Posted by Jay Livingston
Moslem clerics and Christian evangelicals are often united in their opposition to sex ed, as Roger Zimmerman notes in today’s New York Times (here). These are not such strange bedfellows. They share the idea that sex ed will “promote homosexuality,” a phrase which has acquired a certain currency. Google it, and you'll see this.
|[It] will convince many school children that engaging in homosexual behavior is perfectly normal and thus creating [sic] a self-fulfilling prophecy of developing more homosexuals.(source here)|
Powerful stuff that. What’s puzzling is that these jihadis and crusaders attribute to homosexuality such great powers of attraction. Even letting kids know that it exists creates a nearly irresistible temptation.
The obvious Freudian explanation is that the anti-gay extremists are responding to their own repressed homosexual impulses, but I would guess that only a handful of them answer to that description.
The other curious leg of the religionist anti-gay argument is that homosexuality is “unnatural.” If homosexuality is not in our nature, why must we be so careful to make sure that all evidence of it remains out of sight? The argument embraces both the “essentialist” and the “constructionist” take on sexuality. On the one hand, if homosexuality is unnatural, then heterosexuality is ordained by Nature. Nature (or God) created most of us as heterosexuals, and it is not in our nature to be otherwise. But if homosexuality is a constant temptation that must be conquered or kept hidden, then sexuality is infinitely open to construction and reconstruction. Just a few words from schools or celebrities can alter a kid’s sexual path in the same way that nutrition courses and Wheaties endorsements might change his choice of breakfast foods.
“Have you triiiied Wheaties?” asked the old jingle and then added “Won’t you tryyyyy Wheaties?” – an irresistible invitation. I mean, I found it irresistible and wound up eating a lot of Wheaties when I was a kid. But then again, my classmates were not beating me up or otherwise humiliating me on account of my cereal preference.