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88% of teens who promise abstinence actually have sex anyway? - Page 6

post #101 of 107
Originally posted by Britishmum
I'm in the US but dont use schools. Is it whole school boards, individual schools, states? How common?

And how extreme is the emphasis on abstinence - ie a recommendation, an ideal, anabsolute?
I've wondered that as well. Maybe you could post a question in the teens forum about what kind of sex ed their kids are getting?

Though most of the sex ed I got was lame, when I was a sophomore our HIV education rocked! It was taught by a student panel, not a health or PE teacher, and it barely mentioned abstinence at all because of course everyone knows that abstinence is a way to not get HIV! It mentioned watching pornography and going to strip clubs as sexual activities with no risk of getting HIV, and even touched on S&M games that did not involve bleeding. They talked about all the different kinds of condoms, as well as where we could get them for free. (The school did not dispense them, but the nurses would give you a note to take to the health dept and they would give you 50 condoms there.) It was great. And here I am, without HIV! I wonder what the program consists of now.
post #102 of 107
Thanks Miranda.

I am so sad for my son right now. Sad that people think HE should bear the burden for what other men may or may not do. He should watch where he walks, who he talks to.. be self conscious every moment he is out in the world because someone MIGHT see him as a predator. Maybe we should just ban men from having anything to do with children, ever, because someone COULD see them as a predator. And because, after all, men are more likely to be predators. Just a fact of life.

Maybe I should teach my son that he should be careful who he has sex with because women sometimes lie about being on birth control. Or lie about who has fathered their child. Maybe I should teach him he should be careful because some malicious women DO lie about being coerced. Those are all facts of life too. Should I parent out of fear, out of assumptions and negative stereotypes?

No, I will not. I will not bury his growing sexuality under fear and projections of the WORST of human behavior. NO. I will not do that anymore than I will bury it under a concept of "sin" that I don't believe in. I will teach sexuality from JOY not fear. He will come to know the WORST of the human condition, unfortunately, no matter what I teach him.

And discussions of personal safety and "protecting the gift" will certainly be held.. but NOT in the context of sexuality. I am NOT going to link the two in my son's mind. What a horrid, horrid message to send to my son about his sexuality.

This conversation is pointless now, I know.
I am sorry for interrupting the rest of you.
I will stop now.
post #103 of 107
Sad that people think HE should bear the burden for what other men may or may not do.
I think it's sad that women have to bear the burden of what men do to them. It was not the doing or the fault of the woman, yet she bears it.

He should watch where he walks, who he talks to.. be self conscious every moment he is out in the world
This is how women often live. It's not fair either way.

As soon as sexual assault stops being a fact of life for many people, things can get back to being fair.
post #104 of 107
Asherah, I'm sorry you feel that way.

I've tried to discuss openly and honestly and not hurt feelings, but clearly I've failed.

It seems that what I say will be taken the wrong way, and I'm sorry about that too. What else can I say?

I don't think that your son or anyones son should bear the burden for what some men do. But nor do I think that my daughters shuold have to avoid walking out alone at night or should not go out jogging wearing a walkman. But facts are, that is the way they need to live if they are going to stay safe. That's the way I live, and I'd be irresponsible to recommend that they do otherwise.

Is the reality of rape a 'negative stereotype.? Not in my opinion.

I have tried to explain clearly that I am not talking of raising my children in fear, but in a realistic way in the real world. Which sadly, includes danger. And people who are not raised by mothers or fathers who instil respect for others.

Parenting my way, I can assure you, is not out of fear. It is out of a realistic analysis of the world and how it works.

But I've tried to explain that, and as you say, it seems pointless.
post #105 of 107
I thought we were talking about SEXUALITY.
Some people apparently see sexual ASSAULT as an issue of sexuality. I do not.
I see it as a CRIME. A crime of POWER and hatred. And of course I think women need to understand the reality of it and how protect themselves. And men need to take responsibility for it.. in terms of working to change the culture that feeds it... and disowning the culture of violence we live in.

