The Positions in the sexual education of children. The debate in Uruguay and Latin America

Agustina Craviotto Corbellini[1]

The Sexuality education has emerged as a growing issue in the Latin American educational debate, but it has also been problematic for the West ever since. From this evident realization, it is important to reflect on the senses disseminated around the sexual body and the possibilities of its education.

For the case of Uruguay, on July 23, 2017, the Consejo de Educación Inicial y Primaria (CEIP) presented an updated guide to treat sex education in schools, called “Propuesta didáctica para el abordaje de la educación sexual en Educación Inicial y Primaria” (ProDAEX) (ANEP, 2017). It is proposed as a tool to teach theoretically and practically subjects related to sexual education, intended for primary school teachers within the Sexual Education program of the Administración Nacional de Educación Pública. The program that has been in force since 2006, has been incorporated in 2008 as a transversal axis from initial education to the sixth year inclusive. It is justified from the administration as a response to the established in the General Law of Education, or Código de la Niñez y la Adolescencia y la Ley de Derechos Sexuales y Reproductivos (Code of Childhood and Adolescence and Law of Sexual and Reproductive Rights), of the official government. Once the proposal for its elaboration in 2013, but mainly since 2016, the national press and the social networks have shown some voices of resistance from the right-wing political positions and representatives of the Catholic Church. The archbishop of Montevideo and members of the “Partido Nacional” (Political Party) called the proposal “an error” and said they did not respect the freedom of parents as responsible for the education of their children, as well as the presence of a clear gender ideology.

In this context, the social movement called “A mis hijos no los tocan” (My children are not touched), identified as “parents and grandparents, families and young people united without political or religious flags, opens the opportunity for all to participate and to be heard” (page Official website). They claim that the sexual education of the children is the land of the families and they demand the elimination of the ProDAEX of the schools. Complaints are made through social networks, on their official website and through demonstrations on the streets. Most of these manifestations are reactionary to others organized and convened by various feminist collectives.

The movement is part of a broader movement; it has a presence in several Latin American countries. They have different slogans, for example Argentina, Chile and Peru shared “Con mis hijos no te metas” (Don’t mess with my kids). In Colombia, Bolivia and Mexico the resistance is through public and virtual demonstrations, with no other defined organization. The transnational character is evident with the Mexican proposal of building a “front Latin-American” opposite to the gender ideology (Diario Semana, 2016). Something similar it happens also in Brazil from the law project 193/2016, that includes in the Lei de Diretrizes e Bases da Educação the Program “Escola Sem Partido” (School without political parties).

Critical to the effects of patriarchy and capitalism, feminist collectives claim the state for an education based on equality, on the recognition of women and sexual minorities, strongly reflected on the place of man in capitalist society. The reference to “My body” appears as the center of the disputes and gives account of the property, the foundation of liberalism (and even neoliberalism). It is because the body is property that the right to exercise individual freedoms over it, that is, the possibility of deciding on its own destiny, understood in the mere meaning of the future planned from “rational deliberations”, is deduced as right.

In this sense, the minimum conceptual framework on which the discussion is based is what is meant by politics, body and education in a Western capitalist society, in a fundamental aspect: in liberal democracies the body is something that has individual property. But who has it? Who owns it? And, owner of what body? What is the nature of this body?

We can say that there is no politics without body and this is due to that it is not possible to become political effects without affections of the bodies. And also, according to Freud and Lacan, the life of the subject is always a matter of language and therefore submerged in a relationship of inadequacy: language and sexuality come to signal the problem of meaning, as division and as conflict (Leite; De Souza Jr, 2014). If politics is always within and in a body, and with it all educational policy, which must necessarily be affected for its functioning, and if the function of the school is to be the instrument of directing bodies, sexuality is inscribed as the dimension of a sense that always fails, and therefore speaks of the impossibility of total capture of the body.

If it is important to review these interventions, it is to reflect on the central place of the body, where on one side and the other the discourses seem to demand the very direction of life, as that which belongs to it, its destiny is determined by the possibilities of its freedom. Not being able to escape from their time, individuals (inequalities) seek to resist what acts in spite of their will.

[1] Docente de la Universidad de la República, en Uruguay. Doctoranda en la Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Brasil. Becaria en el Programa Estudante-Convênio De Pós-Graduação (Pec-Pg). Coordenação De Aperfeiçoamento De Pessoal De Nível Superior, Brasil. E- mail: agustinacraviotto@gmail.com

ANEP. Propuesta didáctica para el abordaje de la educación sexual en Educación Inicial y Primaria. En: http://www.anep.edu.uy/anep/index.php/noticias/3368-anep-presento-manual-didactico-para-abordaje-de-educacion-sexual-en-educacion-inicial-y-primaria

SEMANA (2016). Proponen “frente latinoamericano” contra la ideología de género. En: https://www.semana.com/nacion/articulo/frente-latinoamericano-a-favor-de-la-familia-y-contra-la-ideologia-de-genero

LEITE, N; DE SOUZA, PS. “Sexual: o contemporâneo da psicanálise”, ALEA, Rio de Janeiro, vol. 16/2, p. 338-345,| jul-dez 2014

A MIS HIJOS NO LOS TOCAN, URUGUAY. Página oficial. En: http://www.amishijosnolostocan.org/

Brazil Election: What now?

