The Engage Family Blog

Official Blog of The Family Policy Council of West Virginia

Sex Education Part II: STD’s on the Rise, Government Programs Fail

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I brought you commentary earlier this week on the striking difference between the attitude toward sex education in other parts of the world like India and Latin America; and the attitude here in the United States. These countries claim that sex-education is the duty of parents and has no business in the public schools being taught by government employees, to which I full agree.

 Now a federal sex-education program which stresses abstinence is set to expire, and the Obama administration has no plans to reinstate it.

 In the mid 90’s a program called Title XX Adolescent Family Life (AFL) began as a sex-education program geared toward teaching abstinence to the youth of America. The program has since changed its name to Title, but the message that the only truly safe sex is within the confines of a monogamous, committed relationship has not changed. And it’s this message that has opponents of Title V eagerly awaiting its expiration on June 30 of this year.

 Part of Title V opponents’ disdain for the program is due to its operating definition of what human sexuality ought to be. This definition said that the expected standard of human sexual activity was a mutually faithful, monogamous relationship in the context of marriage.”

 Call me crazy but that sounds like a pretty good working definition of what human sexuality ought to be. Only within the boundaries of a committed, monogamous relationship can a person guarantee their sexual and physical health. Dangers of STD’s and other issues become immensely more magnified when either the word “committed,” or “monogamous” is replaced.

 Those at the greatest risk are the youth between the ages of 15-24 years of age. The CDC reports that Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis cases have been steadily rising for several years. This tells me that the governments re-shifted focus on comprehensive sex-education in schools, with an emphasis on condom and birth control distribution, has largely failed.

 Let’s be honest, if you take a bunch of hormone driven young people and give them exclusive access to all the condoms and birth control they want, and then tell them to “be responsible,” what do you think is going to happen? The result will be a rise of teenage pregnancy, followed by a rise in both the rate of teenage abortions or single moms on government subsidized programs that don’t finish high-school or college. And let’s not forget a rise in unpaid child support, which will tie up the courts for years to come. The evidence of this can be clearly seen in the present social climate.

 So is government mandated abstinence based sex-education the answer? No, I don’t think so. I think the answer has nothing to do with the government at all. The government, especially in regards to public education needs to focus on the life skills that will prepare our children to be productive members of society; not teenage dropouts dependant on Uncle Sam. The public education should be focusing on ways to increase reading, math and science scores, not how to use a condom.

 As for sex-education, it’s time for moms and dads across the country to be responsible parents and teach your kids about sex. It’s time for church youth and college ministries to quit being silent on the issue and teach your youth groups how to stand in a culture of giving in.

 However, if you, mom and dad, and you, church youth minister, choose to ignore this responsibility, please don’t whine and complain about “government interference,” and the “terrible state of society.” Afterall, you helped contribute to the problem. 

 Further Food for Thought: “Sex Education – Not the Governments Job”

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  1. “Let’s be honest, if you take a bunch of hormone driven young people and give them exclusive access to all the condoms and birth control they want, and then tell them to “be responsible,” what do you think is going to happen? The result will be a rise of teenage pregnancy,”

    This is where your argument falls over. If you give kids birth control and they get pregnant, that means they’re not using it properly. That’s why you have to make sure you teach them how. And for the record, the reason that government sex-ed programs are failing to do that is because they meet systematic resistance from right-wing Christians who think that it’s contraception that encourages kids to have sex (they’re clearly missing the point).

    As you say yourself, abstinence-only education is not the answer. It doesn’t work. It’s been proven that it doesn’t work. And teenagers are going to have sex whether you want them to or not – let’s be, as you say, honest – and imposing “expected standards of sexual activity” upon them is at best wildly optimistic.

    suckonthis

    June 25, 2009 at 5:38 pm


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