The Return of Sex Education in Quebec High Schools?

With recent stories in the media such as Rehteah Parsons’ suicide after a photo of her rape emerged in her high school, causing the teenager to be bullied for a year, a new campaign in Quebec will be emerging this summer to bring sex education back to the classroom.

In winter 2008, at the midst of what would be another re-election, the Charest Government decided upon an education reform that would end sex education in Quebec, making it the only province in the country without this program in its high school curriculum.

Regular sex education courses existed in La Belle Province until 2001, when it was reduced to informal discussions in the classroom. Now it is up to teachers in regular courses to discuss this with their students, so don’t be surprised if your teenager is having the occasional chat on contraception during algebra.

In a society where graphic imagery is constantly bombarded in advertisements students see on their way to school, it is the government's duty to ensure the current education system teaches them tools necessary to become accomplished citizens.

The campaign entitled The Lilith Project has several mandates involving equal rights, but it’s first is dedicated for sex education to be implemented in provincial high schools- this time, for good. It may sound like an impossible task at first, since many groups, such as Head and Hands, the Quebec Women’s Federation and Quebec’s Planned Pregnancy Federation have rallied over the years to no avail.
The Lilith Project's logo: Truth outweighing beauty on the scale of justice.
According to the province's Health Ministry's statistics, “the number of women who contracted gonorrhea between 2004 and 2008 was five times higher in the 15-24 age groups.”

Concordia University spent two years organizing to bring the Gender Advocacy Center on campus until it was finally approved.

But there may be light at the end of the tunnel when looking next door; In Ontario, after eight long difficult years, the Miss G Project has brought Gender Studies as an electives course in their high schools. “In 2008, The Ministry of Education committed to offering Gender Studies as part of the new (revised) Social Sciences and Humanities curriculum and since then we have been consulting with the Ministry in the writing, piloting and revision of the course.”
The Quebec Women's Federation and Planned Pregnancy
demanding for sex education in 2010
Sex education may be a touchy subject, but if students are not learning this in the classroom or from parents, the dangerous fact is the knowledge being implemented from media and online, where pornography is increasingly rampant with technology, teaching them a negative message on their sexual identity and gender identity alike.

A disturbing pornography film was recently done based on the 2012 student protests, the scenario being a female student exchanging sexual acts for money to pay for her university education post-strike. Camille Robert, a spokeswoman with Association pour une Solidarité Syndicale Étudiante (ASSE), said the film is "extremely disturbing."

She said cases of female students selling their bodies to pay for school is "unfortunately real" and said the movie is "condemnable" and exploitative.

Thus the lack of this subject causes self-esteem issues, abusive relationships and even negative professional relationships, where the student grows into an adult with repressed sentiments that can be the cause for crime and much of the hostility seen in society.

Sigmund Freud may have been controversial with his views on female hysteria, but if there was one point he made relevant to everyone, it’s this; “The behavior of a human being in sexual matters is often a prototype for the whole of his other modes of reaction in life.”

To sign and share the petition demanding the Education Minister Marie Malavoy for sex education’s return to Quebec high schools, click here:

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