Universal Sex Education Agenda Not Compatible With Global Diversity
Foreign Affairs: Can Sex Education Be Universal?
Jonathan Zimmerman, professor of education and history at New York University
“…Since the 1960s, Americans have split into two camps on sex education: one side wants to teach kids how to make choices about sex, and the other wants to teach them to avoid it. That’s not an issue in most parts of the developing world, where the idea of youth as sexual decision-makers is simply anathema. Sex education thus embodies a central contradiction of trying to spread Western liberalism, which simultaneously celebrates personal and cultural autonomy. That won’t work if the culture on the receiving end rejects the individual freedom to choose. … In an age of diversity, a single shared standard of sex education might always remain out of reach” (3/11).