But I personally would have that be a separate discussion from SEX education. Sexual ASSAULT education is not SEXUALITY education. And I personally think mixing the two sends a terrible message.

And Greaseball.. I am really not sure what you are saying.
I am not sure how forcing my son to walk around with a metaphorical sign saying "I am not a predator" will keep women safer or make up for the c%^& they have to put up with.

And.. while I certainly do take personal safety into consideration, and try to make smart choices, I do not walk the world in fear. I have traveled all around the world alone, safely. I do not think the fact of sexual assault means women have to live in constant fear. That's one response.. but not the only one.

And I am not about to share my own experiences to justify what I am saying.. I in no way feel safe enough to do that here.
post #106 of 107
Asherah, I certainly dont see sexual assault as an aspect of sexualilty and agree that it is generally to do with power. And I certainly don't advocate mixing that with sex education, and didnt say so here.

We led onto the topic of assault and the reality of educating chidlren of the dangers from the discussion about whether we need to give boys and girls different emphasis in their sexual education. You don't think that there should be any difference in emphasis, I disagree.

As I said at the beginning, I believe it is far more likely that a girl will be coerced into having sex than a boy. That's not to say that boys wont have pressures upon them, but the likelihood of a girl being coerced is greater imo. And that would influence the way that I educate a girl vs a boy.

As for fear, I said several times that I am not talking about walking around in fear. I am talking about having a realistic view of the world. As you said, you have travelled and have made smart choices. That's what I want to help my daughters to do. What did I say that was any different to that?

As for your son or mine, no he should not go around all his life being self-consciuos that someone might see him as a predator. But if I have a son in the future, I would want to raise him too to be aware of these issues and to be mindful of where he might make a girl feel vulnerable, and where he needs to be respectful of that fact and back off. Wouldnt that also be a way of him being protected, as you say, from false allegations? That would include hanging back if following a woman on a dark street, or backing off if a woman seemed anxious by his friendliness in a park (which was my point about dh) Not that he must never talk to anyone in public - where did I say anything so extreme? But that he needs to be mindful of the issues and respectful of other people's feelings.

As far as sex ed, I believe that both genders need the same information, but sexuality is not an issue out on its own. It is a part of human relationships and as part of that, I want my girls to have the tools to withstand possible coercion (and where does 'persuasion' become 'assault' - there is a fine line, isn't there?) So my influence over all number of things will add up to give my girls a healthy view of sexuality and their power to choose. Which is what it is all about - choice.

I have first hand experience of where 'persuasion' crossed the boundaries and became imo 'assualt'. And as I said before, the teenage girl is left to carry the burden. I dont think that you can separate out the reality of that from sex ed. Schools don't need to touch upon it, but I see sex ed as my job as a parent, and I see that reality as part of the educatoin that sadly my girls will need to have. Not in a fearful way - I keep saying that, but you assume that I'm talking about fear when I'm talking about reality and practical ways to avoid danger.
post #107 of 107
I've been thinking a lot about this thread and last night remembered some research I read a while back about anti-drug education.

The researchers compared the 'Just say No' type programmes with ones where young people got to role play and practice responses to situations. They considered the whole picture - the human response to peer pressure etc in addition to the 'evilness' of drugs line.

The children who underwent the more comprehensive programme and were given practice in the language of 'no' were significantly better at saying no in future years.

It would seem to me that any sex ed programme needs to take the same approach to be successful. Give children the facts. And give options, abstinence being one of them. Then give them the language to be assertive. That might be as simple as practicing saying "I'm not going to have sex with you," (for some kids, just using the word 'sex' let alone 'no' would be a challenge), to "I won't have sex without using a condom."

Handing out ideals withuot tools to follow them thruogh is fairly useless imo, for most children. But then, I think that the responsibility for sex ed lies mainly in the home, but unfortunately imo a lot of parents are unable or unwilling to give clear guidance. Maybe because their own sex ed was lacking.
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