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Gerardo Castillo Ceballos, professor of School of Education and Psychology

Farewell to the stork myth

Tue, 20 Dec 2016 10:10:00 +0000 Published in El Confidencial digital

Children's questions about the origin of life have always been uncomfortable for their parents. To get around them, most resorted to the myth that children come from Paris hanging from the beak of a stork. Why was the stork chosen? Because of the care and affection with which it treats its young. Nowadays storks have abandoned their traditional task due to lack of orders. Since they have access to the Internet, children have left them unemployed, thus avoiding the need to be French.  

Parents of yesteryear had the challenge to stay ahead of information from "bad friends"; parents of today have the challenge to stay ahead of the Internet. If they don't, they may be in for surprises:

Son, I would like to talk to you about the topic of sexuality.

-Okay. What don't you understand?

Children are getting the message of the current trivialization of human sexuality, presented as a game with innocent impulses, as a simple biological reality in which there is no room for guilt.

It should be made clear that human sexuality is not a purely biological reality. Unlike that of the animal, it is inserted on a higher plane than that of biology, that of ethics. Any manifestation of life reveals that man is a being in which the subject and the spirit are united. That is why the exclusive pursuit of pleasure distorts human sexuality, and at the same time turns it into a risky source .

Professor García-Hoz explained this problem in his day in this way: "With each response that is given to the stimulus, it loses strength, because the threshold of sexuality rises. In order to continue to produce an effect, the sexual stimulus has to increase, become more complicated or change its form. What disturbed young people fifty years ago no longer arouses interest and does not disturb anyone. The normality of sex is no longer enough, we need the paroxysm of sex, sex and violence, sex and drugs, the perversions of sex".

To avoid this blurring of sexuality, it is essential that parents be coherent with their condition of first and foremost educators. They can delegate to the school the teaching of the subjects, but not an issue as staff, intimate and delicate as the sexual Education .  

A recurrent argument for the school to exclusively apply sexual Education programs is that parents do not know how to do it. The easy solution is to replace them; the good and effective solution would be to prepare them to do it. Some schools are already doing this in their School for Parents.

The sexual Education should be done in a gradual and personalized way (to adapt to each case) and in the loving and intimate environment of the family. The one carried out in schools is collective and very concentrated; moreover, it is limited to informing about sex. This approach encourages excessive curiosity, as well as the tendency to perform sexual acts that should be prevented.

The experience of expert Wendy Shalit is very enlightening:

"I got rid of the sexual Education that was taught in schools. It was a vision of sex as something autonomous and free of obligations, justified by the argument that everyone had to assume his or her own sexuality, choosing what seems best to him or her. The more the instructions were followed, the more sexual activity existed in schools. The more the early sexual "Education" was promoted, the greater was the issue of sexual aggressions and the inability of sexologists to stop them".

The goal was and still is that students should be able to enjoy their sexuality to the fullest, avoiding everything that can hinder it, especially moral norms. Educators are replaced by extremist sexologists, who advise sexual practices incompatible with ethical and religious criteria.

Such sexual information does not solve the problems it promises to solve, but rather increases them: unwanted pregnancies, induced abortions, sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS, etc. That is the consequence of not integrating it in the Education for true love. Love is not something occasional or a whim of sensuality: it is a submission of the whole person in its biological, psychological and spiritual components. This requires educating the will and affectivity, to promote the virtues of modesty and chastity.

The myth of the stork has faded away, but the presence on our rooftops of this monogamous bird that goes out of its way for its young remains an enduring symbol of maternal love.