Sex Education in Schools: Comprehensive or Abstinence Only

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What type of Sex Education do you favor?

Comprehensive Sex Education
25
76%
Abstinence-only-until-marriage Sex Education
4
12%
Other (Please explain your views)
3
9%
Don’t Know / Don’t Care
1
3%
 
Total votes : 33

Sex Education in Schools: Comprehensive or Abstinence Only

Unread postby James » Sun Jan 05, 2003 10:28 am

A while back a member of this forum, one I will not single out, stated that condoms did nothing to stop the AIDs virus (a statement which is untrue – the virus is contained within sperm, which a condom restricts). The other day I was speaking with one of my friend’s relatives, 15 years of age, and in a school-based sex education program. He told me that condoms don’t do anything at all.

To put it plainly I was shocked. I wanted to know where the hell people were getting this sort of misinformation. I never heard anything like this while I was in high school or jr. high, and I can’t imagine parents putting down the positive values of condoms – they tend to attack the actual act of sex itself. But hearing this was enough to make me suspicious (when combined with the original statement in this forum by another person of around that age), so I started looking into it.

Well… I have found what I believe is the problem – the source of this amazing (not to mention deadly) ignorance.

As sexual transmitted diseases became more commonplace in society, there was an outcry for comprehensive sexual education in our schools. Even young members may remember when this was all over the news. I remember the sex education programs when I was in school, they were complete jokes, and apparently over time two different educational approaches to this issue have developed. Now that I have looked into it, I wonder how on earth I didn’t know about this earlier.

The two school approaches are called comprehensive sex education (preventing the spread of STDs by means of knowing what you need to do in order to stay safe in sexual relationships – basically full sex education) and abstinence-only-until-marriage education (which aims to prevent sexual diseases by attempting to get children to keep away from sexual interaction until marriage). Can you guess what is most supported by parents, political leaders, and religious influence? The later. What is supported most by children that are aware of both programs? The former. Abstinence-only-until-marriage sex education is a heavy political influence, supported by parents, and organizations make political contributions to further it. President Bush is planning to donate 33 Million in this year to this type of program.

Definitions:

MTV.com, one among many sources wrote:Comprehensive sex education provides teens with a full range of information about sex. These programs acknowledge that abstinence is the best way to prevent unintended pregnancy and STDs. However, they also teach about the use of contraception - such as condoms and birth control pills - and how to prevent unintended pregnancy, STDs and HIVs if you are sexually active.

Proponents of these programs believe that abstinence-only education leaves young people unprepared if they do decide to have sex, and increases their risk of an unintended pregnancy or contracting an STD.

Abstinence-only-until-marriage programs promote abstaining from sex until marriage as the only way to prevent unintended pregnancy and STDs. These programs do not discuss contraception or condoms except to talk about their rates of failure.

Proponents believe that discussing contraception implicitly suggests that premarital sex is okay, and therefore promotes premarital sex.

You may wonder why I care enough about the issue to write a post like this for it. It is because, after research, I have decided that Abstinence-only-until-marriage education is dangerous and promotes ignorance. The educational approach is to use scare tactics and selective education to make children afraid of sex before marriage. Classes discuss in detail the dangers of these diseases, but they refuse to discuss protection and safety (like condoms, for example) because they “might give the children a motivation to try sex”. In many states religious leaders and schools teach that these methods do not work and that you should never rely on them. You should instead not have sexual interaction at all.

Pardon my blunt speech, but wake up you ignorance morons. Teenagers are at a point in their lives in which they will be experimenting with sexual interaction no matter what you tell them. We cannot keep children away from it just because they don’t know about it, the desire for human interaction kicks in with puberty, it is not learned in school. Sure, this may work great for children in religious families that have somehow been convinced that sexual interaction before marriage is immoral (ironically adults that believe in this are the primary supporters), but what about the vast majority that don’t buy into this belief? What about those of us who want to do a little bit more than kiss our girlfriends? What about those of us that have learned to try the things that everyone else tells us we shouldn’t? What does Joe think to himself when Ben tells him how marvelous sex is?

Children will have sex before marriage, and they will have sex at young ages. Nothing anyone does will ever stop this. Abstinence-only-before-marriage sex education teaches them that this should not be done, but it leaves them with no information should they decide to break the rules. They will not know how to protect themselves, they will not know the risks, they may even think that there is no point in using a condom because they were told in school it doesn’t help. Umm… hope there is room in the family for a new baby or sexually transmitted disease.

The terms “education” and “misinformation” are not synonyms people. You may be furious with me. You may believe that your kids wouldn’t ever experiment with this sort of thing. If that is you, you have obviously forgotten what a lust crazed monkey you were at that age, or maybe all you remember and know today are fear. Do your children a favor and do not depend on word of mouth to keep them alive and without illegitimate children.

Sexual education should be a detailed comprehensive course that covers how to use condoms, how to use birth control, phone numbers for things like planned parenthood, the dangers of STDs, how to protect against them, the risks of being too active in a sexual nature, and everything else along those lines. We should not attempt to “teach” them by telling them they are wrong and hoping to make them afraid, we should be teaching them the dangers, how to protect against them, the reality of the world around us in relation to these issues, and then we should let them make their own decisions with accurate information instead of dangerous misinformation.

