A recent United Nations report advocates giving mandatory instruction in masturbation to children as young as 5. “Sexuality education is part of the duty of care of education and health authorities and institutions,” according to the U.N.

Entitled “International Guidelines on Sexuality Education,” the document is published by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO. The entire document is a manifesto for governments to assume control over the “sexual education” of children, to inculcate in them politically correct ideas about sex and sexual politics, and to undermine and marginalize their parents.

Among the “key stakeholders” in this mass sexualization of children there is no mention of parents. Indeed, throughout the document parents are dismissed for their multiple inadequacies and failures. “Sexuality education is an essential part of a good curriculum” in the schools, we are told, because “parents are often reluctant to engage in discussion of sexual matters with children because of cultural norms, their own ignorance, or discomfort.” How the authors are able to peer into millions of homes to see what parents “often” do is not made clear, and no documentation is provided for this claim.

Lip service is paid to parents, but they are to be permitted only such authority as state officials deem good for their children: “Teachers and school managers are called upon to balance the rights of parents and the rights of children.”

Suffused throughout with impenetrable jargon and politically correct buzzwords (“rights-based, culturally sensitive, respectful of sexual and gender diversity”), the paper spouts platitudinous wisdom that often takes the form of peculiar and unsupported axioms centering on sex, which it is keen to promote: “‘Being sexual’ is an important part of many people’s lives.” (Who is being quoted here is not disclosed.) “Young people want and need sexual and reproductive health information.” “Getting the right information that is scientifically accurate, non-judgmental, age-appropriate and complete, at an early age, is something to which all children and young people are entitled.”

Entitled? By whom? By what authority is it asserted that children have a right to be exposed to sex “at an early age”? To know, at the age of 5, about masturbation? Since when are children not “entitled” to the innocence of childhood and to be protected by their parents from sexual predators, whether individual or bureaucratic?

For indeed, if anyone else exposed young children to sex it would be classed as child sex abuse. It is a stark example of how bureaucrats not only create the problem they are supposed to be solving; in this case, they are creating a problem – in bureaucratized and politicized form – where none exists, so that teachers and social workers become government child molesters.

But what may be most revealing and disturbing is how “sexual education” is inseparable from political indoctrination.

Paralleling the step-by-step program of “age appropriate” sexualization is a similarly systematic learning sequence of instruction in feminist ideology. From age 5, children are to be instructed against the evils of “gender roles” and “stereotypes.” Beginning at age 9, they are to be indoctrinated to believe that “gender role stereotypes contribute to forced sexual activity and sexual abuse.” (How precisely?) At age 15, children will be required to participate in “advocacy” campaigns as part of their “education” and forced to promote political agendas, including “advocacy to promote the right to and access to safe abortion.”

It is no accident that children are being sexualized and politicized at the same time. As they are pried away from their parents, children become vulnerable to manipulation as political tools. Their adolescent rebellion, which begins sexually and often as a rebellion against parental authority, is easily expanded into a political rebellion against all traditional authority. At the same time, this sexual-political liberation from traditional authorities may be accompanied by an authoritarian loyalty to the officials, ideologies and state machinery that facilitates their independence from their parents and in whose power they increasingly acquire a stake.

UNESCO appears to have pulled the document in response to public anger, but this cannot disguise the fact that the U.N. – as is also plainly visible in campaigns such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child – is promoting an extremist and totalitarian agenda based on the exploitation of children.


Stephen Baskerville is associate professor of government at Patrick Henry College and author of “Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage, and the Family” (Cumberland House, 2007).

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