Want Extra Credit? Submit to Guilt, Shame and Misinformation


My fight began when my 13-year-old
daughter came home from her public school about a month ago with a pamphlet
she wanted me to sign for extra credit points in her health class. Being
the person I am, I read the pamphlet and then I read the worksheets
she had worked on in health that day. Then she and I had a very lengthy
discussion.  

The topic for the day? Pledging
virginity until marriage. 

As I wrote in an earlier blog, the pamphlet and the worksheets were
being utilized as a piece of an abstinence-only-until-marriage program
that had begun that day in her health class.  

There are two main reasons
why the fight I am now engaged in against this program is one that every
parent should pay attention to.  First, the content of the program
that was being taught to my daughter was unconscionable.  Abstinence-only-until-marriage
programs use guilt, shame, and fear to encourage our children to apply
a particular agenda to their lives.  According to these programs,
only monogamous, heterosexual, two-parent, married families are acceptable. 
I tried to imagine how a student with loving parents at home who happen
to be a same-sex couple would feel learning these lessons.  How
would the child of divorced parents or a single mother feel? For the
many students in my daughter’s school who self-identified as gay,
or the countless who are raised by a single parent, I wondered just
what effect this might have on their life and sense of self worth.  


Tami Sanderson of Loveland, OH is outraged when her 13 year old daughter comes home from school with a virginity pledge and materials promoting abstinence from sex before marriage. The Governor of her state has refused all federal funding for these programs which don’t work. But Tami is having problems convincing her local school board to stop using these materials.

The content of these programs
is often driven not by the desire to protect and educate young people,
but to surreptitiously promote a certain set of religious beliefs. 
In my case, the organization doing the promotion is the Pregnancy Care of
Cincinnati Ministries

Their abstinence-only-until-marriage program utilizes worksheets, games,
videos, and trainings from similarly aligned group; Heritage Community
Services

A review of this South Carolina-based organization’s
curriculum by the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the
United States (SIECUS) found that it relies on messages
of fear and shame and promotes biased views of gender, marriage, and
pregnancy options.  As an example, one lesson instructs young women
that they "have a responsibility to wear modest clothing that doesn’t
invite lustful thoughts" while implying that young men cannot control
their own sexual behavior.  Programs like this, that foster myths
and stereotypes, should have no place in our schools.   

We need education that protects
all students regardless of choices they or their parents have made by
educating with facts.  Forcing an agenda that aligns with a particular
moral code of conduct – specifically one that aligns with the far-right
wing of the Christian church and ignores the diversity of religion,
culture, sexual orientation, and race – is totally unacceptable. 

The second reason that parents
should be concerned about my fight is that I have become all too familiar
with the phrase "you can’t fight city hall."  I have found
that the established institutions – in this case the district administration
and school board – will fight with every ounce of their breath to prevent
full, truthful disclosure and the right of a parent to participate in
her child’s education.  This was evident during the meeting with
my curriculum board and the three members of Pregnancy Care of Cincinnati
Ministries who apparently were invited to convince me that we should
teach kids that sex should only be engaged in within the boundaries
of marriage.  I felt that my input was not taken seriously, and
that I was included not as a parent with a valued opinion, but simply
in order to placate me. 

Since the beginning of this
ordeal, I have made 52 phone calls, researched for countless hours,
spoken to over 30 students in my school district, and attended the curriculum
board meeting at the board of education. I have made a request for
the curriculum used in my daughter’s school, but the district’s
superintendent says he can’t give it to me because it is copyrighted. 
Pregnancy Care of Cincinnati Ministries has also told me they are consulting
with their attorney about my request and will get back with me in a
few days.  Copyright or not, I certainly have the same right to
see this curriculum as I would to see a copy of my daughter’s math
book.   

I have done all of this in
an attempt to get someone to listen, to usher in change regarding sex
education on the part of my local school district.  My attempts
have fallen on deaf ears.  


Judith Pindell of Advocates for Youth in Cleveland explains how faith-based organizations, flush with federal money, can bypass state policy to implement fear and shame-based abstinence programs in public schools.

