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Abstinence Only sex "education" - Page 10

post #181 of 221

yeah, I never heard 'you probably won't abstain.'  actually, we spent more time on how to say no so we COULD abstain.  our sex ed wasn't great and lacked quite a few things but it definitely wasn't a message to have sex.  Half of my friends were virgins upon graduation.  Not everyone has sex but everyone does need to know how to be safe when they DO start having sex, even if all they learn is that they don't want to risk the side effects of hormonal birth control.  I will agree though that comprehensive sex ed often still leaves out information due to time and funding constraints.  My school needed more as well, but we definitely weren't told that most people won't abstain and to not bother.

post #182 of 221

I have to agree with what eclipe wrote.  Mother of Mercy, it sounds like you definitely did NOT have a comprehensive sex-ed class.  Now, my sex-ed class in middle school was far from ideal (it was taught by a grump PE teacher who acted like every second of it was pure torture for him) but I distinctly remember getting a sheet with all forms of contraceptives discussing their effectiveness (and what percentage of time they were effective) and it was ALWAYS emphasized that abstinence was the only 100% effective method.  There was also a lot of discussion that most people don't use contraceptives correctly 100% of the time so that the statistics are if anything somewhat inflated.  There was never once a single mention of "oh, you'll probably have sex anyways" at all. 

 

BTW, I was a kid who got ZERO sex-ed from my parents (very, very conservative household).  Basically, I was told that it was evil outside of marriage.  Eventually my stepmom (she's not particularly conservative like my mother) asked at one point if I need any protection when I was already in college but that was the extent of it. 
 

Ldavis I'm guessing the decrease in effectiveness is entirely due to user error.  Couples probably become more relaxed after a year of not getting pregnant and start getting lazier about how they're using it.  Besides maybe some couples are actually TTC during that time, who knows? 

 

post #183 of 221
Quote:
Originally Posted by physmom View Post

I have to agree with what eclipe wrote.  Mother of Mercy, it sounds like you definitely did NOT have a comprehensive sex-ed class.  Now, my sex-ed class in middle school was far from ideal (it was taught by a grump PE teacher who acted like every second of it was pure torture for him) but I distinctly remember getting a sheet with all forms of contraceptives discussing their effectiveness (and what percentage of time they were effective) and it was ALWAYS emphasized that abstinence was the only 100% effective method.  There was also a lot of discussion that most people don't use contraceptives correctly 100% of the time so that the statistics are if anything somewhat inflated.  There was never once a single mention of "oh, you'll probably have sex anyways" at all. 

 

BTW, I was a kid who got ZERO sex-ed from my parents (very, very conservative household).  Basically, I was told that it was evil outside of marriage.  Eventually my stepmom (she's not particularly conservative like my mother) asked at one point if I need any protection when I was already in college but that was the extent of it. 
 

Ldavis I'm guessing the decrease in effectiveness is entirely due to user error.  Couples probably become more relaxed after a year of not getting pregnant and start getting lazier about how they're using it.  Besides maybe some couples are actually TTC during that time, who knows? 

 

Hmm ok I see that.

Maybe I am just not getting the wording, eh I don't know really I'm tired it's past my bedtime!nut.gif

 

I do know that my sex ed class in high was pretty high up on the abstinence will guarantee you don't get preggo or an STD...it was repeated a lot. 

 

 

post #184 of 221

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ldavis24 View Post



Hmm ok I see that.

Maybe I am just not getting the wording, eh I don't know really I'm tired it's past my bedtime!nut.gif

 

I do know that my sex ed class in high was pretty high up on the abstinence will guarantee you don't get preggo or an STD...it was repeated a lot. 

 

 


Ditto the bolded part. Abstinence was included in our sex ed class as well and presented as the definitive way not to get pregnant / STDs.  

 

post #185 of 221
To people who think abstinence only education should be in public schools:

Witholding information from children is immoral to me. You dont keep secrets from curious bodies that could be damaged because of lack of information. This is education we are talking about. Jeeze. The information is out there. They will find out, I promise.
I think the following things are immoral: CIO, blindly formula feeding, vax (to some extent), genital mutilation, divorce at the drop of a hat, lying, and a long list of other things. But I know about all of them. I know a lot about all of it, because in order to form my opinion, I did all the research.

