Thursday, July 12, 2007

Comprehensive sex ed and abstinence message

By Tom Prichard

The 2007 legislative push to mandate comprehensive sex education for all Minnesota public middle and high schools was really a Trojan horse for promotion of condoms and aberrant sexual lifestyles. Thankfully, Gov. Pawlenty's veto threat caused the unhealthy legislation to be dropped from the E-12 Omnibus bill.

Liberal legislators realize the public likes abstinence so they couch comprehensive sex ed in terms of abstinence. They say schools should take an abstinence-first approach to delaying initiation of sexual activity while also including education about the use of protection and contraception.

Yet that’s what pro-contraceptive advocates have done for years. They say, "Oh we’re for abstinence but kids should get information on contraceptives as well." Interestingly, a Heritage Foundation study of nine comprehensive sex ed curricula and nine true abstinence curricula came up with some interesting results. They found that comprehensive sex ed programs spent less than 5% of their time on abstinence and zero on marriage but 28% of their time on condom promotion. True abstinence curriculum spent over 50% of their time on abstinence and 17% on marriage.

For kids considering whether to have sex or wait until marriage, the comprehensive sex ed approach is tantamount to telling kids not to smoke but then spending the bulk of the time promoting filtered cigarettes. Or telling kids not to drink but then discussing lite beer.

It sends a mixed message which doesn’t work for cigarettes and alcohol and it won’t work for teen sexual activity. Legislators who want to mandate a condom message for our public schools are simply fuel on the fire. The ones who will get burned are our kids.

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