Rantz: School Board director to host 9-year-olds for classes on sexual pleasure, gender ID at sex shop
A controversial school board director is again raising eyebrows, this time for conducting a sex-education class for children as young as 9 years old at a sex shop. The class includes a focus on “sexual anatomy for pleasure,” “kinds of solo and partnered sexual activities,” and “gender and sexual identities.”
Jenn Mason is a sex educator and owner of WinkWink, which bills itself as an all-ages, “identity-inclusive sex shop” in Bellingham. In addition to the sex products, Mason offers 50-minute sex coaching sessions. She’s also the school board director for the Bellingham School District.
Mason announced four, three-hour sex-education classes at her boutique. They are broken down into two groups, one for kids 9-12 years old and the other for teens 13-17 years old. But many of the topics seem inappropriate for young children.
Age inappropriate topics?
Titled “Uncringe Academy,” the goal is “helping young people to feel comfortable around these topics so that they can advocate for their own bodies, health, and well-being.”
Mason lists the topics on the event page of the Wink Wink website. They include:
- Sexual anatomy for pleasure and reproduction
- What IS sex? Kinds of solo and partnered sexual activities
- Safer sex practices for all kinds of sexual activities
- Gender and sexual identities
Mason and her shop adopt a sex-positive culture. The website description says she intends to provide the material with an eye towards “empowerment and information, rather than shame, fear, and judgment.”
While she says that “topics will vary for developmental appropriateness,” it’s unclear how it’s ever appropriate to discuss “sexual anatomy for pleasure” or “safer sex practices for all kinds of sexual activities” for 9-year-olds.
Mason does not have specific education training on adolescent sexuality but says she worked for a decade at a rape crisis center where she developed, oversaw, and delivered “consent and healthy relationships workshops” to thousands of students in middle and high schools. She said she is a certified sex educator through the American College of Sexologists, is a certified sex coach through the Sexology Institute, and a certified sexual assault victim advocate.
Mason defends the classes
In an email to the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH, Mason defended the topic of “safer sex practices” for 9- to 12-year-olds by noting it’s “not generally covered as a main topic in this course except as it relates to consent, communication, and safety.”
“The class for 9 to 12 year olds is an introduction to topics related to relationships, puberty, bodies, and sexuality. We focus on what makes healthy vs. unhealthy friendships and romantic relationships, the science of how puberty works, consent and personal boundaries, defining ‘sex’, and discussing why people may or may not choose to engage in sexual activities,” Mason said. “This course includes understanding the basics of sexual anatomy, including the names and function of body parts related to reproduction and pleasure. We also cover the basics of biological sex, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.”
How does Mason define sex to children? Nebulously.
“While some people think of sex as only being when a penis goes in a vagina, ‘sex’ can really be any activity that a person does with themselves or others to become aroused,” she said. “There’s no such thing as ‘real’ sex and it’s okay if your definition of sex is different from someone else’s.”
It’s important to note that Mason is hosting these classes as a small business owner, not as a school director. These classes are not associated with the Bellingham School District.
This is inappropriate
I’ll give Mason the benefit of the doubt: I think she’s well-intentioned. But this clearly goes too far. It’s not appropriate to teach pre-pubescent children about sexual pleasure, solo and partnered sexual acts, or confuse them on gender identity.
It’s undoubtedly beneficial to teach teens the basics of sexual education, free from political influence. It’s also important that teens feel more comfortable talking to parents, guardians, or trusted adults about issues that are usually awkward to discuss. But it’s equally important to avoid sexualizing kids (which obviously happens if you’re specifically discussing sex acts) or introducing topics at too early an age.
And when the topic of gender identity comes up, especially in the context of a left-wing public figure, it’s often exploitative; an adult who uses children to push an agenda on kids that is often confusing and almost always not based on sound science.
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