Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) is not a fan of sex education teaching because it reminds him of Russian schools under the Soviet Union, he said during an appearance Monday on the Christian conservative "WallBuilders Live" radio program.
In an interview first captured by Right Wing Watch, Gohmert suggested that teaching kids about the birds and the bees ruins their innocence and dreams.
"Let the kids be innocent. Let them dream. Let them, you know, play. Let them enjoy their life. You don't have to force this sexuality stuff into their life at such a point. It was never intended to be that way. They'll find out soon enough," he said. "Mankind has existed for a pretty long time without anyone ever having to give a sex-ed lesson to anybody. And now we feel like, oh gosh, people are too stupid unless we force them to sit and listen to instructions. It's just incredible."
Gohmert went on to promote the role of parents in the educational process, saying their involvement was a "law of nature" and a right that "liberals want to take away." He recalled his time as an exchange student in Soviet schools, suggesting that proponents of sex-ed were taking the nation on an arc toward communist beliefs.
"And it reminds me so much of the summer that I was an exchange student in the Soviet Union back in the '70s and I was shocked when they were saying 'no, the children don't belong to parents, they belong to the state.' And if any parent said anything in front of their children negative about the wonderful Soviet Union, then we will take their children away and give them to somebody more deserving," the congressman said. "And I just thought how horribly shocking that was, that of course parents were the ones who love the children, not the state. And I thought, 'well thank God that we don't have that in our country.'"
While keeping kids in the dark about sex and letting them "find out" about sex "soon enough" may be comforting to some, it's not an effective way to encourage healthy sexual activity when it does begin. A recent study from the Guttmacher Institute in New York showed that those who have received some form of instruction are significantly more likely to use protection when they first have sex. The study also showed that those who receive formal sex education generally wait longer to have sex. Gohmert is right that parents are an important part of the teaching and learning process, according to the study.