Every American today should consider this question – am I being manipulated?

Discernment in an age of mass deception merits a much larger discussion. But let’s just consider one subject receiving major attention after the #MeToo movement – sexual consent.

Simple, right? Say yes if you want, and no means no.

But as usual, kids become the guinea pigs for the left as it co-opts legitimate safety issues. The need for consent training has become a new way to inject more porn and graphic material into school sex education programs.

And refusal skills about sexual consent are now mandated in a number of states as a part of sex education. In Maryland, this may begin in fifth grade. But before you start applauding, let’s examine what some consider appropriate content for “consent” lessons.

At West Albemarle County High School near Charlottesville, Virginia, ninth-grade girls were shown pornographic videos in April with instructions about male and female sexual pleasure, a program supposedly related to sexual consent and “sex positive” lessons from a group called the “Sexual Assault Resource Agency.”

The good news is that the community exploded with parental anger. The bad news is that these kids cannot unsee the XXX-rated content of these videos.

This “Sex Positive” approach normalizes adolescent sex with explicit videos and statements like, “Sex as a spectrum – it’s not all penetration. What do each ‘kinds’ look like for different people? There is no ‘right way’ to have sex – as long as it’s consensual and safe.”

And the lessons close with a group brainstorm about “keeping consent sexy.”

So the goal of showing 14-year-old girls how to say “no” also includes how to say “yes” in multiple, virtue-smashing ways.

Virginia is not the only place where girl innocence is considered a liability. In Hawaii, a sex education program has been launched to attract young females with the promise of a cellphone, long-acting contraception and a peer mentor. It’s directed to “homeless” teen girls, ages 14 to 22, and it’s federally funded.

If they show up, that is presumably “consent.”

But who’s homeless at age 14? Are these girls the victims of sex trafficking? Of abuse at home? Few are asking that question.

So is everything permissible if the parties of any age “consent”? The legal parameters are well-established for adolescents – they do not have the maturity to agree to such life-changing, health-compromising decisions.

And while children and teens are being tutored to readily consent to science-defying behavior, parental consent is being blocked at every turn. Pro-abortion activists are desperate to stop or overturn parental notification or consent laws when minor girls consider ending the lives of their unborn children.

In Delaware, education officials are still considering a bizarre regulation to permit students to claim any gender identity or race they wish without parental knowledge or consent. Proposed Regulation 225 received 11,000 comments, mostly negative. A child of any age could self-declare gender or racial identity at school with parents omitted from the decision.

This trend shoves parents aside on the expression of gender confusion. Schools must hide this dangerous conduct from parents at the student’s request. So says GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, which treats parents as enemy combatants in a tug of war over control of children.

“We intend to corrupt your children, with or without your permission,” is GLSEN’s guiding philosophy.

A new policy proposed in Kittery, Maine, follows this anti-child path to cut parents out of a child’s gender identity decision.

Yet some sanity remains. A new bill in Ohio would mandate that schools inform parents about gender dysphoric behavior on the part of their minor children and would prevent them from losing custody if they don’t consent to hormone treatment for alleged sex “transition.”

The bill is a response to the recent Cincinnati case where grandparents gained custody of a teen girl in a dispute with her parents over initiating hormone treatment at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

But parents’ rights bills are very tricky these days, as shown in Indiana earlier this year. A bill that would have required parental notification about sexuality education and pro-“transgender” school messages was gutted. The ACLU got what it wanted.

So what should a school be teaching children? If the discussion is consent, minors should learn nothing that directly or indirectly encourages or enables law-breaking.

For instance, a new Utah law requires students to be taught they cannot consent to illegal activities like sexting.

But that element is missing – quite intentionally – in many “inclusive” sex education lessons. The 15-year-old boy taught that his “consent” is the only barrier may incorrectly conclude it’s not a crime if an adult male wants to have consensual sex with him.

In many states, abstinence teaching is mandated by state law as the expected standard for sexuality education, as in Virginia, where girls were shown these “sexual pleasure” videos.

Girls (and boys) should learn to say no to sexual assault and rape. That’s a given. But what do kids learn from the corollary of refusal? If it’s not rape, is sex OK between a 14-year-old girl and her 15-year-old boyfriend?

See how this works? The subject is allegedly “consent” but moves quickly to the “greater goal” (for a leftist) of explicit “healthy sexuality” discussions, i.e., pleasure training.

There is no such thing as healthy sexual behavior for teens or children. It’s always inadvisable and unsafe.

The notion of child “consent” seems to attract perversion. A St. Mary’s, Maryland, library last spring was the center of controversy when a sexuality education presentation for teens was announced. Parental consent was required, but then parents were banned from the “anything goes” presentation. The presenter was a lesbian “counselor” who once owned a sex-toy shop.

Can parents ever consent to content they are prohibited from reviewing? No responsible parent would sign an open-ended, “we-trust-you” consent form crafted by self-declared deviants.

What we really need, perhaps, is training for parents.

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