My Child, My Chance: Guarding and Guiding Your Child’s Identity In the Chaos of Culture and Sex Education by Susan Zuidema (242 pages, $18.87)
A Christian, public elementary school teacher, with assistance from an employee in the health care industry, has published a timely book in response to Ontario’s controversial sex ed curriculum. Written by Ontario educator Susan Zuidema with editorial assistance from Charlotte Goulding, My Child, My Chance seeks to help parents understand the various ideologies being taught in the 2015 sex curriculum which undermine biblical beliefs about human sexuality.
Zuidema exposes how some of the lessons actually increase health risks for students by providing flawed or incomplete information. She does this with an impressive amount of research on the relevant scientific and medical issues.
The goal of My Child, My Chance is to equip parents to deal with the curriculum’s ideological “push for sexual freedom and self-defined sexual identity in our children,” and to instruct parents on how to keep their kids biblically-aligned. The book makes no bones about the fact that the government is trying to separate children from their family’s religious beliefs on sexuality.
As Zuidema dissects the various ideologies being taught under the guise of “health and physical education,” she provides tips to help parents speak truth into their children’s lives when they encounter problematic classroom lessons, or if they themselves are experiencing sexual confusion. This is done by providing sample wording on how to talk to your child about delicate subjects. This is one of the most important parts of My Child, My Chance. Many parents know in their hearts that the curriculum contradicts their religious and moral beliefs. However, they have no idea how to go about verbally explaining it, much less to young children for whom simple language is necessary. This book helps parents do that by giving them the words.
Another thing I appreciate about this book is that it doesn’t try to address all the complaints that parents have about Kathleen Wynne’s radical sex program. The province-wide protests were spurred by many different concerns including but not limited to: being too explicit, being age-inappropriate, sex presented as a recreational activity, no mention of love or marriage, presenting anal sex as being no more risky than vaginal intercourse, etc.
However, Zuidema chose to focus on just the two elements of the curriculum which she clearly believes have the greatest potential to cause kids to reject Christian biblical beliefs. Those elements are the teachings on sexual orientation and gender identity theory (transgenderism).
As a result, she spends a lot of time analyzing the sexual identities that the Liberal government wants children to accept (LGBTTIQ), and contrasting them with the “identity in Christ” that every believer should strive to nurture in their children and themselves.
As the author states in “when we choose to identify as Christians, our identity with Christ comes first. We can no longer identify with sin.”
The author develops this principle further in an interesting section titled “Lie-dentity vs. Identity.” It challenges the prevailing cultural belief “that everyone who experiences same-sex attraction will, or should, end up identifying as gay, lesbian or bisexual, or one of the myriad of other sexual orientations.”
When a person chooses to identify in this way, the author explains, “they have accepted a lie-dentity” which “is in conflict with an identity in Christ.”
Zuidema stresses that as a Christian she has compassion for all persons who identify with an LGBT identity. Like every pro-family activist I’ve met, the authors differentiate between the person (whom we’re called to love unconditionally), and their behavior (which we can never condone if it is morally wrong).
In subsequent chapters, the book presents powerful scientific research to prove that some of the curriculum lessons put children at grave risk. One example cites studies that have found that “most children who have some sort of gender confusion will come to identify with their biological gender as they grow up.”
In fact, the American Psychological Association says that up to 98 per cent of children will naturally grow out of gender identity confusion on their own. We can recognize the harm that will befall children when the government mandates that every time a child experiences gender confusion, educators should help them embrace an identity as the opposite sex, and parents kept in the dark.
There are a couple of minor statements made in the book with which I disagree. For example, in a section discussing Ontario’s Bill 77 (which made it illegal for psychiatrists to provide reparative therapy to help minors overcome unwanted, same-sex attraction), the author seems to suggest that therapy to cure same-sex attraction is “ineffective.” Joseph Nicolosi, co-founder and president of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality and a leading expert on homosexuality, its causes, and treatment strategies, said his decades-long practice as a clinical psychotherapist treating people with same-sex attraction saw impressive success rates. His clinical practice and research found that one-third of patients were “cured,” meaning they no longer experienced predominantly SSA and whenever it arose it could be easily managed, while another third made significant progress towards recovering their heterosexual nature.
Minor issues aside, I highly recommend the book and encourage every parent and educator to get their hands on a copy of My Child, My Choice.
Jack Fonseca is a project manager at Campaign Life Coalition, where he worked with parent groups to stop and overturn the Ontario sex-ed curriculum.