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  • invalid-0

    Thank you for continuing to fight for your child’s right to a decent sex education. We need more parents like you. I hope you hang in there.

  • invalid-0

    I am impressed by your willingness to take on the system, and saddened that more parents aren’t as involved. I just read a book on the Dover trial. As I was reading it occurred to me that there are many parallels between sneaking religion into the schools via creation science, and sneaking religion into schools via abstinence only education. I’m afraid it will take a similar trial to once and for all oust abstinence only education from the public school system.

  • invalid-0

    I think it’s the lowest of the low when people go about trying to get young girls to pledge their virginity till marriage. I consider it to be misogynistic and just overall stupid, and I consider abstinence-only education to be lying to children and it should be banned from the public and private school systems.

    Kids, especially young girls, need to be taught everything about sex from intercourse to sexual health to protection. It’s okay to have sex, as long as you do it with someone you care about and you use protection.

  • invalid-0

    Thanks for fighting the good fight. I live in a socially conservative area, too. If it weren’t for information on the web and the library, I’d be lost.

    May I recommend looking into either a Unitarian Universalist Church or United Church of Christ near you. They share a comprehensive sex education curriculum that both types of churches provide to children whose parents grant permission to participate. I think Reform and Reconstructionist synogogues include a comprehensive sex ed component in their rites of passage classes. But I’m not entirely sure about that.

    Your daughter may be too old for those classes, but being around other kids and families who share the same caring, responsible quest for complete sex ed information can be supportive. You’ll probably find people who are simpatico with your values in general.

    Good luck! Don’t let the cons try to make you feel like an outsider and alone.

  • progo35

    What I find interesting is this post’s focus on the program’s aim of trying to get teenagers to abstain from sex until marriage, with only a mention of the degrading caution that girls have a reponsibility not to incite the passions of males. What is really the problem here? Shouldn’t the piece and the mother involved be more concerned with that kind of message than with the abstinence message? The fact that abstinence continues to be the focus on this piece, and not the stereotypes involved in the program, indicates to me that the concern is not over guilt and shame, but over the aim of getting teens to abstain from sex in the first place, which, it could be argued, goes against the progressive, sex as freedom agenda. Are you really concerned about stereotypes, or with the idea that young people might actually embrace the abstinence message? I’m left wondering.

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • progo35

    Moreover, everything on that handout she showed in the video is true-having sex outside of marriage, or at least a monagamous relationship, puts one at a much higher risk of HPV, HIV, unplanned pregnancy, Herpes, and emotional pain. Condoms DO break. So, that particular worksheet should not have been the focus of the video.
    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • progo35

    I am not for or against abstinence only education, in that I don’t have a problem with teaching kids about safe sex, and I don’t have a problem with teaching them to be abstinent. But, I also think it’s obnoxious that Tami, who obviously has talked to her daughter about sex, feels that her views about sex should actually be forced on people via the classroom. Some parents don’t want their children to be indoctrinated into the liberal viewpoint at school. Tami should give other parents the right to talk to their kids about sex and not try to force her viewpoint on other children and families. I really think that Tammi’s fight is ideological rather than concern for her daughter. Her daughter isn’t being negatively impacted by the abstinence program in the way that Tami cites because Tami has already talked to her about sex. Personally, it’s an empty fight.
    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • invalid-0

    What is really the problem here? Shouldn’t the piece and the mother involved be more concerned with that kind of message than with the abstinence message?

    No. Why? Gender stereotypes suck, but the absence of sexual risk mitigation in the curriculum is the more problematic form of ignorance. Not knowing e.g. how to use a condom properly can have much more immediate and damaging consequences than yet another echo of our society’s screwed-up messages on gender.

    That’s not to say that getting rid of the gender stereotypes isn’t an important objective in itself. But the priorities here are exactly what they should be.

    The fact that abstinence continues to be the focus on this piece, and not the stereotypes involved in the program, indicates to me that the concern is not over guilt and shame, but over the aim of getting teens to abstain from sex in the first place, which, it could be argued, goes against the progressive, sex as freedom agenda.

