Mary S. McLellan, MS,
Sexual Risk Avoidance Specialist
Is your child taking Making A Difference! this year in sex ed? Do you know that Making A Difference! still claims to be an abstinence education program? It isn’t and never has been. Making A Difference! is just another sexually explicit Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) program. It grooms children (12-14 years, Middle School) to engage in sexual activity. Parents need to OPT OUT!
Making A Difference! redefines abstinence to mean “choosing not to do any sexual behavior that could cause pregnancy or spread diseases.” It also claims to not teach any information on condoms or other forms of birth control. That’s not true. An analysis of its the content reveals that it contains plenty of available demonstrations on condoms, birth control/contraception, and dental dams. Plus, every kind of sexual behavior imaginable is describe and promoted as so-called ‘safe-sex.’
Using the “The CSE Harmful Elements Analysis Tool,” developed by Family Watch International, a team analyzed each page of the curriculum, facilitator guide, and student workbook. This tool includes 15 Harmful Elements typically found in CSE and proven to cause harm to children. Making A Difference! scored 15 out of all 15 harmful elements. This sex program should be banned in all fifty states!
The Making A Difference! curriculum and anyone who teaches it grooms children to engage in sexual activity that can have life-long negative consequences.
Making A Difference! is neither age appropriate nor medically accurate. It uses roleplay and sexual scenarios to desensitize and normalize child sex. It teaches minors how to consent to sex as long as condoms are used, convincing them that condoms can make sex safe. Children are taught to decide for themselves when they are “ready to engage in safe, consensual sexual activity.” Educators are trained to ask children as young as 12 years old probing questions like:
Why do you think some young people your age are having sex? What other words do we use for touching? What kind of sex can people have by themselves? What other things might people do with their mouths? What kinds of things can people do with their hands?”
Afterwards, children are introduced to various ways to “express their sexual feelings to themselves and other people.” Such as “talking, hugging, holding hands, kissing, touching, saying ‘I like you,’ dancing, massage, masturbation, caressing, cuddling, grinding, sexual fantasy, touching each other’s genitals, oral sex, vaginal sex, anal sex.” Each of these behaviors are defined in graphic detail just to make sure students know how to do them. Other terms such as homosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual or straight are explained in graphic detail. Any activity that is” sexually pleasurable” and promotes “sexual orgasm” is acceptable as long as it does “not lead to pregnancy or transmission of disease.” However, we know that in many cases it does lead to pregnancy and disease.
Making A Difference! exploits minors, as well as the educators who are mandated to teach it, because it claims to be evidence-based. This means that it has supposedly been proven successful at encouraging abstinence. Making A Difference! was ‘evaluated’ by its authors and the publisher, ETR Associates, is a former publishing arm of Planned Parenthood. Red Flags! This single evaluation was conducted in 1998 on a small sample of students. This is absurd research design!
The outcomes on Making A Difference! revealed that virgin students abstained for only 3 months after the program. No results were reported for sexually experienced students. That is not success! Why have there not been replication studies conducted on this program in the past 21 years? The only relevant changes to the 5th Edition were to make it more inclusive and sensitive towards LGBTQ youth.
Most parents when told that their 12 year old child will receive abstinence education do not expect them to be instructed on oral, anal and vaginal sex. Most parents that we know would be livid if their child were told that any kind of sex – with anyone – at any age – is appropriate and expected. Using trusted authority figures like educators to teach such sensitive information is deceitful.
Protect your child from sexual exploitation! Making A Difference! is not an abstinence education program as it purports to be. Check out the links in this article before you allow your child into this sex class. Be sure to OPT OUT while you still can. Share this info with other parents. Opting Out sends a message to your school administrators that this type of education is not appropriate for children.
The Protect Child Health Coalition (PCHC), a project of Family Watch International, is a national coalition of parents and professionals. PCHC exists to provide you with the information, tools and resources you need to protect your children.