Pornography is replacing sex education in Israel

4250

In an article published two years ago (Mako magazine, May 2014, Elianor Fox, Yael Kishon), the author quoted teenagers who agreed that they had learned about sexual development either from an outdated film, an embarrassed teacher or an outside speaker on the topic.

The article pointed out how there is a lack of an overall program by the Ministry of Education and that current lectures are not meeting the needs of the present culture. Most of the education that our teens are receiving comes from pornography on the internet. Students reported that while teachers were explaining about ovulation and physical changes, the students were sending pictures of naked girls on their phones during class.

Psychologists reported that women are taught that being “hot”, sexually attractive, is the highest goal. The writers said: ” Our greatest challenge is to deal with the culture itself. Our culture is educating women to believe that sexual attractiveness is of utmost importance. If, in the past, the purpose of sex education was to supply knowledge, today the weight of the education is to negotiate between knowledge and correction of misperceptions.”

We are deeply concerned about our youth here in Israel. There is currently a lack of an overall program by the Ministry of Education on sexual education. Without an educational program for our teens or open dialogue with parents, “sex education” is left to the media and ”PORN BECOMES THE NORM”.

Often, school staff jokingly say, “The kids can teach us.” But the reality is that they learn misconceptions, have sex before they understand the responsibilities or consequences and have no maturity to cope with the vast information that they’ve absorbed from the internet. They don’t understand healthy, normal sex, or boundaries. Their emotional and physical health needs to be protected.

Source: Be'ad Chaim Fall 2016 Newsletter
Source: Be’ad Chaim Fall 2016 Newsletter

What we are doing to address the issue?

At Be’ad Chaim, we see great importance in sexual education being taught by trustworthy adults such as parents and teachers. However, as surveys reveal, most parents and teachers have difficulty talking about these issues, and children don’t seem to get answers from those closest to them.

In 2010, an Israeli program called “Life Skills” was introduced into 60% of the elementary and jr. high schools, which sometimes covered issues related to sex education. The topics included violence, drugs, gambling, and drinking. The program didn’t apply to high school students and there is no requirement for sex education in high schools. Only 10-20% of high schools had a program at all. Other schools taught the subject haphazardly when the discussion of sex was a result of an incident such as gang rape.

As a result, we at Be’ad Chaim have started offering seminars for junior high and high school students and have tailored a program fit for their age group and emotional needs.

For more than 30 years, Be’ad Chaim has worked for the sake of mothers and babies, and we have witnessed their trauma and difficulties. For this reason, we have made it our objective to inform and educate Israel’s young generation and to reach as many students as possible so that perhaps we can help prevent crisis pregnancies in the future.

The seminars will be presented by experienced staff, including a nurse midwife and competent counselors. Topics will include: sexual development of girls/boys, relationships, sexual intimacy, birth control, sexually transmitted diseases, pornography, unplanned pregnancies and abortion.

This program will be offered both to schools and to local congregations. It is our hope to find open doors to speak with both students and parents. Please stand with us in prayer that this special program will impact Israel.

This article originally appeared in Life News from Be’ad Chaim, Fall 2016, and reposted with permission.