sex should never be something you should be encouraged to feel guilty or ashamed about," since "some people may have sex to feel close to their partner or because it can feel nice," the textbook tells children.
The curriculum promotes homosexuality by featuring two boys in a romantic relationship — shown to Year 5 children. This is the first video about romance in the syllabus. Teachers are given guidelines to help children in "accepting and treating the romance as no different to one between a boy and a girl."
Year 5 offers a case study of a girl who is asked by another girl if she will be her girlfriend. The teacher is told: "There are other children that even at this very early age already know that they are attracted to the same gender, so don't dismiss this as something they will grow out of."
In a discussion activity on secrets children are told to discuss: "Lucy has told Autumn who she has a crush on, it is another girl." In the same year, children are also introduced to being "bisexual" as normal sexual behavior.
Transgenderism is promoted from age 6 onwards. In Year 2 (age 6–7) teachers are told: "You may well have a child whom even at this early age doesn't feel like they fit the binary stereotypes of their birth gender. … This is an ideal opportunity to talk to the class about the issue and ensure that their classmates are supportive and understand."
Year 5 has a story to encourage exploration and acceptance of transgenderism by the class. In the story, King Binary ruled a kingdom with a river separating Sheland with pink flowers inhabited only by girls from Heland with blue flowers where only boys were allowed to live.
"The trouble is, not everyone felt that they fitted neatly in either Sheland or Heland, especially as the small children grew up and began to explore who they were and where they belonged," says the story.
"What if you happen to be red or purple instead of blue or pink?" children are asked. They are then asked to write new rules that are "gender neutral, positive and inclusive."
The curriculum also attempts to deconstruct masculinity.
"To be brave you have balls! (Testicles)! Why can't we say 'wow you have proper ovaries?!?'" Year 5 children are told.
Despite the large proportion of explicit sexual content, only 3 of the 35 sessions of "All About Me" are classified as sex education. The rest, including sections on "where babies come from," masturbation, homosexuality and transgenderism are classified as "relationships education."
The authors explain: "Remember this is why this lesson sits in the relationship category — this lesson is just as much about families as it is about where babies come from."
According to the new laws, parents cannot withdraw their children from relationships education, but only from sex education.
Sex historian Dr. Lisa Nolland, who has been campaigning against the introduction of the RSE curriculum, told Church Militant:
The claim that children are made safer through sex-positive education like this does not withstand scrutiny. Western countries have been testing this hypothesis for several decades now and the abortion rate remains sky high while STI infections are reaching epidemic proportions. The best studies conclude that sex education programmes have no effect on adolescent pregnancy and STI rates.
In fact, the suspicion among critics is that, by lowering inhibitions and encouraging permissive attitudes among young people, they make matters worse. The authors of "All About Me" claim inspiration from the apparent success of Dutch sex-positive education. However, the Netherlands is currently experiencing a sharp rise in STIs, especially among young people.
The syllabus does not discuss the age of consent. The closest the material gets to mentioning the law is when it says "sex is something grown ups do." However, it does not explain when exactly someone becomes a "grown up."
It does, however, teach that "puberty is all about getting your body ready for having sex." Furthermore, sex is only ever presented as something enjoyable that "feels nice" and no risks or dangers are taught.
England's Catholic Education Service told Church Militant that Catholic schools will not be offering the "All About Me" curriculum.
"Catholic schools take RSE guidance from their local diocese and/or the CES model curriculum. This ensures RSE in Catholic schools remains faithful to the teachings of the Church," a spokesperson said.
"All About Me" is being rolled out across 241 primaries by Warwickshire County Council and could be adopted by other local authorities next year.
The archdiocese of Birmingham, which oversees schools in Warwickshire also confirmed that Catholic schools do not use the "All About Me" program.
"It is not approved for use in Catholic schools and it is not compulsory for Catholic schools to follow that programme," the media relations officer for the archdiocese informed Church Militant.
"It is vital for the archdiocese of Birmingham to prohibit any of its primary schools in Warwickshire from using 'All About Me' and in addition to alert parents of Catholic children not attending RC schools to demand their legal right to see the content in advance," a source in Catholic education added.