To help make some extra money this Summer, I worked as a substitute teacher in my old school district. It’s a fun and rewarding job, and it’s been really interesting. One day, I subbed for a Health and PE class. One of the classes was in Health and was doing sex education. That day’s lesson was on anatomy, however, as the students were doing their work, I read through the textbook and discovered to my dismay that this textbook was one of the abstinence only sex education textbooks. Nothing about contraception or anything of the sort. In fact, there was an entire section on how premarital couples should go no farther than casual, light, and short kisses.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not idiot about sex. I’m well aware that abstaining from sex until marriage has massive benefits in terms of the psychological, physical, mental, and emotional. It is for precisely those reasons (as well as my own moral values) that I, myself, am abstaining until I’m married. Though even I have to object to the notion of holding pre-marital activity to just “casual, light, and short kisses.” That being said, this conservative-pushed notion of only teaching abstinence in sex education is simply absurd, and this textbook simply exacerbated that notion to me.
First and foremost, let’s recognize one thing. The average teen is going to have sex. This has been true for decades, and will be true for decades to come. Nothing we teach or don’t teach them in school is going to change that. But this book. The section on STDs and pregnancy only talked about abstinence as a way to prevent them. ONLY. Does this not sound like a problem to anyone? We’ve got kids who are GOING to have sex learning that not having sex is the only way to prevent these problems, so what are they going to do? They’re just going to not care about the diseases and risks and do it anyways. THAT is the problem. Our textbooks MUST teach about contraceptives and condoms in order to prevent pregnancy and STDs. Yes, there is no such thing as safe sex, but there IS such a thing as safER sex, and if the kids are going to be having sex, isn’t it be better that they’re at least having safer sex?
That’s the part of abstinence-only sex education I don’t understand. But this textbook was just awful. It’s recommendations for avoiding sex include such things as “No heavy kissing,” “No touching,” and “Avoid movies and TV shows that imply teenage sex is ok.” GOOD LUCK getting kids today to follow that one.
Maybe I’m missing something, but abstinence-only education seems like a disaster waiting to happen. Then, when all the unwanted pregnancies come and the abortion rate shoots up, the conservatives are going to wonder where it came from. Conservatism just doesn’t work, and here’s one more exmaple of why.
(Note: this article taken from http://www.writingup.com/blog/bannana873, my personal blog; as a result, this is still my own creation and I own the rights to it)