    Then your indicator is broken. Comprehensive sex ed, as everyone here has been advocating, includes abstinence as a matter of course. The point is not to say you will have sex or you will not have sex; the point is to inform, accurately, what the facts are on either approach. Yes, abstinence is the safest way. If young people embrace that, fantastic. But if they become sexually active—and this is going to happen, sooner or later—then they know what to do to reduce the risks.

    Please don’t fall into the trap that many other ignorant commentators have fallen into, of saying that giving accurate information on sexuality is tantamount to encouraging young people to engage in sex. Jodi has the stats that say otherwise.

  • invalid-0

    But, I also think it’s obnoxious that Tami, who obviously has talked to her daughter about sex, feels that her views about sex should actually be forced on people via the classroom. Some parents don’t want their children to be indoctrinated into the liberal viewpoint at school.

    And what exactly is this “liberal viewpoint” on sex? Does it include tenets like “using a condom can reduce the risk of contracting an STD, or causing pregnancy?”

    Tami should give other parents the right to talk to their kids about sex

    I didn’t know Tami was taking this right away from other parents. Bad Tami! Give those back!

    I really think that Tammi’s fight is ideological rather than concern for her daughter.

    Maybe it’s both. If the latter is strong enough, the former often follows. Ever heard of John Walsh? Seen America’s Most Wanted?

    Her daughter isn’t being negatively impacted by the abstinence program in the way that Tami cites because Tami has already talked to her about sex.

    You could say that for the other parents. You could say that to any parent who is unhappy with their child’s quality of instruction. Does the algebra teacher suck? Heck, teach it yourself! The P.E. coach not drag his butt around? Take some time off work, and bring your kid to the gym! Why doesn’t everybody just home-school their kids, so we don’t have to worry what public schools are or aren’t teaching?

    Personally, it’s an empty fight.

    Which is why Tami is headlining this article, and actually doing something about the problem, and you’re just heckling her from the peanut gallery.

  • progo35

    I know that educationg young people does not result in them having sex, but I think that Tami’s outrage in this matter is overblown, as if abstinence programs are some form of child abuse. 

     

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • progo35

    "Personally, it’s an empty fight.""-No, I mean in terms of how it affects her daughter/affects Tami personally, not how it affects me personally.

    As for teaching kids about sex yourself, THAT’S THE PARENT’S JOB. That is a private matter for families. Such education wasn’t included in the original reforms making public education accessible to all. Such reforms didn’t start until around the 1920s when skills that were formerly taught at home began to be taught at school via home ec, etc. It was part of the Progressive Educational Reforms of the 1920s and 30s, which, by the way, indoctrinated kids into whatever social norms were prevalent at the time, including female submission, etc. 

     

     

     

     

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • invalid-0

    No, I mean in terms of how it affects her daughter/affects Tami personally, not how it affects me personally.

    Ah. So, kind of like your whole campaign against Peter Singer, then.

    As for teaching kids about sex yourself, THAT’S THE PARENT’S JOB.

    And looking at the stats on STD epidemiology and teenage pregnancy, they’re doing a bang-up job of it, aren’t they?

    That is a private matter for families.

    I don’t recall the rising prevalence of STDs and teenage pregnancies being “a private matter for families.” It’s very much a public matter, with public consequences, and a legitimate target of public policy.

  • invalid-0

    I wouldn’t want an ideological religious ministry teaching my children anything in a public school. I would choose one of their churches and/or schools for that.

    Effective, science-based, age-appropriate comprehensive sex ed includes an abstinence-only component. It also explains that a monogamous relationship between two healthy partners prevents transmission of STIs. However, it doesn’t assume that people will always be monogamous because they aren’t. Reports of pious politicians who cheat on their wives are proof that taking marriage vows didn’t protect those wives from STI exposure. (And that’s assuming those wives have kept their vows and haven’t exposed their husbands to STIs.) A well-designed comprehensive sex ed program doesn’t use fear, guilt, shame, gender stereo-types, and prescribed gender roles. Instead it attempts to instill a sense of confidence to carefully weigh all the facts and to postpone sexual relationships. It also tells kids to seek advice from their parents, and if their parents aren’t approachable, to seek advice from another adult family member or from the school nurse or from clergy.

