In Sign #220,002 that we are living in the end times, the UC Santa Barbara sociology department has published an essay recommending that children as young as four should be engaging in “sexual play” with their friends…as long as the activities are fully consensual, of course. Which means, we suppose, that we now live in a world where girls who have had a little too much to drink CANNOT consent to sex but children not yet old enough for preschool CAN. How the left keeps up with the everchanging world of consensual politics, we’ll never know. We’re beginning to suspect that they just make it up as they go along. Whatever will shock and irritate conservatives the most, that’s what they go with.

“Sexual play during this age often mirrors the dominant heterosexual social roles assigned to women and men, including playing ‘house’ and assigning a ‘mommy’ and a ‘daddy,’” the department’s website says. “This play is motivated by children’s curiosity involving social interaction, societal roles, and the bodies of others. Children see how their parents and other adults act and mimic what they see. Children might display affection to their friends by hugging and kissing, or touching each other’s genitals, which is perfectly normal. Parents should not react in a negative way because children are just exploring. Sexual play between children can cause harm if the acts are non-consensual or hurtful, in which case parents should intervene.”

These wise sociologists went on to warn that parents could ruin their children’s lives if they interfere with their sexual escapades.

“It is important for caregivers and parents to keep their reactions to children’s consensual sexual activity and play positive,” they write. “If a child is told that these activities are ‘bad,’ he or she may learn to associate sexual activity with feelings of guilt. Children may carry this guilt with them into adulthood, which can negatively impact their sexual lives.”

We suppose there is some wisdom in advising parents not to overreact when their children get caught with their hand in the proverbial cookie jar, but this just feels all wrong. Whether they meant to impart this message or not, the university appears to be telling parents to actively encourage this kind of behavior. And knowing the left’s views on sexuality and youth, we aren’t really ready to provide them with the benefit of the doubt.

Like we said, the cognitive dissonance where grown women are only partly responsible for their sexual behavior but little kids are completely capable of “consensual sex play” is too much to handle. Then again, these people also think that children around this age should be allowed to assign themselves another gender, so it’s useless to try and find the logical thread that holds it all together.

Oh, “progress,” that’s right.