On Wednesday, I read a Mother Jones article about the inclusion of the Heritage Keepers Abstinence Education as one of 31 “evidence-based programs” for preventing teen pregnancy by Health and Human Service for teen pregnancy.
I grasp the general reasoning for abstinence-only education but I believe in a responsible sex ed. program that incorporates everything—consequences of unprotected sex, knowledge of STIs, preventive care, post-diagnosis care, cultures about sex, sexual identity, abuse, pregnancy, contraception and abstinence, etc.
The Heritage Keepers’ curriculum(PDF) is pretty straightforward. (Though, asking teenagers to distinguish between love and lust? Um…)
What bugs me most about these abstinence-only advocates is their hell-fire and brimstone persistence that young people (note to include unwed 20-somethings) abstain from having sex until they’re married, and offer extensive lessons in family planning as it pertains to the “traditional” mom-pop-kid family structure. I’m sure some states have no problems at implementing
and enforcing this type of curriculum, but not only is this irresponsible, but this idea isn’t applicable to the general population because not everyone adheres to the idea of this “traditional” institution of marriage and family.
Telling young people to abstain until marriage ignores the reality of diverse relationships that exist in our society.
I am by no means supporting teen pregnancy. Kids having their own kids just produces a shit storm of its own, and these kids have just put themselves on the sidelines. They’re late-teens/early twenties life will never be the same and that’s not fair.
I prefer a responsible curriculum that teaches teenagers every aspect of sex that would be relevant not only in their immediate lives, but future lives as well. It’s absurd to think that teaching about sexuality or having a thoughtful discussion about sexual orientation (even outside of the topic of human reproduction) would somehow inspire students to behave contrary to socially constructed norms.
“Through the discussion of ‘sexual orientation’ (which is now in every Missouri public school as far as we know of) our students are being taught about all kinds of sexual fetishes as though they are normal, acceptable, and even desired. It is through programs related to ‘sexual education’ that students are taught to be so ‘tolerant’ that they can no longer distinguish between ‘tolerance’ and personal acceptance, even to the point of encouraged experimentation!”
Missouri Family Network [E-alert here]
The Missouri Family Network says topics of sexual orientation is for family and church only, and unless it’s in a class about human reproduction, sexual orientation shouldn’t be discussed in the schools.