    The virginity pledge being sent home was a clear hint, if not proof, that a religiously-based sex ed program was being taught to Tami’s daughter. From there Tami looked into the program and determined that it was religiously-based, and she provided a link to a review by SIECUS that determined that the ministry used by the public school to teach sex ed used fear, guilt, shame, gender stereo-types, and prescribed gender roles as tools to encourage children to adopt that ministry’s moral code and conduct.

    Tami’s blog is a story, with a beginning, middle, and end, about her experience. The beginning of the story deals with reviewing a virginity pledge. Tami continues with a middle and end to her story that is about more than just the virginity pledge itself.

    The only thing Tami omitted regarding virginity pledges is that they don’t prevent unwanted pregnancies or STDs, even when the children signing them do so with sincere intentions and whose beliefs align with the teaching ministry.

    If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament. (Florynce Kennedy)

  • progo35

    Anon-your comment about Peter Singer is ignorant and illogical. First of all, Peter Singer supports infanticide against disabled infants. In short, he supports legalizing murder and re-insituting a eugenic mindset full force, disguised as compassion. I have to wonder how Tami likes being compared with an infanticidal
    ableist who wants to legalize killing certain groups of people.While I disagree with Tammi’s view on this particular topic, she isn’t doing "wrong" in fighting for better sex ed. In contrast, Peter Singer wants to legalize things that are very wrong. So, get your analogies straight, please. Secondly, I fail to see how the quote you referenced has anything to do with Peter Singer or the disabled community’s (not my personal) campaign against his ugly rhetoric.

    As I’ve said, I am not against comprehensive sex ed. What I am against is demonizing abstinence only education as something horrible that inevitably includes harmful stereotypes and misinformation. It bothers me that the focus is on the abstience itself, rather than flaws in the overall program. And, while unplanned pregnancy and STDs impact society, they are the result of personal decisions and thus belong in the personal, family realm. I am not against comprehensive sex ed, as this can help teenagers who do engage in sex know how to use protection correctly, etc. But, I do not view abstinence education as some sort of evil, theocratic tool to indoctrinate people, particularly when most of the parents involve approve of the education. Ultimately, there should be a balance, which I didn’t see in this documentary or blog entry.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • invalid-0

    Anon-your comment about Peter Singer is ignorant and illogical. First of all, Peter Singer supports infanticide against disabled infants. In short, he supports legalizing murder and re-insituting a eugenic mindset full force, disguised as compassion. I have to wonder how Tami likes being compared with an infanticidal ableist who wants to legalize killing certain groups of people.While I disagree with Tammi’s view on this particular topic, she isn’t doing “wrong” in fighting for better sex ed. In contrast, Peter Singer wants to legalize things that are very wrong. So, get your analogies straight, please. Secondly, I fail to see how the quote you referenced has anything to do with Peter Singer or the disabled community’s (not my personal) campaign against his ugly rhetoric.

    So, it’s an empty fight for you personally, then.

    What I am against is demonizing abstinence only education as something horrible that inevitably includes harmful stereotypes and misinformation.

    It doesn’t inevitably have to include harmful stereotypes and misinformation, but it usually does—not unlike, say, anti-abortion talking points. And even if it didn’t have these problems, addressing abstinence alone leaves a pretty gaping hole in the knowledge young people will need in life. Like teaching how to fly a plane, but not how to land.

    It bothers me that the focus is on the abstience itself, rather than flaws in the overall program.

    The main flaw in the overall program is that it only teaches abstinence. Like the pilot-school analogy—there’s nothing wrong with teaching how to fly a plane, but if you don’t also teach how to land, your students are going to into problems when they take the controls of an aircraft.

    And, while unplanned pregnancy and STDs impact society, they are the result of personal decisions and thus belong in the personal, family realm.

