Posted by: webbhouston | September 28, 2009

Why I am against abstinence only education

To begin with I will readily admit that to me abstinence only education is an oxymoron. Teens have sex outside of marriage, there is ample proof of this and there really is very little that parents can do about this. Yes it is a good idea to teach teens that waiting until you are ready but expecting them to listen to you? That is another story.

I live in Texas where our abstinence ed program is obviously not working. We have one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the country (which happens to have one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the first world) and we have the highest rate of teens having more than ONE baby. Thankfully it seems like some places in the state are doing away with AO Sex Ed and moving to a more realistic approach to the topic.

The Washington Post had an article about how those virgin promise rings do not work and really it was pretty much common sense that they didnt, there did not need to be an article or study done on it. As a women who grew up religious with AO Ed. I can tell you that it doesnt work. Many of my friends and my friend’s siblings did end up pregnant before marriage and I firmly believe that many of them could have been avoided if we just knew how the hell to NOT get pregnant. Yet in our religion sex is evil unless it is done under the sanction of the church so we like to pretend that it does not happen. This is how I know that right now we have a 14 year old pregnant at my old church, with the dad being another 14 year old. Sad indeed. I will actually admit that I was having sex and did not know how babies came out of a woman. My ignorance in the topic was pretty bad and it was not until I got on the internet that I found out the truth about the birds and the bees. I was well into high school at that point.

Science agrees with me.  The APA says that Comprehensive Sex Ed is better at helping stop the spread of diseases like HIV.

The research on adolescents’ sexual behavior shows that comprehensive sexuality education programs that discuss the appropriate use of condoms do not accelerate sexual experiences. On the contrary, evidence suggests that such programs actually increase the number of adolescents who abstain from sex and also delay the onset of first sexual intercourse.

Knowledge is power.

With Kate we are taking a very open route. She knows how babies come out, she has seen the videos and was there when I was in labor with her brother. She know that daddies put babies inside of mommies and is not ashamed of asking if she has questions. I would like to keep it that way. My hopes are that my children do not grow up with the ignorance that I did and have to find out much later than they should have how to protect themselves. My hopes are that my kids can ask me anything and are comfortable with their bodies and with themselves.

We have started discussing with Kate about things that you do in private and how those are important to keep in your own room. She knows that nobody should touch right now unless it is a doctor or a parent. She is fully aware of the fact that her brother and her are different and has asked why that is so. We have explained in words that are appropriate for her age and that are honest about the differences and hope that as she grows older she will not be ashamed to ask more if we are not already giving her the education that she needs.

Religion is what many AO Ed. programs are based on and I believe that since religion should have no place in schools we should not have to have our tax dollars pay for these useless programs. Unfortunately, we are paying for them.

I am against abstinence only education because it is insulting to the children involved. It is not realistic. It is useless. It is also outright dangerous, because it allows us to put our children at greater risk for diseases and unwanted pregnancies. I firmly believe that it also makes it so that our children are more vulnerable to sexual predators.  While there is no full proof defense against abuse, education can be a great tool for our children. Our children depend on us to help them navigate through the world. I am against abstinence only education at the end of the day for no other reason than because sex is not shameful and our children should be taught how to enjoy it and how to be safe while doing so. Sex is part of human nature and part of life. Our society needs to get over the idea that sex is dirty and our children should be shielded from it, after all… how did they get here?

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