Sarah Vine of the DM gets it wrong:
The problem with this country, I’ve come to realise, is that it treats adults like children and children like adults.
This week saw a classic case in point when the Government announced its intention to teach children as young as 11 about rape.
‘On top of the usual stress of school life and teenage years, parents want to know their girls are being taught what a healthy relationship looks like and how to say “No”,’ we were told.
But I fail to see how lecturing 11-year-olds about rape consent will improve matters. In fact, if anything, won’t it make things worse?
It will just serve to further erode what little remains of our children’s precious innocence by introducing them to the worst brutalities of the adult world at a time when they should be playing stuck-in-the-mud.
Why this race to steal away their childhood? No one gave me sex lessons at school — let alone taught me about rape (I honestly don’t think I knew what rape was until well into secondary school).
It’s that second passage that is especially wrong: The fact is that children are at risk of victimization more than Sarah Vine realizes, and its best if their education deals with that reality. “Protecting Innocence” is less important than making sure kids aren’t abused and raped. Sarah Vine worries that children will be scared by this information; Given the what really goes on in the world they should be at least somewhat scared, as vigilance normally requires fear.
Sarah Vine has a point that teaching middle-schoolers about rape isn’t a good thing, but its by far the lesser of two evils.