Some feel we should even provide condoms and related items in school. This I disagree with though, it is too dangerous to make them freely available, as sexual interaction at a young age when there can still be heavy pressure and ignorance is not something we should promote. Limit it to detailed information, make sure they know everything they need to know, and then let them make their own choice. If you are a good parent you will also sit down and talk to them about this in full detail and with honestly. If you are a good parent you will not make threats, you will not tell them it is going to send them to hell, you will not use fear.

You may want to take some time out to let your representative know how you feel on this issue, especially if you are opposed to it. People wonder why STDs are a problem, call for education, and instead try to scare children away from sex. As I said before, it doesn’t work.

Care to debate this? Do you agree? Please post your thoughts. :)
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Unread postby Zhou Gongjin » Sun Jan 05, 2003 11:14 am

Well I knew everything about STDs, AIDS and pregnancy before HIgh School because of my parents. I learned some new stuff with Sexual Orientation but to be fair, I didn't need it.

The abstinance only method isn't reliable since kids these days don't listen to that advice and want to get layed as much as possible. I can understand that, but it's not my way of life. Two faithful partners completely rules out the chance of STDs, as long as you're hygenic (sorry I can't seem to spell today).

In schools I feel they should do the same here, show what your penis looks like when you have an STD (now there's a vivid picture that I remember from those videos) that will scare the shit out at least some of the kids. But I think at that age (14/15) they should have a wide variety of education for them at school. Meaning that the teachers need to explain what STDs are, how you can get them, how you can prevent them, how serious they are etc etc.
With teen pregnancy, I feel a lot of sexual education is waste. In Europe I cannot count the times I saw the ads, hear the lectures etc etc. But even with that teen pregnancy and abortion is rising. Why? Because we're giving kids an easy way out. Pregnant? Have the baby sucked out! Easy as that! I know a girl who had 3 abortions, and she is 19, and when I ask her why not use protection? She tells me she doesn't like condoms. :shock:
Teens would rather use abortion than a condom. I think therein lies a horrible lesson.
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Unread postby Rhiannon » Sun Jan 05, 2003 8:32 pm

I'm in favor of the comprehensive sex education program, but let me digress for a moment about home attitudes toward sex and pregnancy.

My parents never issued me a single concern or warning about STDs. Never. However, my mother (I live in a Christian household) went through all the immoralities of having sex before marriage, with the disclaimer "But if you're going to have sex, get on the pill."

Am I the only one who has had such a poor home approach to sexuality? Besides it being a taboo topic at home (well, with my mother at least), I was expected, I suppose, to gain all of my information from school. God save me if I hadn't had the comprehensive program both in highschool and in college.

The greatest problem I think with the comprehensive education program is that it's not fully comprehensive. Oh, it is with birth control and STDs; I'm talking about in the ways of sexual alternatives. Abstinence. Abstinence is not just not having sexual contact with another person, and that's what kids/teens hear, and they go "How sucky, screw that, let's have sex."

I have a mixed idea myself of when abstinence should be applied and when sex is okay. But I don't view abstinence as an all-sex-barred thing. With easy precautions, things like petting and masturbating your partner are perfectly safe and still sexually pleasing. I remember reading one couple's abstinence plan which set limits: sexual petting/masturbation is okay daily, oral sex with precautions 1-3 times a week, sexual intercourse once a month with full precautions. It can also be noted, this couple had been fully sexually active before, and found that this method promoted a deeper intimacy and sexual excitement/pleasure.

Most kids view sex as one of two things: a blowjob or intercourse. How sad. Why can't comprehensive sex ed programs teach the variety of sexual pleasure as well -- that masturbation is OK, that oral sex goes both ways, that there's a multitude of ways of pleasing your partner (and that sex should be pleasing both ways, something that was never said in my highschool sex ed programs). I think ignorance isn't just in the STD/Pregnancy department. It's also in knowing your alternatives.

The other issue I have with current comprehensive sex-ed is that it tends to cut short its pros and cons of different contraceptives, limiting it solely to "This method works xx% of the time." It ignores facts like birth control pills being catalysts for feminine cancers and not working if not used precisely as directed; like condoms with spermicide (and spermicide itself) causing extreme allergic reactions in women; like the pain and discomfort of feminine condoms and how easily they can be dislodged; like the availablity of ECs (emergency contraceptives). I found out about birth control pills through the news. I was using them primarily for period-pain-control, but I decided to stop using them because feminine cancers run in my family, as does high blood pressure (which I don't have, but my mom does, and her doctor just ordered her off the pill). I learned about spermicide allergies while reading a book. I learned about feminine condoms through a classroom student presentation. I learned about ECs through a magazine. That doesn't cut it; these things should be being taught in the comprehensive sex ed programs.


