A college psychology professor's observations about public policy, mental health, sexual identity, and religious issues
New op-ed on the Drthrockmorton.com site.
Then again, I used to go to friends houses or play dolls with my sister (yeah, I know, “geneder a-typical behaviour”).
Well, I had two younger ones — and I also HAD to play with their “stupid dolls” if it was their turn and that is what they selected.
I’m not sure Barbie ever recovered from a scare during one of those sessions. I made a guillotine out of Meccano and the little sister was not impressed…
I wonder if this story counts as gender atypical, gender typical or sociopathological?
Warren, I did read the excepts and didn’t feel moved to go look for them in the local library. Pulp? I didn’t read them at that age either; preferring non-fiction or long 19thC Russian novels. I was always a “challenge” for my lit. teachers, although one did acquire quite a passion for Thomas Hardy as a result. I still drag out Dead Souls whenever I need a laugh at the absurdity of people.
Some of the books were adult novels (e.g., Choke, Push) and not very good ones at that. The sexual health books are ok if used with adult oversight. Seems strange to me that a proposal to require parents to communicate with their kids about sex would be so rejected by parents.
Just as a side issue; how old were these kids? teens? pre-teens? I don’t understand why a sexual education book would be in a school for those who are, roughly, 13 years and under, but those in college (13 years and over), I see no reason why teens can’t be given unfetted access to those sexual health books – its better to allow them to understand the consequences of their actions, than hide the information away hoping that ignorance will stop them from doing anything.
Regarding parents and sexual education – you’re educated, I’m fairly worldly, but lets be completely honest, there are *ALOT* of thick people out there, and the last thing that is required are parents spreading their old wives tales and stories to teenagers on how to avoid pregnacy; here are some that are used – use toothpaste for lube, virginal flush (using water), having sex whilst standing up, pulling out before ejaculation (whilst conviently forgetting about pre-cum), etc etc.
The list of parents and their irresponsible information, and the results of that can be clearly seen either down at the local social welfare office or the local abortion clinic – young adults not given accurate information relating to sex.
And I’m sorry, I feel I have a right to have a say in it, because ultimately, I am the one, Joe Tax Payer, who will have to pay for the abortion, the birth, the social welfare and the treatment of those STDs, contracted via ignorance.
Funny you should mention junk food. The governor of Arkansas is on a kick to eliminate soda pop in schools. Good start, now how about mental junk food?
*VERY* true – I’ll probably get called a pinko, but I’d love to see television banned – if there was anything that killed the art of conversation, that would be it.
Maybe I was lucky in that, when I was young, at max, the most I would watch in a day would be 30minutes.
Regarding Laurie Taylor, she is using Paul Camerons ‘statistics’ the same way a right winger uses Maxim’s ‘research’ – sorry, start using that guys or any one who quotes him, and you instantly lose any credibility.
Oh, and as for the “100 in their lifetime” – I’m 24, and only had 4, so I guess I have to make up for some lost time!
Regarding the books removed; they’re very scarce on the details of the contents; one sounded like a sexual health book, which is perfectly normal – heck, we had them at one of the schools I attended – it was a Marist Brothers Catholic School!
With that being said, however, the publishers have a rating system, based on the age (for fiction books) that the book is appropriate for – IIRC, the department of education also have a say on books and so forth.
Kids can also borrow friend’s books.
Kids talk about all manner of things to each other.
How to repond? It’s called values education Warren. I’m able to tell you what the older nieces are reading this week, and Taylor doesn’t even know what her own kids are?
And why the almost autistic focus on sex but nare a word on violence or selfish consumerism?
(A clue: “debate” is occuring in the U.S.)
As it is now, kids can check out books that are sexually graphic and there is no way mom or dad would ever know it so that they can give them the once over.
Warren, I think it is fairly clear from the library site itself:
III. CHALLENGED MATERIALS …
C. upon receipt of a written request for reconsideration, the Library Council shall designate a Materials Evaluation Committee composed of the following:
1. a representative from Central Administrative staff
2. a representative from building level administration
3. a materials specialist
4. two classroom teachers familiar with the subject matter of the material involved
5. two parents
6. a student, where appropriate
It seems we have a basically different view of the purpose of a library, neverthelessâ€¦
If a parent wishes to restrict what their own children read they can simply do what parents have always done — review, approve, hand-back to their child. Visiting the library to get the week’s books was something that occurred throughout both our childhood, and either Mum or Dad gave all books the “once over” before they could be checked out.
Going over Taylor’s website, this is less about her children and more about restricting or removing the reading materials available to OTHER people’s children. Particularly, it seems, if the book dares suggest that gay people are normal — which is where this book crusade began.
I do not think the panel in question had any parental representation. Nonetheless, the school board did back her up which I think is an important point. The main reason the school board is hesitating now to act on her additional requests is because she found so many objectionable books. They are trying to work out a way to do this without it taking an impossible amount of time. I do support what she is doing and the stand she is taking. I may not agree with every book she is objecting to but the top ten or so that I have looked at I think should be mediated or removed. If parents want their kids to read them let the parents buy them. If teachers think the books can be valuable in some educational sense then they can assign them with parental notification. As it is now, librarians just buy books because they want them and have a budget. I think a better educational policy would be for teachers to request books that would meet a curricular need.
Warren, I find this intriguing (if a little too much dÃ©jÃ vu for so early in the morning).
“Where a review panel of parents and teachers cannot agree about the appropriateness of a contested bookâ€¦”
Most readers will perhaps be unaware that this started with 3 books that Laurie Taylor had reviewed by exactly that type of review panel. They found the three books appropriate. Not content with that, Ms. Taylor then had the School Board over-ride the review panel.
Were you aware of that three months ago when you supported her efforts with the Board?
My point is:
“Where a review panel of parents and teachers cannot agree about the appropriateness of a contested book, then parental permission should be required in order to read it. If teachers want to use explicit portions of contested books, then parents should be notified. Schools should allow parents to have a clue what their kids exposed to. Such a policy does no violence to free speech, nor is it censorship. If some parents want raunchy to join readinâ€™, â€˜ritinâ€™ and â€˜rithmetic, they are free to buy their own children sexually explicit material for consumption at home.”
I am not saying ban anything. Read slowly and you will see that.
Mr. Throckmorton, What is your point? I understand that no all reading materials may (amphasis) be suitable for all levels of intelectual maturity, but after reading your op-ed, I am still wondering what it is that you are trying to communicate.
1)It is a shme that education have been left in the complete hands of other people than the parents, both teachers and religious leaders are full of misinformation in matters of sexuality, but, guess what? Parents are too! burning in a public square all these books while invoking the spirit of morality has never prevented people to access materials that may not be suitable for everyone.
2)Let’s check another example: Nutrition is another important issue that is being largely neglected by both parents and educators, it is enough to go to any McDonalds any day after school to see what the kids are consuming. Isn’t that outrageous? is anyone doing anything about it?
3)Every material printed in this beautiful country is marked -by law- with a legend that informs weter the reading material is suitable for everyone or not, then, removing them from libraries is not the solution. The inquisition try that centuries ago, and as a result, many self prclaimed religios authorities destroyed important pieces of art and culture, that they either did not undertand or simple didn’t like.
A culture -like it or not- is weaved by ALL the threads of society. Gettin rid of those that we don’t like is not a solution. it is -in fact- a serious attempt against the freedoms that we value so dearly.
Marino di Avila
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