Though the Church is mostly unaware, the public appears to be waking up (finally!) to the sad truth that young children from the age of five are now seen as legitimate targets of the wider pan sexual liberation movement.
The latest vehicle for this is the 'Family Sex Show' – billed as a 'fun and silly performance' about sex ironically claiming to be an alternative to pornography. It is presently touring the UK and funded by the tax payer and the National Lottery via the Arts Council.
The Guardian (unsurprisingly) published a rave review - and a highly sanitized and tendentious one at that. However, if the comments of dismay on MumsNet and the Daily Mail are anything to go by, sleeping giants are (slowly) being roused from their slumber.
The public appears to be realizing it has been had. Its 'betters'-professionals who ought to be sounding the alarm - are eerily quiet and oddly complacent (complicit?) as activists publicly foist sexualised agendas on children, while offering reassuring but fraudulent claims to silence dissent and allay legitimate fears. No doubt some activists mean well; if only they were better educated and less Woke!
New (and mostly toxic) ground
Free spirited activists - at one point happily naked and deliciously uninhibited! - sing the praises of the clitoris in a show which promotes sex, sexual pleasure and relationships and challenges homophobia, sexism, racism, etc. Terms and concepts used in connection with the production are given precise meanings on the website's Glossary.
The Glossary includes terms like squirting - 'when someone with a vulva releases fluid during sex from their genitals'. Note both the loss of the biological term 'female', and the reification of the 'squirt' mythology; pegging, which is the act of using a strap-on sex toy to enter a partner; play parties - group sex 'play' gatherings featuring bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism etc; sex work (prostitution), oral sex, abortion, hand jobs and kink. All this and much more - so appropriate for those in Key Stage 1 (ages five to seven).
This XXX-rated content is placed in a wider crusading social justice context: we find terms like anti-capitalist, decolonising, intersectionality, white privilege and white supremacy, again all apparently well-suited to children who still believe in the tooth fairy. And finally, just to round it out, theatrical terms like dress rehearsal, matinee, costume and cast can also be found in the Glossary.
Tellingly, the Family Sex Show's Glossary fails to include the legal Age of Consent [AOC], which is currently 16, though in practice much younger as schools teach 'sex positivity' to young teens and pharmacies freely dispense morning-after pills to girls years before they turn 16.
If nothing else, the Family Sex Show breaks new ground - sadly.
'Let's talk!' Really?
The Family Sex Show encourages intergenerational discussion on sex and related issues, a key reason that children are included. In a current example of this approach (though school-based and in Victoria, Australia), 10-year-old girls were assigned homework to ask their fathers about their erections and ejaculations.
After being informed of this incident, outraged Victorian Senator, Bernie Finn, blasted the Minister of Education: 'What the h--- is going on here?'
The only real news story was that this well-meaning Senator had failed to keep up with the times. Those who have tried to raise the alarm have long been appalled by aspects of 'progressive' sex education, but do not get far.
One reason is that this content is a mixed bag, and trusted professional stake holders and gate-keepers with the ear of leaders focus on the positives while minimizing or ignoring entirely the negatives. And who cares what marginalised critics-the 'naysayers' - say, anyway?
Not all bad
Much of the content of the Government's now-mandatory Relationships, Sex and Health Education appears almost benign by comparison with this 'Arts' project. However, many of the key themes in the latter appear in the former's curricula.
In all fairness, the content is mixed and selected aspects are to be commended. The importance of empathy, self-acceptance, a levelplaying field, anti-bullying and the challenge of artificial beauty norms are all deeply welcomed. And sex is a great gift. Christians believe God thought it up. After all, the clitoris is His idea, isn't it?
Various commentators have effectively challenged the show. Critics include Citizen Go's Caroline Farrow, whose petition has garnered over 30K signatures since it was launched a few days ago.
Also, the Mail published a fairly well-rounded critique, focused on safeguarding: 'If my kids [sic] teacher got naked to teach them about sexual pleasure, I would have a few choice words and be onto OFSTED faster than you could say where's my cod piece. People who want to get naked around little kids they are not related to are a danger.'
Some critiques questioned why films need age categorisation but live theatre is exempt. Indeed, where is the logic in this double standard?
Others pointed out how eroticizing the understandings and conversations of pre-pubescent children would make locating those who have been sexually abused - and there are huge numbers of them - far more difficult.
For others still, the fact that children are not mini adults is important. As child psychologist Haim Ginot notes, 'Children are wet cement: whatever falls on them [leaves] an impression.' This 'material' is not neutrally objective nor remotely 'scientific' but is ideological i.e. in a fundamental sense, philosophical or religious.
Moreover, this controversial content is being actively embedded into the psychosexual, cognitive, moral and volitional framework of still-developing children and young people who are unable to properly assess, evaluate and critique it.
They are not being taught about it; they are being taught it - taught to have sex when certain conditions are met (consent; readiness; condoms; the jab). But given their immaturity, are we surprised numbers of underage sex abuse cases involving youngsters have soared?
In short, it is not remotely 'age-appropriate', contra the claims of the show.
Finally, Dr Em (pseudonym for a 'disabled, feminist writer and historian' whose work appears in The Critic) notes:
It was no surprise that "The Family Sex Show" was spouting nonsense about promoting masturbation to five-year-olds as a way to promote inclusion and diversity, and has worked with a group which wishes to challenge "Queerphobia". Queer theory reframes child sexual abuse, and the liberation of paedophilia from the margins of society, as progressive taboo breaking, sex-positivity and child rights ... If men want it, they shall put their penises in it. This may sound extreme, but the titans of postmodernism and queer theory, Michel Foucault, Gayle Rubin, Pat Califia, have all justified child sexual abuse while Judith Butler defended incest. These texts and their arguments aren't hidden on the dark web, but are considered core in most university social science degrees.
Indeed, where has the Church been all this time? The implications and ramifications of the above dissolve orthodox Christian sexual ethics (plus much else) in an ocean of postmodern chaos and despair. Yet few notice and fewer care.
Children are not sexual beings
Thank God for writers like Dr Em who are willing to sound the alarm. However, another important aspect here stems from the ideology of the Father of the Sex Revolution, Alfred Kinsey, whose professional expertise was wasps, not sex.
According to the Family Sex Show, 'Sexual development and behaviour in children starts from birth. It's important that children are supported in their exploratory development safely and comfortably.'
In one very limited sense this is correct: from conception the preborn have either XX or XY chromosomes and biological sex starts developing. But active sexuality is a very different matter. What is being spouted here is pure Kinseyan ideology (religion, really).
Alfred Kinsey's best known work here is his Sexual Behaviour in the Human Male (1948), where he makes almost unbelievable claims. And to note, none of this 'research' has been replicated, nor could it be in this day and age as it was done in an unethical way with paedophiles.
The details of his research are too graphic to publish here but suffice to say that it would be like collecting male rapists' experiences of raping women to understand, analyse and articulate models of female sexuality. That Kinsey's 'research' is still tacitly deemed authoritative can only be because of ignorance - or worse.
We want the best for children, including high quality, age-appropriate sex education, and the Family Sex Show is not it. Children are not mini adults. They do not process sexual content as adults do. They are vulnerable to the massive downsides of sex which the creators of the show appear oblivious to. And they are vulnerable to abuse. This is unacceptable. Please sign and promote the CitizenGo petition and hold your leaders to account. This is happening on their watch. What are they doing about it?
Dr Lisa Nolland is CEO of the Marriage Sex and Culture Group, London.