Roundup: Misinformed, Misunderstood and Misled – Why We Need Sex Education


It’s hard to decide how to properly protect yourself against unwanted pregnancies if you don’t have all the facts on both how contraceptives and even your own body works.  Australia is learning that via a recent study that shows many women are afraid to use the morning after pill, even though it is widely and readily available in the country.

The Times of India reports:

Women fear using the ‘morning after’ pill, owing to misinformation about how it works and where they can get it, revealed reproductive health experts.

In the first national study of women’s use of emergency contraception since it was made available over the counter, it has been found that majority of women do not know they can buy it without a prescription.

In fact, they also had many inaccurate beliefs.

A third believed it caused an abortion and nearly two-thirds thought it could lead to birth defects if it did not prevent pregnancy.

The study, which was conducted in Australia, concludes that without good information, especially via sex-ed programs, women will not be able to make good decisions for themselves because they are lacking understanding about their reproductive health.  Via the Sydney Morning Herald:

Leslie Cannold, a spokeswoman for Reproductive Choice Australia, said many women lacked understanding of how their bodies worked.

“We don’t have any national sexual and reproductive health education program or national standards for sexual and reproductive education,” she said. “Some kids are getting nothing and some are getting pretty questionable information”.

Naomi Knight, the chief executive of Sexual Health and Family Planning, said Australia had one of the highest abortion rates among developed countries and the study highlighted the need for better education.

It sounds so simple — increasing fact based sex education can help people make proper reproductive choices at an appropriate time.  Unfortunately, there are some who will go to great lengths to stop sex ed in schools, such as this pushback against adolescent reproductive health curiculum in the Philippines.  From GMANews.tv:

The bishops’ lawyer Josephine Imbong leafs through the pages of the sex education modules that the Department of Education (DepEd) proposes to teach in public schools. The 62-year-old mother of eight and self-styled pro-life advocate seems particularly bothered by what she’s reading.

Imbong points to a lesson for fifth-grade students about puberty, which features drawings of the male and female anatomy. Showing these images to children will “remove their sense of modesty,” she argues. “[It suggests that], okay lang naman pala mag-expose ng body. Dati, reproductive system. Ngayon, reproductive rights. Noon, biology lang. Ngayon, may rights-based na. It leads now to a concept of creating in the concept of a young mind of ‘Ah, may right pala ako sa aking katawan.’”

She flips through the teaching manual on mathematics and points to the description of a classroom activity that requires 4th year high school students to analyze statistics about pre-marital sex among Filipino teenagers.

“Imagine, you construct an algebraic equation out of statistics telling you that 30 percent of teens from 16 to 18 have had premarital sex?” she bristles. “I mean, this goes to the subconscious of the child na, ‘Uy, ang dami pala.”

Imbong speaks for the CBCP, the most vocal opponent of sex education in public schools. This school year, 80 elementary schools and 79 high schools around the country will be the first to pilot-test a set of teaching modules that integrate adolescent reproductive health (ARH) into the regular curriculum of 4th grade to 4th year high school students.

The modules integrate topics like personal hygiene and nutrition, reproductive biology, and human rights into regular subjects like English, Filipino, math, science, and social studies. At the end of the school year, teachers from the participating pilot schools will recommend modifications to the modules before deciding whether to implement sex education on a nationwide scale.

But if the CBCP had its way, the program would be scrapped completely.

Mini Roundup: Randall Terry is enjoying another 15 minutes, this time by taking a handful of protesters to Mitch McConnell’s office to protest Elena Kagan’s Supreme Court nomination. Meanwhile, Terry’s former group Operation Rescue is instigating another lawsuit in Iowa.

July 19, 2010

Abortion Hearing Begins Today – KOKI FOX 23

The Death Rattle of Hope Clinic – Christian News Wire

States try new tactics to restrict abortion – Sacramento Bee

You Can’t Take the Back Alley Out of Abortion – First Things

State Audit of Iowa Planned Parenthood Demanded in Wake of Telemed Abortion … – Christian News Wire

Sen. Mitch McConnell lobbied by protestors to hold up Elena Kagan nomination – Louisville Courier-Journal

The New Abortion Providers – New York Times

Judge extends order blocking Okla. abortion law – The Associated Press

Abortion and the eclipse of reason – RenewAmerica

This Year, Colo. Initiatives Mostly Ending In Failure – State Bill Colorado

Pennsylvania Poll: Pro-Life Pat Toomey Still Leads Pro-Abortion Joe Sestek – LifeNews.com

NM move to cover abortion in high risk pools prompts feds to ban coverage – The New Mexico Independent

Palin Endorses Ayotte In Senate Race – WMUR Manchester

Battle Continues Over Abortion In High-Risk Insurance Pools – NPR

Review: Obama Admin Would Have Funded Abortions in HCR Without Expose’ – LifeNews.com

Maryland Plan Indicates HHS Approved High Risk Pools With No Abortion Requirements – Lifesite

Banned TV Episode Has Its Day on DVD – New York Times

Who’s Telling the Truth About Health Care? – FOXNews

Crist Uses Old Party as New Foil – Wall Street Journal

Surgeon General Koop Urges No Vote on Kagan Based on Abortion Manipulation – LifeNews.com

Anti-abortion group calls off UVic lawsuit – CBC.ca

Maryland and New Mexico Emerge in the Abortion Health Care Scheme – CitizenLink

Federal Funding for Abortion Under ObamaCare Stirs Controversy – allvoices

CD8: Paton Endorsed By Arizona Right to Life – Tucson Weekly

Anti-abortion group gets funding, settles lawsuit with UVic students’ society – Winnipeg Free Press

Abortion foe pickets McConnell office – Cincinnati.com

Abortion returns to campaign forefront – Washington Times

Oklahoma’s abortion law stays blocked for now – NewsOK.com

Abortion Excluded From Health Care Coverage – Care2.com

Jost Jousts – Commonweal

Morning after pill awareness shortfall – Sydney Morning Herald

Documentary Revealing Truth About The Pill Now Available Online – Philadelphia Bulletin

Washington pharmacy board making new Plan B rules – Seattle Times

NJ health chief is questioned about Christie’s $7.5M grant cut for family … – The Star-Ledger – NJ.com

Birth Control’s Hidden Costs – Mother Jones

Only Half of HIV-Exposed Infants in Africa Receive HIV Prophylaxis – Medscape

Clinton, Gates push for more efficient HIV/AIDS programs – The Republic

Save mother’ campaign to reduce maternal mortality – Times of India

CBCP: Sex ed will cause ‘developmental harm’ to kids – GMA news.tv

July 20, 2010

HHS rules in PCIP Abortion Issue – Gossip Jackal

Race-Targeted Abortion: Today’s Greatest Civil Rights Challenge – American Thinker

RU486 abortion trial set for October – Sydney Morning Herald

University anti-abortion club reborn after court challenge – Vancouver Sun

Pro-abortion groups turn on Obama – California Catholic Daily

LET’S TALK ABOUT…SEX! – The Moderate Voice

Sarah Palin’s NH endorsement includes geography goof – Boston Herald

Bitter pill to swallow – The Spokesman Review

Obama administration calls for end to HIV-specific criminal laws – Michigan Messenger

Gel helped women in study block HIV infection – Boston Globe

Federal Report: HIV Among US Poor Matches Rates in Developing Countries – AOL News

Misinformed women fear the morning after pill – Times of India

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

Follow Robin Marty on twitter: @robinmarty