Experts on sexual health ranging from the executive director of the Sex Information and Education Council of Canada to the head of adolescent medicine at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto have lauded the new sex-education curriculum imposed on all elementary schools in Ontario. Does it follow that concerned parents have no reasonable basis for alarm?

Definitely not. Notwithstanding the assurances of so many experts, there is solid scientific evidence that the immoral new sex education curriculum will have a disastrous – potentially lethal – impact on children.

Granted, the new curriculum contains some good – albeit age-inappropriate – advice. For example, students in Grade 7 are to be advised: “Engaging in sexual activities like oral sex, vaginal intercourse, and anal intercourse means that you can be infected with an STI (sexually transmitted infection). If you do not have sex, you do not need to worry about getting an STI.”

Correspondingly, students in Grade 8 will be warned: “(Teenagers) need to understand that the only 100 per cent sure way of not becoming pregnant or getting an STI, including HIV, is not having sexual contact.”

These statements are undoubtedly true. However, instead of emphasizing the advisability of sexual abstinence outside of marriage, the curriculum goes on to tell students that if they choose to be sexually active, they need to know: “Condoms provide protection against both pregnancy and STIs – but to be effective, they need to be used properly and used every time.” Likewise, Grade 7 students will be told: “To prevent the transmission of HIV, avoid behaviours associated with greater risks of HIV transmission, like vaginal or anal intercourse without a condom and injection drug use.”

This supposedly enlightened advice is not merely wrong: according to the best scientific evidence, it is potentially deadly.

Consider the views of Beena Varghese of the United States Centers for Disease Control. As the lead author of a paper on “Reducing the risk of sexual HIV transmission” published in the peer-reviewed journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases, she states: “The literature suggests that consistent use of condoms can reduce HIV transmission by 85 per cent to 95 per cent.”

That is bad enough. To make matters worse, despite decades of relentless public propaganda on the advisability of consistently using condoms to protect against STIs, many, if not most, people who indulge in promiscuous sex still fail to use condoms every time. Drawing upon the latest epidemiological evidence about the spread of HIV, Varghese and her colleagues advise that “inconsistent use may reduce the overall effectiveness of condoms to as low as 60-to-70 per cent.”

Why are Ontario students not informed of these fateful risks? Why are they not also told that condoms are even less effective in preventing other STDs?

HSV-2, also known as genital herpes, is a rapidly spreading and incurable STI that already afflicts millions of Canadian men and women. It is a pernicious disease that can cause extremely painful and ugly ulcers in both the genital areas and rectum. Pregnant women infected with HSV-2 are also liable to pass the disease along to their babies in the womb, causing death.

In the Canadian Guidelines on Sexually Transmitted Infections, the Public Health Agency of Canada warns: “Condom use reduces transmission of genital HSV-2 from infected men to women by 50 per cent and may reduce transmission from infected women to men to a similar degree.”

National Affairs Rory Leishman

National Affairs Rory Leishman

That even the consistent use of condoms can provide only limited protection against STIs like HSV-2 is a well-established scientific fact. Experts on sexual health who nonetheless applaud the new sex-education curriculum in Ontario and fail to admonish the schools to bring such crucial information to the attention of children are guilty of a dereliction of duty.

In an official “Fact Sheet for Public Health Personnel” on condoms, the Centers for Disease Control warns: “The most reliable ways to avoid transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), are to abstain from sexual activity or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner.”

This is but one certain conclusion in a vast array of scientific evidence that is consistent with a vital truth that parents should do their best to impart to their children: namely, that sexual intercourse is safest and best when confined within marriage between a man and a woman.