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Monday, December 16, 2019

Sex Ed Week at Evanston H.S. means the birds, bees and much more

Schools

By North Cook News | May 22, 2017

Wilburn
Evanston High School is making gender identity a core focus of its traditional "sex ed" curriculum. | Evanston Township High School

What's the definition of pansexual?

Genderqueer?

The Gender Binary?

Cis Gender?

Ally?

Semantic Drift?

Evanston Township High School parents who are unfamiliar will soon be able to ask their kids. 

Mastering "The Gender Spectrum" is on tap at ETHS this week, a core focus of the school's modern-day version of "sex ed."

These days, the curriculum spends little time on the old-fashioned birds and the bees. 

Teacher Montell L. Wilburn's 92-page "Day One" ETHS instructional presentation, obtained by North Cook News, doesn't cover human anatomy, and barely mentions sexual intercourse.

Instead, it touches on anal sex, prostate masturbation and the "g-spot" before tackling "gender identity" ("gender is what is in your head"), "gender expression" ("gender expression is how you walk...how you talk"), and "sex negativity," railing on schools that mistakenly teach teenagers not to have sex.

"Many US schools teach “abstinence only” curriculum and use shame and fear tactics to try to prevent people from having sex instead of informing them about what options and information they should know if they do choose to have sex," Wilburn writes. "Sex negativity can result in people feeling ashamed, nervous, or deeply uncomfortable about their own sexuality. And frankly, when you or your partner feel ashamed about your bodies, you aren’t going to be having great sex."

"Be curious about gender and sexuality," he implores. "Remember: every part of you rocks."

Don't say 'transvestite'

Most of the presentation — 58 of its 92 slides — isn't about sex, but gender.

They are dedicated to explaining "The Identity Spectrum" from "The Gender Unicorn," a purple cartoon who explains all the different new options from which one today can choose.

Students work in teams to study and memorize "LGBTQ+ Terms & Definitions," then are quizzed on "gender pronouns" and related terms.

They include "transphobia," which is "irrational fear or hatred of people who break gender roles and do not subscribe to the gender binary."

The opposite of "transphobia" is "ally," or "a person who actively supports and advocates for people belonging to less privileged groups, though they are personally not a member of those groups."

"Heteronormativity" is mistakenly believing "being heterosexual is considered 'normal' and that other expressions of sexual orientation and gender are considered 'abnormal.'

Among those expressions: "cross dressing," which is "a newer word for the outdated term 'transvestite."

"Drag queens are an example of this," one slide explains.

"Semantic drift" explains what happened to the word "transvestite."

"It is a 'drift,' change or shift in the meaning of a word," Wilburn writes. " Sometimes the shift is so radical that a word takes on an entirely different meaning than what it was originally."

Agitated parents?

A slide in the presentation references community opposition to the curriculum, if only to dismiss it as closed-minded.

"Emails...phone calls...agitated parents...students...radio personalities requesting interviews," Willburn said. "Administrators not allowing (the GSA (Gender & Sexuality Alliance) to get involved in the curriculum."

The ETHS Gender and Sexuality Alliance is a student group that supports, among other things, letting male students who believe they are female use girls' bathrooms at the school. It is also demanding mandated "student identity" training for teachers, covering "gender identity and sexual orientation, and how these identities intersect with race."

"Be knowledgeable. Be open-minded," Wilburn told his students. "Understand that we all are connected. Embrace our differences. Grow."

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