Peter Baklinski

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PEI guide for parents on sexuality criticized

Peter Baklinski
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Edited: 11/19/13 at 12:44pm EST

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND, November 12, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A conservative family leader is raising concerns about a new guide from the government of P.E.I. that instructs parents on how to respond to sexual experimentation from their young children. 

The 7-page guide, titled “Children’s Sexual Behaviours: A Parent’s Guide”, put out by the Provincial Child Sexual Abuse Advisory Committee, provides a standard for what experts consider normal sexual behaviour in children from preschool to grade four. It compares what it calls "natural and healthy" behaviors to behaviors that are "of concern" and might indicate an unhealthy preoccupation with sexuality or the need for parents to seek professional help for their child. 

"Natural and Healthy" behavours for children up to age five include:

- "Touches the 'private parts' of familiar adults and children with hand or body."
- "Puts something in own genitals or rectum one time for curiosity or exploration."
- “Plays ‘doctor’ inspecting others’ bodies, including ‘private parts .’”

"Natural and Healthy" behavours for children up to grade four include:

- "Plays 'doctor'. The child inspects another child’s body, including 'private parts'.”
- "Shows others his/her genitals in a private location."
- "Plays games with same-aged children related to sex and sexuality."
- Pretends to be opposite gender.
- "Wants to compare genitals with peer-aged friends."
- "Looks at nude pictures on the Internet, videos, magazines, etc."

The guidelines tell parents that although they may “feel uncomfortable” to discover their child “engaging in sexual behaviour,” it is “important not to overreact, shame, embarrass, or discipline the child.”

The experts state that a child should not be told that masturbating is "'bad,' 'dirty,' or 'nasty’”.  "[E]xplain to them that it is not appropriate to touch their private parts in public and that if they feel they need to touch their private parts they need to do it in private, hence 'private parts,'" states the document.

“It is important to keep in mind that there are no absolutes,” the guidelines state. “Normal, healthy behaviour covers a wide range and may not be expressed the same, or to the same extent, in every child.”

According to Gwen Landolt, the National Vice-President of REAL Women of Canada, the guidelines are "not only inappropriate, but destructive.” 

“I don’t know what ‘children’ they are referring to, but no normal children do these things at those age groups,” said Landolt who is a lawyer, mother of five children, and grandmother of nine. 

Landolt called the guidelines “permissive” and said that parents operating by them will only encourage their children to become “sexually involved at a prepubescent age.” 

“It sets them on a dangerous journey when they are not ready for it,” she said. 

The guidelines cite studies by the late William N. Friedrich, a Canadian child-abuse researcher, and Toni Cavanagh Johnson, Ph.D., regarded as an expert in the field of children’s sexual development. 

The guide will be stocked at family resource and healthcare centres across the province.
 

Contact info:

Premier Hon. Robert W.J. Ghiz
Fifth Floor South
Shaw Building
95 Rochford Street
P.O. Box 2000,
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8

Phone: (902) 368-4400
Email: [email protected]



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