Children's book images, NSFW? NSFGFG (German First-Graders)?
|Scooped by Amanda Kronenberger|
Also refers to the article :
The article form theatlantic.com highlights the difference between sex educations in America, as opposed to other countries around the globe. One high school biology teacher is under investigation for using the word, “vagina,” in his class, in addition to explaining to students the science behind an orgasm. However, in a first grade class in Germany, students are being taught about sex in a lot more detail then ever imagined to us in the US. “Meanwhile on a completely difference plane in Germany, parents are "irate," according to the international news site Spiegel, after a Berlin elementary school used a book containing illustrations of condoms and descriptions of orgasms for a very frank discussion about sex.” This article brought me to the sight that addressed the issue in Berlin Germany.
Both that article and the German sight, Spiegel.de… shows some of the pictures features in this book, Where do I come from?, which is recommended for children ages 5 an up. To me, these are highly inappropriate and way too graphic for such young children. This was showed to 5th graders in Berlin, Germany. “The book…shows a couple, Lisa and Lars, in various stages of arousal. In one illustration, Lisa puts a condom on Lars' erect penis. Another shows them having intercourse. The text also veers toward the explicit.” In goes on to add, "When it's so good that it can't get any better, Lisa and Lars have an orgasm," it reads. And, finally: "The vagina and penis feel nice and tingly and warm." (keep in mind, FIRST graders are being taught this) The parents of the students agree and made complaints to the school. However, nothing was done until it got to the press and was reported to the Berlin Senate. The response was the following:
“Now several conservative politicians have commented on the incident. Monika Grütters, a representative in Germany's parliament, the Bundestag, for Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU), told German daily newspaper Die Welt that when it comes to sex education, she would warn against "unnecessary zeal." Dorothee Bär of the Christian Social Union, the CDU's Bavarian sister party, told Die Welt that: "Sex education should accompany the development of children, but not speed it up."
I very much agree with Dorothee that this would speed up the child development because there is no reason such explicit content should be shown to first graders. Personally, I think this book should not be show until high school.
Looking back to the article from theatlantic.com, it is clear how different sex education is between the US and other countries when a study in 2012 asking children in the U.S., the Netherlands, England and Sweden to draw pictures explaining where babies come from. A Dutch boy drew a picture that was very detailed for a child, which cam be seen in the article. However, the American children gave far different reactions and had really not much idea where babies come from. One U.S. boy said, "I think [babies] are made by a mom and a dad, but I am not sure how; maybe during special time when they are alone." While I think this is an age appropriate response, I was a little surprised read the results of the study. “The study's authors concluded that it is possible for kids that young to understand the concepts of conception and birth, and argued that "In these countries [like the Netherlands and Sweden] with more open attitudes toward sexuality and greater recognition of the need to educate young people, there are higher rates of contraceptive use by both male and female teens and lower rates of teen pregnancy, birth, and abortion."”
This makes me think that although we should not go as far as introducing racy books, are we not doing enough? My reactions in previous articles were that children in elementary schools should not learn about conception at all. However, if it can lead to differences such as the ones stated in the results, should we second guess the way we are teaching students in the US?