Thatiane Moreira[1]

A former paratrooper, Jair Bolsonaro, won the Brazilian’s election in 2018. He built his campaign around pledges to crush corruption, crime and a supposed communist threat. A far-right / pro-gun / pro-torture / sexist / racist politic was elected as president of Brazil. How did this happen? The Bolsonaro was elected due to several reasons, as: corruption scandals, the disbelief in the traditional parties, the vision against PT (Worker´s Party), the Lula´s arrest, the economics issues, to mention a few examples.

Several points of the Bolsonaro´s government program are open to criticism. In the education field, the current president of Brazil follows the position of Olavo de Carvalho (writer that wants to destroy the allege “cultural Marxism”, ideology that he considers harmful to the culture and traditions occidental society),  and he proposes end up with the Marxists theories and gender education in the curriculum. They defend the project “Escola sem Partido”, which aims at a school free of the communist treat (it is important explain that Bolsonaro has an own definition of communism, he considers as communist threat all the positions contrary his own opinion).

By restricting what the schools are ably to teaching and removing the dissent points of views, Bolsonaro menaces on of the democracy´s basis: the debate and the development of ideas. Moreover, by withdrawing gender education, Bolsonaro strengthens homophobic actions and he damages the futures generations.

In the security field, Bolsonaro intends to reduce the constraints to keep and bear arms, because he believes that the solution to the Brazilian security issues is to increase the amount of weapon in the street and the numbers of death criminals, therefor, according to the Brazilian president “a good outlaw is a death outlaw”[2]. This statement shows that Bolsonaro does not understand (or does not want to understand) that the mainly cause of the violence is not the bandits, but the inequality and the lack of public policies.  To blame the bandits as cause of the violence, Bolsonaro skips of his own responsibilities.

Even with this government project, Bolsonaro received about 55 % of valid votes. What was his campaign strategy? The digital media have played an important role in this context. Using the social media, Bolsonaro has built his self-image; he portrayed himself as an ordinary person that speaks directly to the population, who is capable to contest the tradition powerful people. In 2018, Bolsonaro was the candidate who best used the power of the digital media, as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp. Thus they constructed a strong support network, often based in fake news.

Furthermore, the electoral campaign of Bolsonaro was accused of receiving illegal funding of about tens of millions of reais to a digital marketing strategy, in which  youtubers produce questionable content (as videos against PT), while Twitter and Facebook were important tools for rebuilding narratives and the WhatsApp was used as the main means of the communication and as an important tool to organize the supports chain (to spread the fake news and to increase the numbers of supporters).

The Bolsonaro´s election highlights the powerful of the digital medias and how the professional marketing of politics strategies in digital medias can interfere in the electoral process, and thus in the democracy. Meanwhile, long before the digital media, the tradition media vehicles, as the journals, have been capable to interfere in the political position of the citizen, then: What is the innovation of the digital media? The amount of data available, what enabling the microtargeting´s strategies, and it is important to mention that the media platforms most commonly used, and which produce a huge number of data, are controlled by a few private actors.

This is a new way of governing, oriented towards anticipating, formatting and selecting the future chances and actions of individuals, through the monitoring of data and metadata from their infra-personal “profiles” and more generally through computerized digital devices[3].

Beyond the digital media, Bolsonaro was supported by four large groups: liberal economists, military, “olavistas” (Olavo de Carvalho´s supporters) and evangelicals, each with his own political interests. The question is how long Bolsonaro will be able to maintain this support base, as well as the population´s approval, and how high will be the political cost.

[1] Thatiane Moreira is Brazilian, she completed a bachelor’s degree in philosophy at University of Campinas and now she studies Political Science in the same university.  During the first semester of 2019, she is an exchange student at Université Libre de Bruxelles.

[2] https://blogs.oglobo.globo.com/lauro-jardim/post/ibope-50-dos-brasileiros-acham-que-bandido-bom-e-bandido-morto.html

[3] Antoinette Rouvroy uses the concept of algorithmic go­vern­men­ta­li­ty. She explores the po­li­tical, le­gal and phi­lo­so­phi­cal im­pli­ca­ti­ons of the com­pu­ta­tio­nal turn (Big Data, algorithmic profiling, in­dus­tri­al per­so­na­liza­t­i­on).