Dont you want your children to learn the same critical thinking skills that you have? By withholding information from your children you are teaching them to make decisions based on YOUR beliefs, YOUR research, YOUR opinions. Secrets dont make the issue go away. Wouldnt you rather the issue come up now, while they are young and you can talk to them about it? Because if they dont learn about it until they realize that their college campus will sell anyone who walks in the door birth control for $10 a month, do you think they are going to ask you to talk to them about it then?

Here's a list of misinformation that my high school's abstinence only program did not correct because we never discussed it:

You cant get an STD from giving blowjobs.
You can just take 7 birth control pills in a row if you had a condom break and you need to make sure you arent pregnant.
Condoms work (not in a wallet, not in a glove box, not in extreme heat of any kind)
STD's are nasty and you will die from them. Ummm, no there is treatment for most STD's. You arent going to die from crabs.
You should like to the nurse at the health department and tell youve already had sex because they wont give birth control to virgins.
You cant get pregnant if you have sex and put a condom on right before ejaculation.
Birth control works as long as you take it at the same time every day.

And if only someone had addressed that last one, and told me that bc doesnt always work, even if you take it at the same time every single day. If only someone had told me that it didnt work when you took antibiotics, maybe I would have made completely different choices. Maybe it wouldnt have led me to make the decisions that led me to make other decisions to have an abortion (no flaming please) because I thought I was safe, but I wasnt. You know why I thought I was safe? Because no one ever really told me anything about what I was doing. I had to figure it out on my own because there was no one to tell me how shit worked.

So, yeah, I think abstinence only programs are crap. For the birds, way out of date, completely unrealistic, and dangerous.

By the way, my mother doesnt believe in birth control and was very pro abstinence only education. My sister has already been pregnant twice, shes 19.
post #186 of 221


 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mother in Mercy View Post

 

Since my kids are only 18 mo. and 2 months old, I haven't really thought about this yet, but my initial feeling is to say that

 

Part of my extreme annoyance at this point is that I have TEENS who've had sex mis-education in public school. I'm there, in the trenches, in the real world.  Your views are unconsidered and don't have anything to do with what is going on in public schools today. 

 

The main problem that folks have with sex ed, whenever the program disagrees with their beliefs, is not that their kids will get information (I should hope not anyway) but that they get advice--that is, they get told what to do.

 

That statement is one of the reasons why some parents are against abstinence only education. The goal is advice.

 

The problem with emphasizing the innocence of all the "facts" they get in sex ed is that it's not just an open-minded, informative experience. It's a context which inevitably involves pressure on impressionable kids through either the benevolent guidance of authority figures or the goading of peers.

 

I think that kids are more likely to get neutral facts if the goal is neutral facts. Abstinence only doesn't have that goal. The goal is to tell kids to not have sex, so they twists facts and lies to make a case for that.

 

Pretty much the blaring message every teen hears from childhood in this culture is "USE CONDOMS AND THE PILL OR YOUR LIFE WILL BE OVER. You can't possibly choose not to have sex--that's ridiculous! Nice try, you'll be pregnant next month."

 

And this is based on what? Your kids were told this in public school?

 

Seriously, you might try listening to those of us who currently have kids in public school. You are so off base. 

 

My local public high school, which has a day care center for the babies of students, can't have a poster in the nurses office that says were kids can get real information about BC and access to BC. The glaring message kids get about sex from school and home is, for the most part, "Don't talk to us about it."

 

 

Which leads me to my second point: anti-abstinence parents, don't worry about it. If they didn't hear it from you they'd hear it from TV. Abstinence is not the norm, people. Stop acting like your kid might up and wait 'till marriage, despite all of your sage advice.

 

I don't have a problem with my kids knowing that some people value virginity. To me, that is simple a fact. I was more OK with abstinence only education BEFORE my child went through the program. Afterwards, I can really see how the program would stop someone from using BC and condoms. I feel and hope and pray that I thorough counteracted that message at home. But it is an extremely dangerous message. We as a nation are teaching our teens that they can't control their fertility.

