Sexologist on CBS: 'There's No Such Thing As Being Too Young' For Sex Ed

On Thursday's Early Show, CBS brought on Dr. Logan Levkoff, a radical sexologist, who not only advocated distributing birth control to 11-year-olds during an October 2007 appearance on ABC's Good Morning America, but also wouldn't rule out giving contraceptives out to elementary school students. When anchor Chris Wragge asked if "eleven is too young" for sex education, Levkoff replied, "There's no such thing as being too young."

Wragge and fill-in anchor Rebecca Jarvis turned to the sex educator for her take on a recently-passed New York City law which mandates sex education in schools. Instead of having guests on from both sides of the issue, Levkoff appeared by herself during the segment. Jarvis first asked, "Parents will tell you- or some critics will tell you, parents should be teaching this, right? But why do you think it should be taught in the schools?" The sexologist made her extreme view on teaching sex ed pretty clear in her initial answer: "There's no question that parents should be talking to their kids about sex and sexuality, from the time they're born on....We're talking about anatomy. We're talking about sexual development, healthy choices, responsibility, consent, respect. And these are all, you know, topics that it's never too young to learn about."

Later, Levkoff exposed the extent of her moral relativism on sexuality:

Logan Levkoff, Sexologist | NewsBusters.orgJARVIS: If the parents aren't involved in this and it's only the schools that are teaching it, do the kids still come away with the same message, or do the parents have to really be involved as well?

LEVKOFF: Well, parents should always be involved, but my job as a sexuality educator is not to teach my own personal values. I give a range of perspectives. Let students explore them, you know, themselves, and then I say, go home and talk to your parents about these issues. So, parents give the values, I give the facts, and that's what a good sexuality program is all about.

Near the end of the segment, Wragge raised the issue of sex education to middle school students, as opposed to high school students. Levkoff again denied that there was a lower age limit for the issue:

WRAGGE: Real quickly, high school is one thing. Middle school, though- I mean, is there a-

JARVIS: Too young-

WRAGGE: Eleven is too young for something like this?

LEVKOFF: There's no such thing as being too young. Our kids, at 11, are exposed to the same kind of sexualized imagery in pop culture that our teenagers get. They have the same sophisticated sexual language. They need the information, too.

The sexologist gave a very similar answer during her appearance on GMA almost 4 years ago (MRC President Brent Bozell blasted her radical advice in a column later in October 2007). Diane Sawyer asked her, "Would you draw the line anywhere? What if it were grade school?" Levkoff replied, "I don't necessarily draw the line because we're in a world where we get so many sexual messages."

The full transcript of Rebecca Jarvis and Chris Wragge's interview of Logan Levkoff on Thursday's Early Show:

Rebecca Jarvis, CBS News Correspondent; Chris Wragge, CBS News Anchor; & Logan Levkoff, Sexologist | NewsBusters.orgCHRIS WRAGGE: And joining us now is Dr. Logan Levkoff, a sex educator. Doctor, good morning. Good to have you with us here.

DR. LOGAN LEVKOFF, SEXOLOGIST, SEXUALITY EDUCATOR AND AUTHOR: Thank you.

REBECCA JARVIS: And Dr. Levkoff, parents will tell you- or some critics will tell you, parents should be teaching this, right? But why do you think it should be taught in the schools?

LEVKOFF: Well, I'm a parent and a sex educator, so I operate in two different worlds. There's no question that parents should be talking to their kids about sex and sexuality, from the time they're born on. But we do teach our kids about safety and protection. Sexuality is part of our overall health. And I think we have to remember that this isn't sex ed where we're just talking about sex. We're talking about anatomy. We're talking about sexual development, healthy choices, responsibility, consent, respect. And these are all, you know, topics that it's never too young to learn about.

WRAGGE: Well, we actually polled some of the youngsters out there. Let's quickly listen to what some of the kids had to say about where they should be learning the birds and the bees from.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN 1: (unintelligible) So, I would say that it'd be easier for a parent- or a teacher to talk to you because you don't really have to live with them, (laughs) you know?

WRAGGE: So, what do you think? (laughs)

LEVKOFF: Well, there are a number of parents who have a hard time talking to their children and teens about sex. So, I mean, hopefully, we can do this at home, and do a better job talking. But, you know, good sex ed supplements what parents are doing all the time. I don't have enough time in the classroom with every student to give them everything the parents should be doing all the time. But we have to work together- parents and school systems together.

WRAGGE: Let me ask you this, because a lot of kids will- and I know we're all probably guilty of it- you shut out your parents- especially when they talk about things that make you uncomfortable, you don't want to hear. Will they do the same, though, with teachers? Is this just another way for kids to be like, you know, I don't want to hear about this from my teacher? I don't want to hear about it from my parents either-

LEVKOFF: Actually, they do not. They- you know what? They really do want sexuality education, and the majority of parents out there- researchers have told us time and time again- want comprehensive sex ed in schools. They want to know that they deserve the education. And the way to get through to young people and as adolescents is, don't lie to them, don't belittle them by suggesting that their feelings are unimportant or irrelevant- you're young, you'll get over it. And we often omit- either deliberately or inadvertently- the big picture, which is pleasure, and once we stop talking about that or deliberately omit it, we lose our teens. So, we have to be honest with them, and give them medically-accurate, healthy information.

JARVIS: If the parents aren't involved in this and it's only the schools that are teaching it, do the kids still come away with the same message, or do the parents have to really be involved as well?


LEVKOFF: Well, parents should always be involved, but my job as a sexuality educator is not to teach my own personal values. I give a range of perspectives. Let students explore them, you know, themselves, and then I say, go home and talk to your parents about these issues. So, parents give the values, I give the facts, and that's what a good sexuality program is all about.

WRAGGE: Real quickly, high school is one thing. Middle school, though- I mean, is there a-

JARVIS: Too young-

WRAGGE: Eleven is too young for something like this?

LEVKOFF: There's no such thing as being too young. Our kids, at 11, are exposed to the same kind of sexualized imagery in pop culture that our teenagers get. They have the same sophisticated sexual language. They need the information, too.

WRAGGE: It's- some say it's never too young- never too old either, because even some of the older folks that are 50, 60, 70s, need the education, as well-

LEVKOFF: My oldest students have been 82, and they need the same kind of information and good healthy sex ed.

WRAGGE: All right-

JARVIS: Thank you-

WRAGGE: Dr. Logan Levkoff, thank you.

LEVKOFF: Sure-

JARVIS: Appreciate it.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center