Argentine Catholic Bishops Blast National Sex-Ed Program
By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
BUENOS AIRES, June 20, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Argentina’s Episcopal Committee for Catholic Education has denounced the nation’s new national sexual education program for teaching that gender is a social construct, promoting contraception and ignoring abstinence, neglecting the ethical and moral dimensions of sexuality, and circumventing parental authority.
Echoing similar concerns that have been raised regarding sexual education programs in North America and Europe, the bishops blasted the plan for omitting "the ordering of human sexuality to love, obscuring the sense of physical, spiritual, and moral complementarity of men and women" and neglecting the importance of marriage.
In an apparent response to the program’s embrace of homosexual "gender identity" ideology, which teaches that one’s true gender may be different than one’s physical gender, the bishops condemned the program for conceiving "sexual identity as a socio-historico-cultural construct, ignoring the fact that the human person is sexually differentiated as a man or woman from biological conception."
Countering the program’s claim that "the condom is the only existing method for preventing (transmission of) the AIDS virus", the bishops criticized the fact that the document "emphasizes and obligates only the use of methods of prevention to avoid contracting HIV-AIDS, which, besides being morally objectionable, have produced negative and insufficient results throughout the world."
"At the same time, abstinence and mutual fidelity are omitted completely as forms of conduct that prevent the spread of HIV-AIDS, despite the fact that they currently are prioritized by the most outstanding medical specialists, as is public knowledge."
The bishops also decry the document’s ommission of "the role of the family as the natural and primary agent of the education of its children and its consequent rights," and its overemphasis "on the biological-hygenic model as the primary basis of promoting health in general and reproductive health in particular."
The new sexual education program, which was approved by the nation’s Federal Education Council earlier this month, appears in a document entitled "Curricular Outlines for Integral Sexual Education" (see recent LifeSiteNews coverage at http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/jun/08061202.html).
The bishops note that they are announcing their opposition to the program after their attempts to cooperate in the creation of a program that would "consolidate the harmonious and balanced education of the person" were rejected.
Adrián Dall Asta, Director of the Parents Project Foundation, told La Nacion that "we’re not against the law, but this document does not acknowledge that parents are the primary educators, and that there exist as many visions regarding sexuality as there are parents." Representatives of RedFamilias (the Family Network) and Interpadres (Interparents) also voiced concerns.
Declaration of the Episcopal Committee for Catholic Education Regarding the Approval of the "Curricular Outlines for Integral Sexual Education" (June 17, 2008) (Spanish)