Our Word of the Year choice serves as a symbol of each year’s most meaningful events and lookup trends.
It is an opportunity for us to reflect on the language and ideas that represented each year.
By age 18, more than a quarter of girls and one-sixth of boys suffer sexual abuse. It was Freud who said that sexual self-control is essential for civilization. Any character education worthy of the name must help students develop sexual self-control and the ability to apply core ethical values such as respect and responsibility to the sexual domain.
One in four female students who say they have been sexually harassed at school were victimized by a teacher, coach, bus driver, teacher's aide, security guard, principal, or counselor. Against that standard, how do various contemporary models of sex education measure up?
The other side—one that should concern us deeply as moral educators—is the debasement of sexuality and the corruption of young people's character.Growing up in a highly eroticized sexual environment—a legacy of the sexual revolution—American children are preoccupied with sex in developmentally distorted ways and increasingly likely to act out their sexual impulses.The widespread sexual harassment in schools and the rising rates of teen sexual activity are not isolated phenomena but an outgrowth of the abnormal preoccupation with sex that children are manifesting from the earliest grades.As a result, schools are turning increasingly toward directive sex education—just as the national character education movement is embracing a more directive approach to promoting core ethical values as the basis of good character.A directive approach means helping young persons—for the sake of their safety, happiness, and character—to see the logic of an “Abstinence, No Buts” standard, often called “chastity education.” This standard says three things: There are now many carefully crafted curriculums, books, and videos that foster the attitudes that lead teens to choose chastity—a moral choice and a lifestyle that is truly respectful of self and others.