 

In conversations I have with other moms of teens, I'm shocked at how many parent cant'/won't talk to their kids about sex. The notion that parents should talk to kids about sex is SO true, but most parents drop the ball. It's far easier to say that parents should talk to their kids than to actually talk to your kids. Many parents can't even bring themselves to say "to make a baby, the penis goes in the vagina,"  much less get to the real nitty gritty, and explain that it feels so good that people do it a lot, far more times than the number of children than can afford or care for.

 

My kids have access to good information at home, but most kids don't.

 

 

stop worrying if you want your kids to know about sex. Information about biology/preventing its natural goals is not hard to come by in our TV/internet age. If you want your kids to know how not to get pregnant/get their "partners" pregnant, tell them yourselves or (if you're too shy) give them the addresses to websites you approve of.

 

Seriously? You think TV is a good source of information about sex? You think a teen looking for information about sex on the internet is a good idea? Holy cow, I can't imagine the sites they would bring up with that kind of goggle. (Oh, right, your kids aren't old enough to goggle, so you aren't dealing with the possibility of porn popping up if they phrase a question the wrong way.)  As you said before, you haven't really thought about it.

 

Oohh-kayy, I'm feeling a little personally attacked at this point.. .....

Basically, I think the problem is that people tend to react against what their parents did wrong --

 

My views don't have anything to do with my parents. They have to do with sex mis-education in public schools today, a subject which you don't know anything about, which may be why you feel attacked. You are arguing about a subject that you don't know anything about.

 


 

 

post #187 of 221
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post

You know why I thought I was safe? Because no one ever really told me anything about what I was doing. I had to figure it out on my own because there was no one to tell me how shit worked.
 


hug2.gif  I'm very sorry for what you've been through.

 

 

 

post #188 of 221
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post




hug2.gif  I'm very sorry for what you've been through.

 

 

 

I want to second this and thank you adalinesmama for sharing your story! It is an important one to hear, it helps connect that kids are or are not taught about sex has real consequences for those kids.
 

 

post #189 of 221
Ok, I have read the whole thread and here is my observation:

I don't have time to go back and provide multiquotes to support this premise (although the evidence is certainly there) but what I am seeing from the pro-abstinence education camp is not just a problem with what is being called "pro-contraceptive" sex education, but public education in general. Off the top of my head I believe that something akin to: I don't want some self appointed expert telling stuff to my kid that our family values don't jive with.

So I think there is a deeper issue at work here: A complete disregard for the effectiveness of the public school system. So honestly folks it doesn't matter if the kids are being taught about sex or being taught about American imperialism, nobody is going to get anywhere with this discussion without the understanding that its really the whole concept of public education that is being debated.

Granted as a public school teacher I am biased, but the insular argument (our family is an island that needs to be kept free from damaging outside influence) in support for homeschooling drives me batty.

And for what it is worth my husband grew up in one of those families where sex was a taboo subject. He never got any kind of sex talk from his folks. This coupled with the very, very damaging religious education he received at church left him hating himself for wanting something so dirty...for years. Years. And I think that kind of self loathing has a very negative impact on one's sexual identity for the long term. Way to go family irked.gif.
post #190 of 221

In light of recent posts, I want to mention that my son got comprehensive sex ed last year. He already knew most of it, as I've been pretty open and upfront about this since he was a very young child. His sex ed involved doing a lot of his own research on the effectiveness of various methods of contraception, both with respect to pregnancy prevention and the prevention of STDs. He had to research the risks and benefits of each kind of contraception, including percentage success rates. This all included research on abstinence, which was very easily determined to be the only 100% effective way of preventing pregnancy and/or STDs. There was absolutely no advice about what sexual choices he or his classmates would/will make - none. There was no assumption that they were going to have sex, no matter what, so here's what they had to do. There was no assumption they weren't going to have sex, so none of this applied to them. There was research and there were facts. There was discussion about why one source might say such-and-such method was 75% effective, and another source might say 80%. There was research and discussion about what was required to improve effectiveness (eg. taking the pill at the same time every day, making sure the condom was put on correctly, etc.). They also researched the "rhythm method", although I don't think they did actual NFL...I may find out who to talk to about that. (I don't think my other kids will be going to public school, but it's still important information for all teens, imo.)

