Abstinence or Science Based Sex Ed?

I’m off to Harrisburg today to volunteer to do some lobbying for the bill proposed by Planned Parenthood to endorse age appropriate, scientifically fact based sex education in our schools.  Gov. Rendell has accepted the Bush Administration abstinence only funds every year while our children go without actual sex education in their schools.  Abstinence only education has been proven completely ineffective.

Grade school children need age appropriate education to teach them about predators and inappropriate advances by adults.  Teens need comprehensive education to teach them the real facts of life.  Teen pregnancy hasn’t decreased at all through the current failed policies so it is time to adapt appropriate teaching methods.

As a point of disclosure I am a Board member for Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates.

2 thoughts on “Abstinence or Science Based Sex Ed?”

  1. …as someone who has worked professionally with juvenile sex offenders and has had other professional dealings with convicted adult sexual offenders, I cannot emphasize the need strongly enough that children need to be fully, accurately, and honestly taught about the sexual aspects of life, their own selves, with respect to gender/orientation, and how to properly deal with this in their lives.  

    I know a boat load of people who are gonna get all huffy about how dare I suggest that someone other than a child’s parent is more able to teach their child about sex or to simply withhold it from them, because their faith or values don’t jive with such educational information.  Well, I got some news for all of those people; wake up and smell the coffee and realize that life and factual reality will NOT give one DAMN about what your sensibilities and values are, because the one thing your kids can control is themselves and how to identify properly how to deal with sexual aspects of life, development, and interaction with others.  I’ve known dozens of people in college who were part of the Catholic Student Ministry group on campus and ardent believers end up pregnant and dropping out because they never really got much of an education about how to deal with the factual realities of being a human being with hormones, feelings, and a libido.  

    Further, for those who think that parents alone are enough to teach children the best way to deal with sexual aspects of life, I present to you archives of data about how many juvenile sex offenders were “taught”  by their parent or a family member about sex in some  very questionable and inappropriate ways to put it quite mildly.  

    I’m NOT saying parents don’t have a role in this, they do and they should, but to simply lock the kids in a closet from life and pretend that something isn’t going to happen to your child as they sexually develop and mature, when it happens to us all at some point in our lives, is just quite frankly dangerous in the face of once again factual reality.  

    I do NOT condone reckless sexual behavior among young people and I do not endorse that we just stand back and let nature take its course.  However, we need to realize that since we are all human beings and generally possess some of the same faculties and characteristics of our basic nature, that we need to become less ignorant and more comfortable about our bodies and selves, so that a greater respect and care may be taken by succeeding generations in approaching the factual, sexual aspects of our common humanity.  

    I wish for a day when treatment facilities for kids who’ve sexually offended are no longer needed because kids know well enough not to do those kinds of things anymore.  While some might argue that we may always have some people who are predatory in a sexual way, I would counter that by saying that if we had adequate mental health laws and programs, and could break the cycle of physical sexual abuse from creating more predators, then the real number of true predators would likely be significantly reduced.  The thing is, we have a current mental health system that lacks the “balls” and will power to take care of business before it gets out of hand and we still have a lot of backwards thinking folks out there that are still plagued by generations of family sexual abuse that gets turned a bit of a blind eye to, because it is again not something we want to confront because it is ugly among other things.  

    Let us put ignorance and the fear of invading some sensibilities behind us or else we will continue to see generations of teen pregnancy, sexual exploitation, and new rounds of sexual predators to deal with.  You can’t get rid of the ugly, the horrible until you can meet it face on and do what it takes to deal with it fully and effectively that goes for this topic and many more.

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