Alice Dreger, the sex researcher and professor who attended her son’s sex-ed class at East Lansing High School and live tweeted the whole disastrous thing, has now written up the whole story for Dan Savage’s website. And it just gets worse and worse the more you read.
The visiting sex-ed presenter—let’s call her Ms. Thomas—started class by asking if there were any questions from last time. My son’s hand shot up. He asked her if her teaching of sexual practices was evidence-based.
Looking startled, she said yes.
“Then why are you teaching abstinence when it doesn’t decrease the amount of premarital sex and increases dangerous practices, including sex without contraception?” he said. He gave his teacher a copy of what he had brought.
“That’s not true,” she said. “You can look up anything on the internet.”
Seriously, that was her answer? Is she a teacher or some ignorant dolt in a Facebook argument? She isn’t a teacher, actually, she’s someone from one of the many abstinence organizations brought in to present on that subject because…well why, exactly? Can the regular sex-ed teachers not teach about that? In what other class does this happen in school?
But Ms. Thomas didn’t want to discuss evidence. She wanted to move on, and move on she did. The kids were told they were going to continue to talk about “stories of abstinence” and “non-abstinence stories that led to consequences.”
This is, of course, how people present a position when they can’t back it up with evidence. They replace evidence with frightening anecdotes.
And so we were presented with a visiting guy I’m going to call Jerry. Jerry told us a genuinely sad story of how he was raised by an alcoholic father and how Jerry got into alcohol and drugs at a young age. He hooked up with a girl “whose mother had put her on birth control.” But it failed, and she got pregnant. Jerry said that he and his girl didn’t tell their parents as the pregnancy progressed.
Hold on a second: Her mother gave her birth control but would be shocked that she had sex? Clearly Jerry’s lesson here—the reason he needed to drop that the girl had been on birth control but that when she got pregnant, they didn’t tell her mother—was supposed to be this: Birth control fails. It fails all the time. And sex is so shameful that if you get pregnant, you can’t get prenatal care. You have to hide the pregnancy. In shame…But then—then!—Jerry met a beautiful girl he liked so much. And she had been raised in “the abstinence lifestyle.” He decided to put it back in his pants and woo her. He told us he “put her on a pedestal.” After two long, chaste years, he married her. And then he fucked her. And they now have two kids.
The lesson Jerry wanted to impart? This: “You’ll find a good girl. If you find one who says ‘no,’ that’s the one you want.”
He actually said that. If a girl says no, “that’s the one you want.”
Silly me! I have been teaching my son that if a girl says no, you exit politely and get the hell out of her space.
In another article about it, the two outside presenters complained that her son had “ambushed” them by bringing in studies that disputed what they were teaching. Ambushed. By evidence. That tells you pretty much everything you need to know about their mindset, doesn’t it? More lies:
Condoms fail 18 percent of the time, according to this woman. She said stats on that vary, but she went with that big number anyway. She told the story of a couple of teens who came across a box of condoms in which every condom had a pinhole leak. They knew this because they filled them all with water first. (They must have been super turned on!) According to Ms. Thomas, the FDA allows condom manufacturers to have a failure rate of 1 box in 400. You, son—you might be the buyer of box 400.
(Condoms do have a high failure rate—18 percent—when used improperly, according to the CDC, which is why a sex education class should cover how to use a condom correctly! Correct usage of condoms brings failure rate down to 2 percent, a lower failure rate than most hormonal birth control methods.)
At this point, it became clear to me that while this was not technically abstinence-only sex education, it was terror-based sex education. By now, we had learned that sex is associated with drug abuse, drug overdose, disease, unwanted pregnancy—pretty much every horror you can name except shingles and Lawrence Welk.
And that good girls say “no,” and you don’t want you no slut who says “yes.”
Lies, slut-shaming, ignoring evidence. That’s all this is. And it not only should not be allowed, it should be illegal to commit such educational malpractice in public schools.