 

I expected not to like the sex ed curriculum, but I had absolutely no issue with it at all. It was totally fact-based, and made no assumptions about what the teens were or weren't going to do. DS1 has a couple who are friends of his going back to elementary school, who now have an almost one year old baby girl. DS1 is, I believe, still a virgin. Teens are people, and they're all different, and they're all going to make their own decisions.

post #191 of 221
Cham girl- Well said!

I, like your husband, got my sex talk from church, and a few basics from parents. Having a high sex drive and being bisexual, I had to go through years of therapy to recover from some of the stuff I had been told about my desires and identity, and my husband and I still have to deal with my break downs and rage over being made to feel bad about myself growing up. My promiscuity after high school (lost my virginity at 19 or so, believing that I was just doomed to be a horrible person because of my attractions. My partner was very helpful and kind, and we were very much in love, but I still believed I was sealing my fate by doing it) should have tipped people off that I was suicidal...seeing as how I still believed almost all sex results in AIDs, and most other STDs are fatal.

I know the solution is not insulation, and I just wanted to mention that when I said homeschooling, I more meant for the younger years, particularly when opposing viewpoints are just kind of accepted because a grown up said it. I also like the idea of a co-op, though I'd have to judge based on the particular co-op, and choose based on our needs. My idea is that around JR. High, my kids have to make a choice for high school: homeschool, private school or public school. If they say homeschool, they'll be getting their GED and starting community college, because I don't think my husband and I can give them a good high school education on our own (super smart as we are) and they NEED to socialize. It won't solve all the problems I have with this stuff, but it will keep my kids from getting taught too much religious/politically slanted stuff (public schools in Texas can be pretty bad) until they can think more independently and come to their own conclusions. I have nothing but respect for most of the teachers I have met, and if there was a high school composed of you, my husband's aunt and the really nice biology teacher who had to sub for one of my classes in college once (poor thing didn't know how to teach adults and we wound up coloring pictures of ducks), I'd likely be fine. But that's not how it works, especially where I'll be in Texas.

So just wanted to tell you your husband isn't alone, and hopefully to drive you a little less batty with the home school talk. I am aware of the problems it can bring about (I was homeschooled first grade to HS grad, had to take a bunch of remedial courses in college), and know to be flexible and base my decision on my kid, rather than my fears (not that they are invalid, just that fear-based decision making can lead to disastrous results). Hopefully this might calm a little bit of your concerns. I hate the insulation is the only solution mindset too.
post #192 of 221
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mother in Mercy View Post

Which leads me to my second point: anti-abstinence parents, don't worry about it. If they didn't hear it from you they'd hear it from TV. Abstinence is not the norm, people. Stop acting like your kid might up and wait 'till marriage, despite all of your sage advice.


Wow, just wow. Up until now I was just lurking in this thread but this yikes2.gif
It simultaneously insults people objecting to "abstinence only" sex-ed, and makes their point.
First of all, just because I oppose to teaching someone's religious views to teens in public schools instead of facts that doesn't make me "anti-abstinence" or hoping that my kids have sex. The "sage advice" I hope to impart to my kids when they are old enough would be to make informed choices and consider consequences of their actions. This statement is twisting people's words and is rude and uncalled for. nono02.gif

Second - if abstinence is not the norm, shouldn't we provide teens with factual information rather than lie to them about the use of birth control and hope that they stay scared enough? Sheesh
post #193 of 221

Hi all!

 

Just a reminder to keep the conversation polite.  Disagreement is welcome, insults are not.  I'm only on page 4 so far, lol.

 

Please feel free to PM me with any questions or concerns!

 

Thanks,

TiredX2

post #194 of 221
Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2 View Post

Hi all!

 

Just a reminder to keep the conversation polite.  Disagreement is welcome, insults are not.  I'm only on page 4 so far, lol.

 

Please feel free to PM me with any questions or concerns!

