Anchorpoll: Does Sex Ed Prevent Teen Pregnancy?

Anchorpoll: Does Sex Ed Prevent Teen Pregnancy? September 2, 2008

I just need to ask it.

Let me state up front that I believe Sex Education is the responsibility of parents, and that a part of responsible parenting is comprehensive sex education: talking clearly, openly and often with your kids about human sexuality, natural urges, hygiene, masturbation, abstinence, forms of birth control etc, along with moral guidance reflecting your family’s belief system or “humanist” ethics.

Does anyone know what the sex-ed curriculum is in Alaska?

Having endured sex education in school, I don’t know that school is where it should be taught. It seemed pretty ineffective to me, when I was a kid. Maybe THAT is the question that some of these hysterical newscasters – who are “using” the Sex Ed question as a means to beat up Sarah Palin and her 17 year old daughter – should be asking:

I had hoped, when the story of Bristol’s pregnancy had broken, that the nation might finally engage in a real “national talk” about teen sex and sex ed. But we’re not having that talk; we’re just seeing an issue framed thusly: Sex Ed in school is an unqualified success and a “good”, and there is no argument. As I remarked to a commenter below, I do not necessarily think there is no place for sex ed in the schools, but I am also not convinced that what is being offered in the schools is particularly effective.

Here is what this laywoman knows about Sex Ed:
It started out that kids in High School “needed” sex ed, to “prevent teen pregnancies and the transmission of STD’s”

Then so many kids were getting pregnant or STD’s that it was determined that sex ed needed to begin earlier, in Junior High School!

But teen pregnancies were declared to be a “crisis”, and so sex ed needed to begin even earlier – in elementary school. And condoms needed to be free at school.

I’ve heard talking heads mention that sex ed should begin in pre-school.

And yet, teenagers, with all of this sex education, coming at them all through their school years, are still managing to get pregnant. Still managing to get STD’s. Still managing to get lots of abortions. It’s all still a perpetual “crisis.”

My kids deplored “sex ed” in school; they found it a huge waste of time because they already knew everything. The only thing they heard in school that they did not hear at home was a different philosophy.

The one we taught here was:

Sex is natural; sex is good. Sex belongs in committed relationships because sex is POWERFUL; it is the only thing we can do that creates LIFE, so it must be RESPECTED. Respect yourself. Respect women. Porn is titillatingly but it reduces people to THINGS, and most of the women involved in porn, even if they say they’re there voluntarily, are actually there because someone has communicated a message to them – probably when they were very young – that sex was all they were good for. When you reduce people to mere vessels for your personal gratification, you are committing a grave sin. Masturbation is natural, but don’t let it take over your life, don’t let it draw you into a mindset of instant gratification, and don’t make a habit of it. As you grow up and mature, it will seem less engaging and less necessary. Try to wait for marriage. If that doesn’t happen, be responsible; acknowledge the fact that you’re engaging in behavior that can end up creating a new life; be ready to take care of that new life. Be READY for sex, because it is not simply good. It is sacred and holy.

The message they got at school was:

Sex is natural, sex is good, don’t worry about prudes and moralists. You’re going to have sex. Here are condoms. Put one on a banana. See? You needed a class to learn how to do that. Oral sex is one way to keep from getting pregnant. Have oral sex. Don’t worry about those sores in your mouth. Masturbation is natural; do it all you want. Everyone looks at porn and as long as it’s not violent stuff, that’s okay, it enhances sex. Recreational sex is fine as long as you’re respectful of your partner. Sex is no big deal. Have sex, don’t multiply; if you do, you’re old enough to decide on an abortion and here are where they are offered in this neighborhood. Oh, and have safe sex. You don’t want any STD’s.

I never feared what my kids would learn at sex ed classes in school, because I’d taken care of it at home, and I’d grounded them in our moral guidelines.

Perhaps a poll? Of course it’s not scientific or representative, but still: What do you think? Has sex education in schools been effective?

Is Sex Education in Schools Effective?
Very effective
Somewhat effective
Not too effective but necessary
Ineffective but necessary
Ineffective but not harmful
Ineffective and harmful free polls
Do YOU teach openly and honestly about sex at home?
Yes, It’s an ongoing thing.
Yes, but not recently and not enough
Yes, a few times
Yes, but it was uncomfortable
No, my spouse will do that
No, the schools do that, and that’s enough
No, my church will do that, and that’s enough free polls

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