The elephant in the room!

In recent years there has been an increasing interest in the idea of character education. Character educators argue that education should not just be about learning facts but should teach children in a manner that will help them to develop socially, ethically and emotionally.

I recently read a paper by Dr. Thomas Lickona, PhD (a developmental psychologist and Professor of Education at the State University of New York at Cortland). Lickona argues that “for character educators to try to avoid dealing with the fallout of the sexual revolution is to ignore the elephant in the room”. (

He writes that the sexual revolution has “created a sexual culture that is in many ways harmful to children’s academic, social-emotional, sexual, and character development”. When we think of the increase in unwanted pregnancies, STI’s, unstable families, teenagers and children being sexually active and pornography (to name a few!), this harmful impact is clear.

If we want to teach our children to “lead ethical lives and become moral agents who help build a more humane, just, and peaceful world”, sex cannot be taught in a moral vacuum. Young people need to be taught to make moral decisions about sex, to take responsibility for their actions and to be given positive aspirations and role models to aspire too.

What Lickona deduces from observing the consequences of the sexual revolution supports what we know to be true from the Bible, and reminds us that Biblical sexual ethics are not boring or old fashioned but vitally important for the health of our young people.