 

Thanks,

TiredX2


I wish you luck. 

 

post #195 of 221
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by treeoflife3 View Post

sure it was, it was just much more dangerous as you were likely to get it in a back alley.




My mom was an ER nurse back in the early 1960's.. she could tell the most heart wrenching stories of girls who died because they'd let some butcher "help" them or they tried to force a miscarriage themselves. Either they ended up bleeding out or they had slow, horrible deaths of sepsis. No one wants to go back there.
 


Except for the GOP which wants to outlaw abortion entirely again.  There has been an assault on women's reproductive rights this year, and its disgusting.

 

post #196 of 221

yeah, I'm not sure if they just don't CARE that women will still be having abortions, only dying from it a lot more often or if they honestly sincerely believe that if it is illegal, no one will do it.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post




Except for the GOP which wants to outlaw abortion entirely again.  There has been an assault on women's reproductive rights this year, and its disgusting.

 



 

post #197 of 221
Quote:
Originally Posted by treeoflife3 View Post

yeah, I'm not sure if they just don't CARE that women will still be having abortions, only dying from it a lot more often or if they honestly sincerely believe that if it is illegal, no one will do it.
 



 



Actually, I don't think its either.  I think its really to decrease the already very little reproductive health access there is to poor underprivileged teen girls and women.  This keeps them poor, uneducated, and unable to pull themselves out of poverty.  It continues the widening of the gap between the rich and the poor, and further decreases the middle class.  For the GOP, I think its an economic strategy to put the rich far and away above the poor - its just labeled as a moral argument to get people all up in arms, while disguising the actual motivations.

 

ETA - I just wanted to add that this is my own personal opinion, and as I am not a member of the GOP I really don't know what their intentions are - I'm also not trying to start a debate.


Edited by Super~Single~Mama - 4/28/11 at 7:15pm
post #198 of 221
Quote:
Originally Posted by treeoflife3 View Post

yeah, I'm not sure if they just don't CARE that women will still be having abortions, only dying from it a lot more often or if they honestly sincerely believe that if it is illegal, no one will do it.
 



 


Well, I'm sure they realize that they will create more of a class/race schism if they do manage to outlaw it. The wealthy will take their daughters on a plane ride to someplace where it is still legal and safe. The flip side I leave to your imaginations.. mine can be quite lurid on this issue.

Okay.. we aren't supposed to debate abortion on MDC so I'm stopping now.
post #199 of 221



I'm going to reply to each quote individually.  I've spent close to an hour replying and accidentally deleting!!!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

To me, the only solution -- at least the only one that I can think of, though I don't even know if it would be logistically & financially feasible for some school districts, would be for each school to offer 2 programs (simultaneously or consecutively) and allow parents to choose which program their child attends. This would guarantee that all -- all but a few who still choose to opt out, that is -- would get sex ed, but would avoid infringing on people's personal or moral beliefs & religious freedom.



To me, though, that would be like offering two basic arithmatic classes---- one that only covered addition and one that covered addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.  To say that the first gives a full education of arithmetic would be, quite simply, wrong. Abstinance *only* education is not a full reproductive options education. 

 


 

post #200 of 221


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ldavis24 View Post

Personally I don't think a teenager should really have a choice in whether or not they receive comprehensive sex ed. they NEED to receive it. Period.

Maybe some of them think they don't need it or don't care but I would make it mandatory. It is health issue. It can be a PUBLIC health issue when it is related to STDS, they don't get to opt out of learning how to prevent the spread of diseases at the very least.

 


ITA.  The purpose of public education, that I know of, is to prepare children to be fully functioning members of society.  Part of being an adult is making decisions about your sexuality.  The way I have come to think of it is this way: most schools make it a goal that 100% of their graduating seniors are prepared for Freshman (in college) English. But, in reality, not even 50% of those seniors will actually go on to take a college English class.  Meanwhile, it's pretty safe to say that well over 90% will go onto have a sexual relationship.  So, for society, it is actually more important to prepare children to make *those* decisions.  I also would make this arguement for budgeting, financial literacy, basic household skills including cooking, and so on.


 

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