    They might belong there, but the impact on society makes it necessary to address them publicly. Hey, deadbeat dads are a personal family-realm thing too, but we sure as heck have laws to make them cough up child support.

    But, I do not view abstinence education as some sort of evil, theocratic tool to indoctrinate people, particularly when most of the parents involve approve of the education. Ultimately, there should be a balance, which I didn’t see in this documentary or blog entry.

    Education based on fear, guilt, ignorance, and gender stereotypes, versus one based on accurate facts and respect for everyone involved. Why not split the difference?

  • progo35

    "So, it’s an empty fight for you personally, then." You crack me up. First, you accuse me of having a personal vendetta against Peter Singer and ignore the disabled community’s mutual ire toward him. Then, when I cite the fact that "my campaign" is shared by the entire disability rights movement, you make assertions interpreting my words as stating that Peter Singer’s bigotry is meaningless for me personally. It’s not becoming to mistate other people’s arguments. 

     

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • invalid-0

    It’s not becoming to mistate other people’s arguments.

    Oh, so it’s not an empty fight for you, personally, then. Maybe it’s not an empty fight for Tami and her daughter, personally, either.

  • colleen

    It’s not becoming to mistate other people’s arguments. 

     

    As you’ve developed missstating other people’s arguments into something resembling an artform I’m amused to see that you acknowledge this.

     And, no, working to prevent the religiious right from poisoning the minds of vulnerable childen is never an empty fight. Particularly when we have to pay for it in so many ways.

     

    The only difference between the American anti-abortion movement and the Taliban is about 8,000 miles.

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

  • emma

    Perhaps some parents – including Tami – don’t want their children indoctrinated into the conservative viewpoint.

     

    Jesus christ on a goddamned bicycle (cookie for anyone who gets that reference!). The ‘liberal viewpoint’ isn’t, as you imply, ‘go out and fuck everything that moves’. The ‘liberal viewpoint’ is, essentially, that abstaining until you’re old enough and secure enough to have sex is a Good Thing. We also acknowledge, however, that some adolescents are going to have sex regardless, and it is better for them to know how to protect themselves. It also teaches them how to protect themselves when they are older and ready.

     

    I went to a Christian (Anglican) girls’ school, and we had comprehensive sex education. We put condoms on bananas. We had an HIV positive guy give us a talk on the importance of condom use. We had a gay person talk to us about acceptance, and the fact that homosexuality is perfectly natural and ok. Most of us didn’t go out and start screwing around at the age of 14. We didn’t all become lesbians. What our education did was teach us not to be hateful homophobes, and how to protect ourselves from unwanted pregnancy and STIs when we *did* become sexually active. For some, that was in our teens. For others, it wasn’t until our twenties.

     

    I just cannot see how such education was a Bad Thing.

  • jayn

    It’s not an either/or equation here.  A comprehensive sex-ed program teaches both safe sex AND abstinence, and it’s not about teaching a particular viewpoint–it’s about giving kids all the information they need to make their own decisions.

     

    Abstinence-only education doesn’t really allow for healthy discussion about sexuality–it’s pretty much ‘don’t have sex’.  The program I was fortunate enough to take part in covered far more, not only safe sex but the different myths surrounding sex that we were likely to hear, as well as emphasis on not letting someone push us into sex if we weren’t ready for it.  It was in some ways empowering, in that the focus was to equip us to make our own choices.  Even now, over a decade later, having had that education helps me to make choices about sex in my marriage, and it gives me a foundation to start from when exploring my own options.

  • invalid-0

    Moreover, everything on that handout she showed in the video is true-having sex outside of marriage, or at least a monagamous relationship, puts one at a much higher risk of HPV, HIV, unplanned pregnancy, Herpes, and emotional pain.

    Sex: you’re doing it wrong.

    …Shoulda gone to those comprehensive sex ed classes, eh?

  • invalid-0

    Some parents don’t want their children to be indoctrinated into the liberal viewpoint at school.

