Judy, an immigrant mother is proud of everything that her son Michael has accomplished: Apart from being academic awards winner, Michael, a university sophomore, is talented, highly independent and has a caring heart. But when Judy found out that Michael began to sleep with his girlfriend, she was shocked and angry.
“I believe he is a great kid. But I’ve never expected that he would do something that lets me down: sleeping with a girl without getting married.”
But Michael didn’t understand why his personal sexual life would upset his mother. To him, it is nothing but normal to sleep with his girlfriend -- regardless of whether or not they are married, and most Western mothers are not against it. Michael remembers that his roommate’s mother had stuffed a pack of condoms into his son’s bag before he left home for school, and he boasted of having used them all during the frosh week.
Under the Western culture, Canadian youths keep a very active sex life, and sexual activities among teens are growing rapidly. According to the surveys, the majority (75%) Canadian university students have sexual partners, and many of them have tasted the forbidden fruits as early as in high school years.
But Judy has found that this wild and aggressive sexual attitude is uncomfortable and difficult to accept. Growing up in a communist society where sex was a taboo, Judy represents a generation of immigrants who believe that the Western sex value is in conflict with their own, and that having sex before marriage violates the code of sexual ethics. That different mentality between mother and son has created tremendous conflicts and discomfort at Judy’s home.
Adding to the family woes was Judy’s concerns about her 10 year old daughter Lily, who will soon learn “the most absurd things about sex” through the explicit sex ed curriculum at school. Under the revamped Ontario sex ed curriculum, students will learn sexual body parts at grade 1, and homosexual at grade 3. They will learn masturbating, same sex marriage and oral sex throughout the school years.
“What has been taught in classroom is shameful, disgusting and immoral. It’s horrendously devastating,” says Judy.
Judy has identifies the graphic sex ed curriculum with the sexual freedom in the Western culture, which includes gay rights and a slew of sexual rights advocated by sex writers and porn stars. Judy’s concerns and her family’s tension have highlighted a growing phenomenon among the immigrant communities, where Chinese parents are increasingly caught between the cultural clashes over sexuality and sex education curriculum.
While the explicit sex education could be an entirely new concept for Asian communities, it is fairly prevalent in Western schools. Besides school boards in Ontario and the rest parts of Canada, many school districts in the US and UK require schools to teach human sexuality as part of the health education.
Many immigrant parents - particularly in the Asian and Muslim communities – believe the sex ed may corrupt their children. It will indoctrinate their children with values and beliefs that are foreign to their own culture, encouraging them to behave in a way that they are seriously opposed to.
“Both of my kids are born and raised here. They're bicultural, and are heavily influenced by their peers and what is expected of a teenager in the Western society,” says Judy.
It would be Judy’s nightmare if her daughter loses her virginity before her marriage or if she adopts more aggressive sexual lifestyle. But despite the protests by some ethnic parent groups, the tough stands on sex ed taken by the province and some school boards have left many parents feeling vulnerable and scrambling to find alternative education for their children to avoid the harm.
“I will try my best to pull my daughter out of this… The Western sexual freedom has harmed my son, and I don’t want to see my daughter to become another victim,” said Judy.
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