I had to start an abstinence only program yesterday, and that drives me nuts. The program talks nothing of contraceptives, and speak about contraceptives like they never work. I don't quite understand how they can legally say this.

 

My question to all of you here at Atheist Nexus is how do you feel about this? How do you feel about kids being taught to be "abstinent only"?


Update, 04/01/2010: I talked to my principal about it, and he was under the impression we were learing about protection and contraception from our personal fitness classes, which we were not. He has since spoken to the personal fitness teacher, and they will put safe sex into personal fitness, probably starting next year.

Tags: abstinence

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Back in late February, Connie Schultz of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (Cleveland's local newspaper) reported on a meeting of the Parma School board involving two high school students who challenged their school's policy of abstinence-only sex education. I reported on that on another discussion forum here, and would be pleased to duplicate it in A|N if there is interest.
The program I was in back in high school wasn't quite as bad as yours sounds. They didn't tell us contraceptives were bad but they definitely toed the line by overemphasizing the failure rates of contraceptives and not mentioning that some such as pills have high failure rates because people aren't taking them right or using back up methods of birth control. Middle school was even worse most of my peers were running around with 'abstinence pledge' buttons on their shirts. Do what I did and every time the teacher says something you know is wrong raise your hand and tell them the correct information. Also I printed out studies I'd found online to back me up and brought them in the next day.
I don't think I said what I meant right, lol. It was more like "Don't use condoms, they don't work." It was more of the way he said it that kind of pissed me off. He just kind of sounded like he thought he was right. And they also said that married couples have the "best and most sex".

I changed it to be closer to what he really said.
I would say either fight it entirely (as in demand more than just abstinence only education), or educate yourself and go prepared to ask the hard questions as others have mentioned above.
As for married couples having the "best and most sex." That's entirely a matter of opinion, nothing more. There are absolutely no statistics to back that claim, and I'd say ask them to provide statistics any time they venture into the realm of moralistic opinion (which is exactly what that is). Even better, ask them to define "best." After all, quantity does not always equal quality, and quality when it comes to sex is also a matter of opinion and personal preference.
Agreed, but I (and I'm sure others) know married couples who rarely ever have sex at all, and/or one or both partners complain about the quality when they do. Opportunity doesn't necessarily mean action.

I do agree with your comparison to buffets though. It is a ridiculous proposition to teach ONLY that and nothing else.
I think they can say best because of the same reasons that advertisers can. Since there's no way to define the "best" sex, it's all equal. If it's all equal, you can call any of it the best, and that means that the rest of it is, too. They just can't say the word "better", because that would imply superiority.
Nerd, I must disagree here. The best sex is clearly the first sex. Sex is one of the few activities that degrades with practice. I've heard this is called "the Hoover Effect".
The story goes that President and Mrs.Hoover were being given a tour of one of the early industrialized chicken farms. They were walking with separate tour guides and groups of reporters. When she asked about the relatively few roosters she was told that a single rooster serviced a large number of hens. Presumably tongue-in-cheek, she asked a runner to go to the President's group and tell him that. The runner soon returned with Hoover's reply "They're all different hens".

Among superficial young men, this same effect was referred to as "Strange".
Somewhere, perhaps deep in the male reptilian brain, "Getting some Strange" is a powerful inducement.

. . . or so I've been told.
It's so common here for girls to wait until marriage that the story is: they either suddenly realize sex is awesome, or their husband sucks in bed and they don't understand the big deal behind it.
Your teacher is right married couples (or ones in long term committed relationships) do have better sex and more frequent sex. Think about it for a moment who is going to have more sex a person who has a sex partner available on a daily basis or a person who isn't in a relationship and doesn't have a sex partner available on a daily basis? Who is going to have better sex? The person who is self conscious and doesn't know their sex partner very well or a person who is comfortable with their sex partner, their partner knows what they like and cares if they are enjoying it. None of this of course means you have to or should wait until marriage to have sex it and it doesn't mean you can't enjoy sex when your not in a relationship it just means statistically speaking and logically speaking people who are committed to each other for the long term are on average having better and more sex than people who are not in long term committed relationships.
There are good things about a long term partner, like feeling comfortable. Having a new partner is exciting, and a person can feel self-conscious, but people sometimes also have lower inhibitions with someone they don't know so well. When I was single my sex life wasn't so great. It was mostly hard to meet people and I met some real losers and was more insecure and couldn't manage to keep a relationship.
I think the thing that matters the most is the answer to the question: are you satisfied with your sex life? That married people are on average having more and better sex isn't really very useful to the person who is married and not satisfied with their sex life. Really the only reason why sex educators give this statistic in the way that they do is to try to convince their students to wait until marriage. I think an even better statistic to highlight is that there is virtually no change between the percentage of people having sex before marriage in the 1950s and today. That's a more telling and useful statistic and one of the many reasons why I think abstinence education is abominable. People are going to have sex regardless.
It's true about the pill, that weight, other medications, and taking the pill at wildly different times of day, all have effect.

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