    And, astonishingly, some parents don’t want their children to be indoctrinated into the conservative/right-wing Christian viewpoint at school. Stalemate?

  • invalid-0

    the fact that this is a public school should render all of this moot.

    It is pretty shocking that a public school would bring this abstinence pledge nonsense into the fray.

    It is NONE of their business nor their role to teach morality. They should just teach the BIOLOGICAL FACTS of reproduction and STDs and leave it up to parents and family to instruct on right/wrong.

    Good luck fighting this.

  • http://www.15andcounting.org invalid-0

    Good luck with your fight! You might want to sign the petition for sexual rights for all at:

    http://www.15andcounting.org

  • invalid-0

    Tami,

    In 2001 the abstinence-only sex ed teacher in my daughter’s 10th grade health class said this, “Condoms were meant to protect you from pregnancy not HIV.” I was livid. That will kill a child. I’m waiting for a parent to sue these programs and schools when their child contracts HIV or an STD or becomes pregnant because these curriculums lie about the failure rates of contraceptives and condoms and they discourage condom usage for sexually active teens. I started the ball rolling but it took many many hours and heated discussions and even a threat to sue the school district to get action. There was 2 incarnations of a community group to pick an appropriate curriculum. I was apart of the second committee along with abstinence-only believers but for the sake of our sexually active teens and after my 54-page report on the deceptive curriculum http://www.lifeandlibertyforwomen.org/cpc/AlphaCenter103003.pdf we – The Poudre School District Health Advisory Board (Fort Collins, CO) came to a consensus: abstinence-based comprehensive sex ed was the right way to go. We chose to write our own abstinence-based Comprehensive sex ed curriculum for our 7th and 10th graders. We wrote the curriculum with input from curriculum experts in the district. Tami, it took 5 years to get this accomplished and the opposition tried to have me removed from the committee at one point.

    If you would like to correspond about what we did here and what you might do now email me: peggy@lifeandlibertyforwomen.org

    I’ll try to help in anyway I can.

    Peggy Loonan, founder and executive director, Life and Liberty for Women

  • invalid-0

    I forgot to say Tami, you have every right to view that curriculum and sit in on any and all of the sex ed classes in your school district you want. I sat in on 19 of their presentations in our jr and sr highs and took notes. The director of the so-called crisis pregnancy center – The Alpha Center – told me that I made her presenters nervous. Really? Wonder why? Could it be they knew they were lying about contraceptive and condom failure rates among other things? — I would contact your local ACLU about forcing them to show you a copy of the curriculum and force them to give you access to their presentations. Or you might threaten to sue the district and the provider (s) of the curriculum if you don’t get a copy and get it now or if they try to deny you access to their presentations. The last thing the school district wants is to spend money to defend a lawsuit. Our community isn’t as conservative as yours but they are trying to intimidate you.

    Finally, I would even consider a protest – even if it’s just you out there – in front of the school and at the so-called crisis pregnancy center. I’m no stranger to protests even a protest of 1 – me. It is a strategy that can work especially if it brings in national news media.

    Again please feel free to contact me.
    peggy@lifeandlibertyforwomen.org

  • invalid-0

    Are you kidding me? — EVERY teen should be given this handout – every abstinence-only sex ed should give these out to teens – it is the truth about condoms – the WHOLE truth. Why won’t these curriculums hand this out? Because it says opposite of what they say about condom effectiveness. It makes liars out of them.

    Peggy Loonan

  • invalid-0

    This would be an effective strategy. It certainly is courageous. I remember the following scenario being played out on TV back in the mid 90s and later recounted by Jennifer Harbury, in her book Bridge of Courage:

    From Amazon’s website:

    After carrying out multiple hunger strikes, in 1995 Jennifer Harbury forced the CIA to reveal that one of its paid agents had murdered her husband, Efrain Bamaca Velasquez, whose nom de guerre, Comandante Everardo, has become a symbol of freedom in Guatemala. In Senate Intelligence Committee hearings the CIA admitted to covering up its role in his death, and misleading Congress by “sweeping it under the rug.”

