Thursday, June 14, 2007

Comprehensive Sex-Ed bad

"Abstinence Education" good... (at least until the pants drop). So sayeth that bastion of self-righteous ignorance and draconian dark-ages judgmentalism, "lifesite":

"SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, June 13, 2007 ( – One of the largest and most comprehensive studies of teen sex education, conducted by Dr. Stan Weed of the Institute for Research and Evaluation in Salt Lake City, shows why abstinence is the most successful method of preventing physical and emotional complications resulting from pre-marital sexual activity. The study (see followed the education and behavior of over 400,000 adolescents in 30 different states for 15 years.

The final report, entitled “Abstinence” or “Comprehensive” Sex Education? begins by pointing out the flaws in a national study on abstinence released by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. Conducted in April 2007, this previous study examined the progress of teens who participated in four different abstinence education programs. The final report indicated that abstinence education was ineffective and that young adolescents should receive “comprehensive” sex education, that is, sex-education that teaches about various sexual behaviors and “safe-sex” methods."

This reads like the unwritten rules of blogging debate: when your argument is weak, attack the opposition's research methodology. If you have to start the debate by using that tactic, well that doesn't say much for the point you're trying to make, now does it?

Not that the abstinence-floggers don't have a point. Certainly abstaining from sex is the best way to avoid STD's, pregnancy, and what lifesite ominously refers to as "emotional complications". In fact, I'd highly recommend teens to abstain. But back here in Realityland we know where goes the road that's paved with good intentions; sometimes it takes a hard right off Abstinence Avenue and careens down Lust Lane. I don't know if anyone at lifesite can remember being a teenager, but I sure can, and sometimes the world just suddenly went all "pants optional" through no fault of our own. (Driven by forces we couldn't control!)

I guess the "abstinence only" idea is to take control those salacious forces, grab them and wrestle them to the ground (and then kiss...just kidding!!!). As nice as it would be, clearly not everyone has that kind of control, no matter how abstinently-educated they are. So kids need to be taught that, while it's probably the best option, abstinence doesn't always win out when put to the test. Just in case, they need complete and comprehensive sex education; anything less does them a grave disservice. And that's not saying "go for it", that's saying "be aware and be prepared".