There’s a new government-funded app out called “Te Puāwaitanga: Beyond the Birds and Bees”, which was developed by Canterbury University. As with anything coming out of the Ministry of Education or university academics, you should tread very carefully before allowing your child to access this app and accompanying website. We took time to have a look around the resource. You’ll be glad we did – so that you don’t have to.
Beyond the Birds and the Bees App
There’s a government funded app out called Te Puāwaitanga: Beyond the Birds and Bees, which was developed by Canterbury university to open up conversations around sex and sexuality for parents and their children, as well as teachers looking to increase their knowledge.
As with anything coming out of the Ministry of Education or the Government or university academics, you should tread very carefully before allowing your child to access this app and accompanying website. So our researchers took time to have a look around. You’ll be glad we did – so that you don’t have to.
It’s just more of the same same that we’ve been warning you about for a number of years now. In fat, it’s waaaaaay way beyond the birds and the bees.
According to the producers of this app
In 2021, rangatahi (young people) across Aotearoa told us they wanted more Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE).
Now they don’t say WHERE this research came from, WHO it involved, and WHAT they wanted in terms of education – which are quite important considerations, aren’t they. The Ministry of Education thinks your children should learn about puberty blockers, pronouns and forms of sex that you as a parent aren’t likely to support – so we need to clarify this. But continuing, they say….
So, a team of researchers and kaiako (educators) started working with rangatahi to create a free one-stop site that opens up the kōrero about everything to do with relationships, gender and sexuality and sex. We started with an app that young people could download. However, young people kept telling us that it was parents/whānau who really needed the information… Now there is a space for everyone to get involved and learn something
Oh there’s something to learn alright – but it’s probably not what parents want to see, and it’s not what they want their rangatahi to know about either. It’s well well well “beyond the birds and the bees”.
In fact, as you may have seen the humorous meme – it’s not just the birds and the bees, it’s the birds and the birds, the bees and the bees, the birds that used to be bees, the birds that look like bees, and the bees that look like birds but still got the stinger….
Team behind the app
Project Director is a lecturer at the Faculty of Health at the University of Canterbury. She has just completed her doctoral thesis, titled ‘Parents as sexuality educators: Negotiating uncertainty, risk and possibilities’.
Yep you’ll be uncertain about all this dodgy content, the risks it actually increases in young people, and the possibilities of confusion and perversion.
And just to confirm your suspicion, other Content Contributors include
- Family Planning NZ
- The Spinoff
- Villainesse (Lizzie Marvelley) who make explicit and inappropriate sex ed videos that we’ve referred to in previous McBlog’s
- Burnett Foundation Aotearoa (formerly New Zealand AIDS Foundation & Ending HIV NZ)
But the one that concerned me the most was The Classification Office (which is a crown agency) and is ‘supposed’ to make things age—appropriate. Apparently they focus on ‘protection of harm’. You’ll see why
Financial Supporters include
- The University of Canterbury – receive public funding
- Kiwi innovation network which comes under Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment and which receives government funding
- Pegasus – Canterbury health group receive some funding from te Whatu Ora
- Lottery Health Research
The new app is all about getting into the birds and bees early – the two educators behind the app believe that RSE needs to be done… from birth
Interesting to note that in some of the research by the project director that has most likely contributed to the app and website’s development, it actually raises parental concerns that I believe represents a majority of parents across the country but appear to be minimised by teachers and schools leaders
They say that potential challenges to implementing RSE in primary schools is teachers who aren’t qualified to teach this stuff, having to use outside groups,
Third, the loud voices of religious or culturally conservative groups, or lobby groups with extremist views on gender issues, who oppose teachers’ and schools’ position to teach around gender diversity and other RSE-related topics.
And fourthly, that schools have to consult regularly (every 2 years) on this stuff. So annoying that they need parental and community support eh – even though one of their key statements that they make – but I’m not sure they believe – is that parents are important educators in all of this.
And then the project director has a section that’s worth showing you
A number of school leaders discussed misunderstandings that exist – mainly from parents – about the nature of RSE. This was encapsulated in the following comments: • “Parents’ misunderstanding of what this is about.” • “The term ‘sexuality education’ in the past has been misconstrued.” • “Parents not seeing the difference between sex ed and sexuality ed.” • “The assumption that RSE is sex education (it isn’t) and that we are teaching students in areas that perhaps parents aren’t comfortable with.”
These misunderstandings perhaps then played out in concerns about RSE from members of the school community (again, predominantly parents and whānau, but also community groups). Opposition to, or concerns about, RSE was discussed by both teachers and school leaders: • “Parents thinking this stuff isn’t important.” • “Community feedback from a small but vocal group who think teaching around these issues is a family concern.” • “Parents not welcoming the teaching around gender-related issues and sexuality.”
And this interesting bit of feedback
• “A lot of parents believe the content far exceeds what they need to know at the particular age it is targeted to.”
Uh, ya think?
So let’s just check some of the content and see whether you want to immediately go to your Wifi in the house and block both this website and the phone app on your child’s phone.
YET the app is RECOMMENDED for 12+year-olds, but is not discouraged from being used by under 12s.
When you enter the Youth Space section this is what pops up first – notice the disclaimer around age range recommendation.
And then the Contents page.
And quickly into the Gender ideology with “Who am I – My gender and idenity – My pronouns”.
The Youth Space section of the app/website covers a wide range of topics from gender identity, to healthy relationships (off which there is nothing in there about non-sexual, non-romantic relationships like friendships) and navigating dating.
Under “The First Time”, this grubby video
And then sections on fingering, hand job, oral sex, anal sex (yes – apparently 12 year olds need the government to educate them on how to do these) and PIV sex. In case you hadn’t heard of that, that’s the sex that creates babies. You know, what sex was created for – in marriage. (Another word you won’t find anywere – or monogamy, faithfulness, abstinence, or virginity. No way!)
Hot tips – including telling 12 year olds (and younger children who are freely able to look at the website) about keep sex toys clean
Then the full indoctrination of gender identity theory
Section on the mythical concept of “sex assigned at birth” otherwise known as “born in the wrong body” which has no scientific basis at all. Not a shred of evidence to prove its credibility.
And a Rainbow Youth video with this type of messaging – which young children will see
A section on pronouns of course
Bisexual and pansexuality
Asexuality, aromantic and demisexuality
And then transitioning
Medical transitioning, with subsections on binders, vocal therapy and surgeries (which of course is the castration of healthy body parts) –
Linking to a NZ site with advice on binders and tape
And genital reconstruction surgery
Remember this is for children as young as 12, and in fact, younger children will access and the promoters and funders are all ok with that. And so is the Classification Office who are supposed to be the watchdogs of harmful material. Supposed..
yep government agencies and govt funded groups are promoting this to young children – all courtesy of the government, your tax dollars, and endorsed by the Classification office
The promoters say Sex education should be taught in the home and at school.
The real question is “what” should be taught. For most parents, it’s certainly not what “beyond the birds and the bees” are indoctrinating your children with.