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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I'm highly against it. I would ideally see the American federal goverment putting $240 million a year into comprehensive sex education, not abstinence-only as our previous Bush did. >.X I know it does not work, and it is not the school's place to teach morals. Nor is it the parents' place to teach what they themselves may not know. Because many parents did not receive proper sex education, they are not in a position to teach it to their children. So the schools need to take on the responsibility. If they refuse to, then the children don't learn and the consequences are high.

The Netherlands believes in open conversation and comprehensive sex education. They do not shame kids who ask questions about sex, and that is why they have some of the lowest pregnancy and STD rates. It's what needs to be done here, but instead, we're still stuck with Victorian era morals.

What I would recommend you do is see if you can get a group of students together to talk to the PTA for why you deserve to be treated like intelligent beings, given the information to make your own choice. Use statistics of the pregnancy and STD rates of your state, and if you have them, the school. Contact Planned Parenthood to provide reading material for you and your friends. Educate yourselves, and teach friends in the meanwhile.

My sister's friends used to always ask me questions about sex that they couldn't ask anyone else, because I've always been highly interested in human sexuality. Heck, I've even ended up talking to older adults about aspects of sexuality they never knew about.
"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"?"

I feel that its stupid, reckless and irresponsible.

If there are others in your class, Garrick, then try some peer-to-peer sex ed classes. Even if the administrators tell you not to ;)
I'm not really worried about me or the other people in my class. They're either too bright to listen to this bull shit or they're Christian and believe it anyway. I'm worried about the other classes. The loads of other kids getting faulty information. It's not the first year this school has done it, but it will damn sure be the last if I have anything to say about it. I'm going to set up an appointment with the principal and talk with him about it, and hopefully find other kids that agree with me.
Funny thing is I learned just how ignorant many of my otherwise very intelligent classmates were on the topic of sex during my sex ed classes.

I like your idea of talking to the principal. Perhaps you could use what some of us said here and do a little research to support you that way you can give your principal to read over after your talk. Here's two articles on the prevalence of premarital sex.

http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/20061219_95_of_american...

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17236611
I shouldn't have read the comment wall on that first one. /rage

I've been doing a lot of research on it. I should print some things out. I doubt they'll believe me without some hard evidence.
Comment walls on such articles are very disturbing and disappointing. I try no to read them.
"I had to start an abstinence only program yesterday"

I'm not really sure what this means. Did they make you take an abstinence pledge or something? How do they enforce this?

It's clearly a religiously motivated program and so has no place in public.
There's not a pledge or anything. They just teach you why abstinence only is a "good" thing.
Abstinence-only has been proven ineffective. If the school teaches that abstinence is one option but also informs kids of other options, I think that is fine. It is unrealistic to wait until marriage (I remember some Christian kids getting engaged in 11th grade...now why would that be?!) but some kids would rather wait until they're older. It is a personal decision which shouldn't be treated as "no big deal" and people should have all the options. (Unfortunately, I went through sex ed thinking "this doesn't apply to me, no one will ever have sex with me anyway"!) Along with abstinence pressure there is also sexual pressure and it is important to stress that you shouldn't do anything you don't want to do. Common sense, yes, but when you feel like you're the only virgin left in school you start to think there's something wrong with you (yes, I graduated a virgin, and not from turning down lots of guys either.)
Don't worry, I also was the same way. I graduated high school a virgin, and as far as I'm aware, without ever being the object of a male's fantasy. I gave mine in college to the guy I had been dating, and I'm glad I didn't marry him, or I'd be stuck now in a very unhealthy relationship.
Not only is abstinence only sex education a failure with respect to teen pregnancy rates ( you can look at statistics for rates of teen pregnancy in states which primarily teach abstinence only sex ed) but it also indirectly encourages children/teenagers to engage in unprotected anal sex in which they are more likely by matters of magnitude to contract STIs. Abstinence only sex education also leaves homosexual students entirely uninformed about sexuality and protection. This is bigoted and prejudiced. On top of all of this, it is a system of fear mongering, so that when teenagers to contact STIs, which are mostly harmless bacterial infections, treatable by a course of antibiotics, students don't know how to get tested, and are to afraid to talk to a friend or parent or most importantly, to see a doctor! This can cause a harmless infection to become life threatening. Abstinence only sex education does much more harm than good, and is an absolute failure of an excuse for sex education!
It would be fantastic if other children could just keep it in their pants for a few years, but that's never going to happen. They need to be taught about ways to make sex safer because anything worth doing is doing right.

Speaking of which, it's specifically conservative Catholicism and Christianity that makes America seething with teenage pregnancies and STD's, because the Church doesn't want them to know more than they think they should. But, like I need to tell you guys.

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