The book that started the flap, “Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress,” is a novel about censorship.
Fifteen-year-old Brandon Jerome was caught off guard by the sexual references in a book for his ninth-grade English class…read a passage about a virgin having sex.
…a student drew an explicit picture of a boy and girl having sex as part of a class drawing exercise on the book. The drawing was displayed with others in the classroom.
Obviously not understanding the full circumstances, my initial thoughts are that this censorship is an overreaction. As a curious 15 year old (and much earlier) I had been reading my friend’s father’s Hustler magazines, magazines found in my own house (where I learned my first French Oui!), medical journals, National Geographic, novels and anything else that would give me a clue about the female anatomy and how I might chance to become more intimate with it. I think that when the schools can integrate a sexual education into the material without stepping into perversion that they are doing nothing more than answering questions that the students are already seeking. When coupled with important encouragements such as “don’t be afraid to talk to your parents about sex” the environment can be a catalyst for students making the right decisions. When we remove the mysticism from things like sex you lessen the need for exploration and discovery. I’m not discouraging sex and not implying that talking about it will make teenagers not do it. I am saying there is no harm in educating them about the main thing on their mind.
I am ordering a copy!