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A New York state senator is pushing to reform New York’s health curriculum to include teaching topics such as “gender identity” to children as young as 5 years old.
Freshman state Sen. Samra Brouk, a Democrat, is sponsoring a bill in the Senate that would require state educators to adopt sex education standards created by the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), a left-wing activist group that seeks to promote “an equitable nation where all people receive comprehensive sexuality education and quality sexual and reproductive health services affirming their identities, thereby allowing them to access and enjoy sexual and reproductive freedom, as they define it for themselves.”
The SIECUS standards as currently written would require teaching on “gender identity” for 5-year-olds and on hormone blockers for transgender people to 8-year-olds. By age 11, children would begin learning about “vaginal, oral, and anal sex” while studying a slew of gender identities such as “two-spirit” and “pansexual,” according to The New York Post.
“I am greatly concerned about the unacceptably high incidence of relationship violence, sexual harassment and assault, and online bullying in our society today. We must equip the next generation with the skills and education they will need to thrive,” state Sen. Samra G. Brouk, who is backing the legislation, told the Post.
Republican lawmakers have expressed concern about the bill and “outscourcing” the state’s health curriculum to the SIECUS.
“We would be outsourcing our curriculum to this outside organization,” Republican Assemblyman Michael Reilly, a member of the education committee, told the Post. “That’s a concern.”
The SIECUS standards promote several “guiding principles and values” that undermine traditional views of family and sexuality, while promoting “social, racial, and reproductive justice and equity.”
“Sex education should avoid cisnormative, heteronormative approaches, aim to strengthen young people’s capacity to challenge harmful stereotypes, and be inclusive of a wide range of viewpoints and populations without stigmatizing any group,” the document says.
The latest update to the standards, first crafted in 2012, include updated portions on discrimination, including “conscious and unconscious bias” and “internalized racism.”
“The updated NSES calls attention to overt and covert discrimination, which may be based on biases, including institutional, structural, interpersonal, and internalized racism,” the document says. “The Standards also reflect a focus on conscious and unconscious bias to avoid possibly perpetuating stereotypes. Social determinants of health are also addressed with a focus on how characteristics such as to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression are related to inequitable health outcomes.”
The SIECUS standards also advocate for “confidential support and sexual health services” for teenagers.
“All adolescents have a right to comprehensive, developmentally and culturally appropriate, confidential support and sexual health services. And, if pregnant, young people have the right to comprehensive pregnancy options counseling and all related services,” the standards say. “The updated NSES have thoughtfully taken into consideration that young people — including young people who are pregnant or parenting — should have decision-making power in their reproductive health and their decision to determine if, when, and under what circumstances they do or do not want to parent.”
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