Pornography teaches today's children

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Parents, you may want to sit down for this. Pornography has officially reached the books your very own children read!

This came as quite a shock to me as well, and although I see myself as a very understanding, compassionate and forgiving person, I hope to all things holy that the publishers of these books are justly punished.

Thousands of these so-called "learning materials" are circulating throughout our nation -- books that answer questions like "Where do babies come from?" or "Am I the only one that poops?" and the one that all children ponder while going through puberty, "Why does God hate me?"

I had the extreme misfortune of glancing through one of these at my place of employment, which just so happens to be a book store. Being the dedicated employee I am, I was putting books back onto their respectful shelves when I came across one discussing the issue of where babies really do come from (and it certainly isn't a stork). On the cover was a well-drawn smiling cartoon couple holding hands -- simple and G-rated enough, right? I then began wondering how children are being taught about the birds and the bees in this day and age. I was hoping they had different tactics from the slide show my class was shown back in middle school where the moral of the story was that, if you had sex, your genitals would become gangrenous and fall off within a matter of days.

Opening up the book, the happy cartoon couple I saw was now enjoying a warm bath together, where I was told that this was how they were getting prepared for "the act." Turn the page and the happy cartoon couple was now stark naked and staring directly at me. The text below this lovely illustration went into great detail discussing how the man was getting ready for all the "work" he had ahead of him. On the succeeding pages, the happy cartoon couple was now in a bed with silk sheets having, well, I think you know. As if realizing how they were conceived wasn't nightmarish enough, pictures of wide-eyed smiling sperm would most certainly top off a child's mental anguish.

I then showed the book to a fellow employee, whose face cringed in disgust.

It appeared that I was not the only one horrified by this gruesome discovery, which, to make matters worse, was just feet away from The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham. The beloved Dr. Seuss was most certainly flipping in his grave.

Perhaps it's best children learn the ways of life with in-your-face methods.

Things certainly have changed since the early '90s, however, where the professional giving us "the talk" usually ended up being one of the student's parents. This led all of us into a feeling of extreme mortification, thus causing the professional to blush every time the word "sex" was muttered. Heck, even I must seem old-fashioned to the children running around these days.

Maybe I just don't like the idea of young minds being corrupted by the reality of what's actually going on around them. As children, we are blissfully ignorant to the idea of life and living. Our biggest fear was losing a game of Connect Four and wondering if there really was a monster in our closet.

And before you know, we realize what's beyond our front yard and that monsters really do exist, even if they aren't lurking in our closet. I think parents, although their dream is seeing their children grow, sometimes wish our irrational fears and questions about life would come back. But then again, when do we ever stop having irrational fears and questions about life?

For example, why must I spend four hours' worth of salary to fill my gas tank?

Contact Sam at sdereign@semissourian.com

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