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Hamilton, D. (1985). A View from the Sand. Free Associations, 1B(1):24-32.

(1985). Free Associations, 1B(1):24-32

A View from the Sand

Dorothy Hamilton

Essay Review of The Ostrich Position: Sex, Schooling and Mystification, by Carol Lee, Writers and Readers, 1983, Pp. 149, £3.95

The transmission of sexual understanding to the young is a topic extraordinarily prone to flights into manic confidence or denial. Consider the following line of argument. We live in an age in which sexuality has been freely examined and accepted — and even largely understood; the old taboos have been lifted, and we are free to investigate and explore our sexuality to an unprecedented degree, both in discourse and action; our children are no longer subjected to hypocritical secrecy from inhibited adults, but are involved in discussion and explanation both at home and at school. Indeed, in our schools enlightened courses of ‘sex education’ ensure that children can grow up without the tragic sexual ignorance that has dogged the lives of so many of their parents and grandparents. It is for these reasons that young people today are so sexually aware, have so much sexual information at their fingertips, and feel themselves so free to indulge in sexual experience, equipped as they are with the latest contraceptive knowledge and devices … knowing just how to go about getting an abortion as required … just where to go if they contract VD … knowing far too much in fact, and left meanwhile quite unaware of the deeper spiritual, moral and emotional dimensions of sexuality. All this sex education doled out so freely and unthinkingly in our schools is creating a youth sophisticated in the mere technicalities of sex, and only too ready to rush into sexual experiment at an ever more tender age. No wonder the stability of family life is eroded, promiscuity is rife, unwanted babies proliferate and morality is an old-fashioned word.

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