Fox News host Steve Doocy suggested on Monday that it was dangerous for young children to learn about sexual diversity because he said that kindergartners shouldn't be exposed to information about "transsexuals" and "stuff that's gross."
In a report published last week, PBS Newshour said that a Dutch system of teaching "sexuality education" to 4-year-old students was making its way to the U.S. According to the report, the training is about having "open, honest conversations about love and relationships" instead of explicitly teaching about sex. Core principles of the Dutch class included sexual diversity and sexual assertiveness lessons that encourage respect for others and teach skills to protect against abuse.
On Monday, Doocy spoke to parenting blogger Cherie Corso, and was shocked to find out that she agreed with teaching the Dutch sexuality class to children.
"When you were 4 years old, you didn't have the Internet, you didn't have the Web, you weren't bombarded by these sexually explicit messages like the kids are today," Corso told Doocy. "The earlier we start teaching kids about sexuality and being responsible for your body, there is lower teen birth rates, there is lower amounts of sexual abuse because they can identify it sooner."
"Not at age 4! And not in school!" conservative former teacher Whitney Neal shot back. "A parent has the right to decide when and how they want to discuss these issues with their child."
Neal said that it was just "another example" of public schools "trying to take the responsibility for these things away from the parent."
Corso argued, however, that children were "bombarded with so much information" that they needed "guided" training in schools.
"I just had to explain to my daughter what transsexual was based on all this information that was out there," Corso added. "She's 11 years old and the children are saying when they're younger, 'Yeah, I like this one. Maybe I'm gay, maybe I'm not.' Children say crazy things and I think we need a group of people to help them and guide them through."
"At age 11, a lot of kids have questions because they have smartphones and stuff like that," Doocy opined. "But you would think at age 4, that most parents would not allow kids to be on the Internet to fish around for stuff that's gross."
"Exactly, there's a big difference between a 4 year old and an 11 year old," Neal agreed, adding that she was appalled that the Dutch were teaching kids to label genitalia on a diagram of the human body.
"I think there are a lot of things that are brought to light by having young children do that that they're just not prepared for," Neal complained. "Maybe that is something an 11-year-old can handle, but definitely not my kindergartner."
"PBS going from Big Bird to, well, you know," Doocy concluded.