Archive for March 2021

No on UT SB229: Because Sexual Consent is Not for Children   2 comments

Days ago, Utah’s legislature wisely voted against UT HB177, a bill that on first glance appeared to be good, claiming simply to teach how to prevent rape. But the bill was complex.

It have would mandated instruction to minors not only in sex refusal skills, but also in sex consent skills, for children beginning in seventh grade. That bill’s sponsors, Rep. Carol Moss and Sen. Kathleen Riebe, have not given up. Today, March 1, 2021, Senator Riebe is attempting to rush a very similar bill, UT SB229.

The bills differ only slightly.

HB177 would have started in grade 7 while SB229 would start in grade 8. SB229 adds teaching sex consent and sex refusal to children two times, and adds contraception device and method instruction. Both bills would have schools teaching children that sexual consent among children is harmless, as part of teaching them that rape is a crime and/or how to use contraceptives. Remember, Utah schools already teach students what contraception is, along with teaching reproductive anatomy, pregnancy, childbirth, etc., but SB229 adds the “how-to” element to contraceptive methods and devices.

It is unclear how schools would teach step by step contraceptive instruction without violating law that prohibits instructing minors in intricacies of erotic behavior. It is also unclear how schools would teach children that it is criminal to transmit nude photos, and it’s statutory rape to permit sexual consent between a child and an adult– yet sexual consent between minor children is supported.

The “if” phrase: “if refused by another individual” (line 40) means that the school or state will not offer protection to a child experiencing a sexual advance, if child sexuality can be named “consensual” now.

Whether sexual advances come from adults or other children, children deserve protection and not the confusion that the teaching of child-authorized sexual consent will create. Yet SB229 also says schools will teach minors they may (or may not) choose to “refuse sexual advances by a minor or adult at any time, regardless of whether the student has previously expressed acceptance of a sexual advance by the minor or adult” (line 38-39).

That type of instruction is both confusing and dangerous.

Line 58 adds “healthy relationships, including recognizing sexual assault” to sex ed for Utah schools. What does that phrase “healthy relationships” mean, and who gets to define it?

Since the bill has zero dollars appropriated for its implementation, it’s fair to assume that schools will use free “curriculum” that exists. The nation’s largest free provider of sex education, Planned Parenthood, defines and portrays healthy relationships in the following video (do not show this to children).

This “instruction” would not be mandated by SB229 –but it would not be prohibited, either. And since SB229 does not provide funding for a Utah-specific way to teach consent and refusal, it is fair to assume schools would be using this and curricula like it, since it would no longer be disallowed.

Also, line 62 inexplicably removes from Utah sex education the phrase “fidelity after marriage” as a method for preventing infectious diseases. WHY?

Children deserve to be protected. This bill will result in children being sexualized and indoctrinated by groups including SIECUS and Planned Parenthood, rather than simply teaching children the truth about reproduction and sex. It’s not sex ed, but sexuality ed. There is a difference.

Please, tell your senators and representatives to vote NO on SB229.

Find their email addresses or phone numbers here:

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