Saturday, Jun 22, 2013 11:00 PM +0100
Children are sexual creatures
"Some mocked a lawmaker who recently referred to masturbating fetuses. But there's a deep, fascinating history here
In 1985, the founder of modern American sex education gave a controversial speech about erections in fetuses. To Mary Calderone, who had started the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States back in 1964, new evidence about arousal in male fetuses demonstrated once and for all that children were sexual beings.
Nonsense, said conservatives. To critics of sex education, childhood was — or should be — a time of sexual innocence. Racy movies, TV shows and magazines made kids prematurely interested in sex. And so did sex education, which robbed them of their natural virtue and replaced it with tawdry thoughts and feelings.
I thought of this debate as I read the comments by Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, during the House debate on Monday over a bill that would ban almost all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. According to Burgess, fetuses do not simply experience sexual arousal; they actively arouse themselves.
“Watch a sonogram of a 15-week baby, and they have movements that are purposeful,” said Burgess, a former obstetrician and gynecologist. “If they’re a male baby, they may have their hand between their legs. If they feel pleasure, why is it so hard to believe that they could feel pain?”"