Friday, 15 September 2006

Death wish

Reports this morning (see here) that the sexual health unit SHINE ( a semi-government body) provided lists of sex workers and their "specialities" to disabled people makes me wonder if there is a death wish in this organisation. It would seem, for example, that there might be an illegality involved here. At the very least SHINE is naive. At its best it is trying to deal responsibly with a difficult issue...sexual relationships and the disabled.
They are also "accused" of training sex-workers in ethical practices in dealing with disabled people. Given the "fait accomplit" of so-called 'sex work', it seems to me better to educate people than to perpetuate ignorance. Education does not sanction illegal or immoral behaviour, any more than history sanctions war!
SHINE it seems to me does good work, particularly in the development of their curriculum for schools. Whilst this curriculum is not without its dertractors I have had cause to defend it in various forums in the last few years. Some of the stuff is brutally frank, and I accept that some parents of minor children will not want this sort of material: masturbation, homosexuality, std's, sexual "techniques, prostitution, abuse and the like being discussed without their knowledge and consent.
That is not my choice, I am happy to trust my children's educators to deal with this material properly. More than that I am happy to trust my children to engage openly and honestly with it, and I want them to know that I am happy to discuss any of this sort of stuff with me...if they think that this sort of material is not of interest to kids and will not be discussed.
It is not surpising that SHINE's chief antagonist is the Family First Party. They are entitled to their opinion, by and large I think they are promoting a new-prudishness which is also (in its way) a kind of death wish.
This naivete that seems to promote ignorance in preference to knowledge is indeed a death wish, for our children in an era when sexually transmitted diseases may well spell a death sentence.

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