Abstinence until marriage is a personal choice based on personal beliefs, just as much as a choice of someone who perhaps wanted to have oral sex and ONLY oral sex with their partners to avoid getting pregnant. These programs thus are failed and weak. You can't teach a kid to accept a belief he doesn't want to accept. Comprehensive sex ed still encourages abstinence; and for those who want to believe it or try it, great. For those who don't want to do so, there needs to be alternatives discussed. Comprehensive sex ed teaches to ALL various alternatives, including abstinence. Abstinence does not.
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Unread postby Justin » Sun Jan 05, 2003 10:49 pm

I am in favor of comprehensive education. I recall my sex ed classes in the great state of Utah and agree with James that they're a complete joke. Kids are going to having sex wether you want themt or not. It is in your best interest as a parent to prepare them as fully as you can. It's a scary world out there sexually with AIDS and STD's running rampant. I want my children to know the dangers and to be safe if they decide to have sex before marriage.
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Unread postby Xiao Gui » Mon Jan 06, 2003 12:49 am

Well, you know where I stand. 8-)
Anyway, I will provide two great stories:

Globe and Mail Editorial: (in my own words to cut it short)
A female university student has a roommate who sleeps naked. She too started to sleep naked, because it feels great!! When she went home, her mother discovered this great habit. Know her daughter’s roommate also sleeps naked, the mother demanded her to sleep with cloth on, because homosexuality is extremely sinful, and she doesn’t want her daughter to go to hell.
Mother’s logic: one female naked + another female naked in the same room = nudity is homosexuality.
This is one great example of terrible parental guidance (ignorance) on sexual education.

A friend of mine:
When she was in grade 8, a guy bumped into her in the school hallway and their lips touched. Well, an accident happens right? Anyway, my friend broke into tears and ran into the counselor’s office yelling that someone had just raped her and now she is pregnant. She thought her life was ruined, because she had to drop out of school to raise a baby. The chaos ended with a lawsuit from the boy’s parents for damaging reputation and psychological trauma. Other students called my friend the “XXX (her name) the innocent” until she moved to another school (I believe it was a catholic private school).
She never talked to be ever since, and I believe she was also thoroughly traumatized from the humiliating experience.
This is another great example of terrible parental guidance (brain-washing) on sexual education.
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Unread postby Travis » Mon Jan 06, 2003 2:43 am

James wrote:A while back a member of this forum, one I will not single out, stated that condoms did nothing to stop the AIDs virus (a statement which is untrue – the virus is contained within sperm, which a condom restricts). The other day I was speaking with one of my friend’s relatives, 15 years of age, and in a school-based sex education program. He told me that condoms don’t do anything at all.


That was me, don't be afraid to individualize me out :lol: It's been done before, I'm already notorious.

I know here in the south (USA) it's abstainence-only. But what kept me from looking into it scientific aspect of it was, I didn't care my reason was mostly religious to start. Yes, I agree these people shouldn't misinform. If you are going to teach them about the dangers of Sex, atleast present all the facts.
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Unread postby Gaara of the Desert » Tue Jan 07, 2003 10:08 pm

Comprehensive should teach it's possible to pass through in a number of ways. Although not a certainty it does happen. I just read my sisters magazines, taught me absolutely everything.
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Unread postby Lion's Mane » Wed Jan 08, 2003 3:46 am

Going to a Catholic School for my Sex Ed has taught me one important life lesson.

Never let someone whom is sexually celebate teach a Sex Ed class.

I was taught that sex was wrong. I was taught masturbation was wrong. I was taught that cucumbers were wrong (don't ask). In fact, I think I was taught that having dirty thoughts was wrong, having an erection was wrong, and wet dreams (which one has little control over anyway) were wrong too.

Of course, I already knew about sex by that time. I knew people whom lost their virginity in sixth grade. And they deemed it necessary to tell me about it. I dunno why.

Like has been said so many times already, comprehensive sex education would produce the best results. Ignorance may be bliss, but curiousity killed the cat, as it were. Teenagers would be better equipped in life knowing the consequences of the actions they may take. Abstinence sex education seems to only indicate that everything will be fine as long as you don't get caught. Which I'm sure you all know is quite wrong.
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Unread postby Asellas » Sat Jan 11, 2003 5:07 pm

I think sex education is needed in schools and benefits us very well.It teaches us the responsibilties you have in later life if you get someone pregnant.If you got someone pregnant without protection,like collegers having sex not thinking about the dangers of the female getting pregnant it could make the pregnant girl very depressed and the male would have to worry about the girl and the child,then their life would be ruined and could affect schoolwork and their success.So i agree,there should be sex education in school however a lot of students in my school just laugh and don't take it seriously but it is what life throws at us and there the ones at suffer.This may sound like a lot of bull**** but it is the truth.
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Unread postby James » Sat Jan 11, 2003 5:11 pm

Taishi Ci99 wrote:... So i agree,there should be sex education in school however a lot of students in my school just laugh and don't take it seriously but it is what life throws at us and there the ones at suffer.This may sound like a lot of bull**** but it is the truth.

We are actually talking about two different types of sex education, not whether or not it should be allowed in schools. That isn’t really an issue any more.
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