 

The election of Iván Duque

Jose Luis Ramirez Bohorquez[1]

Thatiane Faria Oliveira Moreira[2]

Iván Duque, a conservative who viscerally opposes the peace accord firmed in 2016, took the largest share of the votes in the latest Colombia´s election (August, 2018),  after a long and divisive campaign that was often based in the controversial peace process with leftist rebels (the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – FARC). His vanquished opponent, Bogotá’s former mayor Gustavo Petro defends the peace process.

Duque has the backing of several industry leaders and, perhaps most importantly, of the ex-president Alvaro Uribe, who is still an immensely powerful figure in Colombian politic scene. Duque rebuffed suggestions that Uribe would govern through him, but it was clear during the election that the close relationship between the men helped Duque get many of the votes.

Uribe, who dealt severe military blows to the Farc during his tenure from 2002 to 2010, led the campaign against the peace deal in referendum of the 2016.  And, many who voted the deal down after a referendum in 2016 gave their votes to Duque.

It is also important to remember that while Uribe was president, a state intelligence agency was shut down after he used it to spy on the opposition leaders, journalists and members of the Supreme Court. Moreover, his military campaign against the rebels was marked by grave human rights abuses. Both of Uribe and Duque denied the charge and accused Petro of being the real threat to democracy.

According to the Colombia president, the peace accord was too lenient on drug traffickers. Meanwhile, even if he has expressed doubts about the peace deal agreed, he has not asked to overturn it. He has, though, suggested some modifications, however what concerns the politics analysts is the extend and consequences of these modifications. Many now worry about the fate of the fragile peace deal signed with the Farc in 2016, which formally ended 52 years of civil war that left 220,000 dead and seven million displaced.

The popularity of the Colombian´s president decreased two months after the election, due to the issues in the security, education, health and economic areas, as well as the inability to combat the corruption. The students headed the first demonstration against Duque´s government, they required more funds for education and solution to the Odebrecht corruption scandal.

Others issues have shaken the first semester Duque´s government, as: the rural violence caused mostly by organized crime (groups composed by FARC´s dissidents who do not support the peace agreement of the 2016); the end of the negotiations with the Nation Liberation Army – ELN, a revolutionary left-wing armed group involved in the continuing Colombian armed conflict; the national and international pressure given the increase in the coca´s cultivation, what pose the question about the chemical’s fumigation in the coca cultivation’s area and the severe health problems that it causes. This fumigation procedure was interrupted in the Juan Manuel Santos government, but the extremely right of the Uribe´s support group and the United States government defend the return of this method. There is still the problem about the millions of the Venezuela’s refugees which seek a better quality of life in Colombia.

Duque’s job will be build bridges between Colombians divided on ideology and the peace process. Furthermore, Colombia moved also toward others set of questions: How should the country tackle the corruption scandals that have hit Colombia, along with other countries in the region? What should be done about the rising number of Venezuelan refugees ? What must be done about rising coca production? The Colombia president has still not managed to respond these questions.

[1] Jose Luis Ramirez Bohorquez is a Colombian engineer, he has been pursuing his Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering in the University of Campinas. During the first semester of 2019, he works as a researcher at KU Leuven University.

[2] Thatiane Moreira is Brazilian, she completed a bachelor’s degree in philosophy at University of Campinas and now she studies Political Science in the same university.  During the first semester of 2019, she is an exchange student at Université Libre de Bruxelles.

The Latin America Voice

Thatiane Moreira*

Latin America is an important region for the global politics. A region filled with cultures, beauties, resources, as well as economics, politics and social problems. To understand the developments in the Latin America, it is necessary to know the different fields that former theses societies and try to understand the meaning of theses events to the population. Because of that, sometimes, it is difficult to the European apprehend the complexity of some Latin America´s events.

To hear what the Latin America people have to say about her/his country is a way of approach these two different worlds.  So, I invite you, Latin American, to write about our country.

Each month, we are going to select, together, a relevant subject to write a short article, for example, “the democracy in Latin America”, “the role of the women in Latin America”, and others subjects that can be relevant.  The objective is to discuss the same topic from the point of view of each country.

The short articles (no longer than two pages) must be delivered by the 10th day of each month to tfoliveiramoreira@gmail.com (Thatiane Moreira), and the article can be in English, Spanish, Portuguese or French.

 

Would you want to be part of this project? It will be a pleasure have you in our time.

Contact us: tfoliveiramoreira@gmail.com

 

*Thatiane Moreira is Brazilian, she completed a bachelor´s degree in Philosophy at University of Campinas  and now she studies Political Science in the same university.  During the first semester of 2019, she studies at Université Libre de Bruxelles as an exchange student. 

*It is important to notice that “Latin America” does not constitute a homogeneous space, on the contrary, it includes different countries with separate process of economics, as well as cultural and social development. For being a presentation text, without academic claims, I am not exploring the complexity of the concept of “Latin America”.