Last week, the Riverside County School District in California pulled Merriam-Webster dictionaries off public school shelves after a student “stumbled” upon a “graphic” definition for oral sex.
First of all, I doubt the kid “stumbled” upon the definition. It’s pretty much a rite of passage to look up “dirty” words in the dictionary when you’re a kid. I’m sure kids today are not different.
And while the parent who complained may have found the definition — “oral stimulation of the genitals” — to be “graphic,” I’m not quite sure how else one would define it.
In fact, I’m pretty sure the definition of the word “genitals,” which this kid no doubt immediately looked up after “stumbling” upon the oral sex definition was equally, if not more graphic.
But luckily, the children of Riverside County will soon be protected from “stumbling” upon any graphic definitions as the district spokeswoman Betty Cadmus told the local paper that while “it’s hard to sit and read the dictionary, but we’ll be looking to find other things of a graphic nature.”
Are they serious?
These days, any kid with access to a computer and the ability to type the words “oral sex” into a search engine can get a lot more than a simple definition. In fact, they can get definitions of it in Spanish, Italian and/or German as well as instructional videos on how to do it, pornographic images, and videos of it being done to information on how to protect oneself from STDs when doing it.
Still, banning books for their sexual content goes on all the time. In fact, while the kids of Riverside County were being protected from definitions of oral sex, students at a school district in Virginia were being protected from young Holocaust victim Anne Frank’s innocent description of her vagina in a 1995 version of The Diary of a Young Girl.
Recently, it’s been reported that teen pregnancy is on the rise for the first time in years. Some say this is no coincidence that this is happening after 10 years of mandated abstinence-only until marriage sex education in schools that has excluded or prohibited educators from teaching about contraception and condoms to young people in high school.
Keeping information about sex and sexuality doesn’t help kids. Giving them solid, realistic and accurate information about it does. And frankly, I’d much rather my kid find out the definition of oral sex from a credible source such as the Merriam Webster dictionary than a really seriously graphic porn website like oralsex101.com.