Vaccinations and candid authoritative sexual health education for students are two sides of improving both public health and the well-being of individual children, youth, and young adults.
Vaccines keep deadly diseases at bay with next to no negative effects. Effective education about the current realities about sexuality gives information needed to remain safe, without increasing the likelihood of early or high-risk sexual activity.
Knowing the names of body parts and encouraging them to talk to a trusted adult will help young children report the most common type of sexual abuse – that from within the family. Empowering tweens and teens to insist on consent will give them more ability to resist being pressured, or forced, into unwanted sexual activity.
Much of the resistance to vaccinations comes from falsified research that has been completely discreditted. Much of the resistance to Ontario’s sexual health curriculum comes from the mistaken belief that hearing about the reality of homosexuality will turn children gay.
The opposition to both vaccinations and sex ed comes from laudable sincere beliefs of parents on how to best protect their children, but unfortunately these parental fears increase, rather than decrease, danger.