Tag Archives: education

Why do gays and their allies…

… find it so important to convince everyone that being gay is not a choice?

One of my (gay) friends asked me this last week.  He had a good point: Religion is a choice, yet it’s a protected status.  I also saw the question come up on Yahoo! Answers.

I’ve been pondering this amidst all the hoopla surrounding the Prop 8 decision.  Supporters of Prop 8 and opponents of marriage equality in other states make this argument about how the legalization of same-sex marriage will affect their children’s education.  Kids will be taught that it’s *gasp* okay to be gay and okay to want to marry someone of your own gender.  What these arguments say to me is that these people fear their children will become homosexual if they learn that being homosexual is okay.  So here’s where the “being gay isn’t a choice” argument comes in.  Don’t make some BS argument about protecting your kids from being “indoctrinated” and “turning gay.”  So, in my mind, that’s why it’s important for people to understand that you don’t just “turn gay” because you wanted to.

2-13% (research varies) of the population is gay.  Your kid might be one of them.  They might come out sooner and be happier about who they are because they learned that it’s not wrong to be gay, but learning about it didn’t make them be attracted to people of the same sex.  Straight people didn’t need to learn about traditional marriage to cause them to be attracted to people of the opposite sex.

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Is the direction we’re going today really progress? An NPR Morning Edition story today talked about how the increasing number of toys since 1955 has changed children. A cultural historian observed that in the 19th century, play was about activities and now it’s about objects. Why is this a bad thing? Toys dictate very narrow scripts for children to follow, whereas more imaginative play requires them to make up their own roles and rules. Psychology experts say that being self-directed leads children to have more discipline and impulse control, among other things.

I agree with the story that it’s very sad that today’s 7 year olds barely have the self-control of 1940s’ 5 year olds for some tasks in an experiment. I shared this story with a co-worker, and he compared it to anecdotes of how today’s high schoolers aren’t ready for college and college graduates aren’t ready for work. On the other hand, younger and younger kids have their own cellphones (and not just for emergencies) and stores like Limited Too let 8 year olds dress like miniature women. Psychologically less mature and given the liberties of older kids… I don’t call this progress.

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