    A hunger strike might not be necessary. Reading PeggyLoonan’s comment made me recall Harbury’s soft-spoken, patient, and dignified protest. I have no experience in lone protests, so my comment is merely superfluous, but I had to make it.

  • invalid-0

    the risk for all those things is exactly the same whether you’re in a monogamous relationship or not. people cheat on each other, people fail to get tested for STDs, people lie about their status, people are unaware of the facts of their status (when/if they’re contagious, when/if they’re fertile, etc), and people can be abusive and coercive (which actually manifests in much more painful and terrifying ways in long term “monogamous” relationships than in shorter, less entagled ones). marriage is not a magical protection against STDs and emotional pain. being fully informed and knowing what to look out for is much more effective protection.

  • invalid-0

    A research article documenting the ineffectiveness of virginity pledges on teen sexual behavior can be found in the professional journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, named Pediatrics, by Janet Rosenbaum, PhD., Harvard University, 2009, titled Patient Teenagers? A comparision of the sexual behavior of virginity pledgers and matched nonpledgers. Conclusion: “The sexual behavior of virginity pledgers does not differ from that of closely matched nonpledgers, and pledgers are less likely to protect themselves from pregnancy and disease before marriage.”

    A detailed 2008 literature review for the Ohio Department of Health on the effectiveness of evidence-based comprehensive sexual health and adoption education is available from my office at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Division of Adolescent Medicine, 513-803-2033.

    The Superintendent of Loveland Schools is an intelligent administrator who believes the abstinence-only evaluation results in the Loveland School District are positive. I have requested a copy of those evaluation results over 5 years ago, and I have yet to receive them. I would be very surprised if they indicate a positive impact on the majority of middle school students’ behavior, attitudes or intentions.

  • invalid-0

    As a Catholic i have been taught my whole life that you should save sex for marriage and i think that teaching this in school would be a good thing. It would help to decrease the horrors of this world such as abortions and STDs.

  • invalid-0

    Keep in mind, friend, that your own ideologies and beliefs don’t necessarily reflect factual possibilities and outcomes for people OTHER than you. Your statement of “As a Catholic I have been taught this this and this, so I think it’s good” works for you. I’m glad that it does.

    But that’s what you need to keep in mind. It works for YOU. Heck, it may not even work with other Catholics.

    Others like to ask questions. Others like to learn all there is to one of the most intimate, yet risky, human activities. There are those of us who aren’t complacent; we don’t want to go in blind or be willfully ignorant.

    I recall a case where a couple had been brought up in such a strict religious environment, they didn’t know HOW to have sex. The only “comprehensive sex ed” they got was the line from Genesis where “Adam lay with his wife and she conceived.” This couple sincerely thought that, in order to conceive a baby, they had to literally lay next to each other in bed and let nature take it’s course. They did this for years, and after years of no-babies, they feared they were sterile until they went to a doctor who gave them Sex 101 there.

    Also… AO is not going to reduce the amount of abortions every year. It won’t. Consider that most of the women who get abortions are women who a) are poor and under-educated and b) do not have comprehensive understanding on the usage of contraception devices. There are also cases of people of your ilk who decide that abortions are “moral” for them, but not for everyone else.

    Marriage doesn’t make STDs go away, either. How many husbands and wives end up cheating on each other, and contracting diseases that way?

    In no way am I saying that sex before/outside of marriage is good. I’ve shaped my own opinion on the matter: waiting for marriage for sex is more convenient for me, and this is an opinion I came up with after getting Comprehensive Sex Ed, not AO. I decided that condoms are fallible devices, and I didn’t want to risk getting pregnant/STDs from any guys I was not bound to. However, it’s not up to me to legislate this opinion, because it is MY opinion, just as you have yours. In many ways, we’ve reached a similar agreement. And because of that, it’s up to us to let others make their own minds on the matter.

  • http://www.spinletslab.com/ invalid-0

    Heyyaa…. jus saw a very same blog somewhere else too !!! guess somebody’s been copyin ur stuff…