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Sex and the Single Study

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You’d think that a Congress-mandated study—one concluding that kids who’ve taken abstinence-only courses are just as likely, years later, to have sex as those who haven’t—would put the abstinence-vs.-comprehensive-sex-ed debate to rest. But you’d be wrong. The study in question, conducted over the past few years, focused on roughly 2,000 kids from two urban and two rural communities. Half had participated in abstinence-only programs while the other half hadn’t. Still, the findings for both groups were roughly the same: 50 percent of the students had had sex, with similar numbers of partners, by age 16. “This report should give a clear signal to … Congress that the program should be changed to support programs that work,” said one comprehensive sex ed advocate, referring to the $176 million in federal funds spent annually on abstinence ed. But Bush administration officials argued that because the programs in the study were established almost 10 years ago, they don’t represent most abstinence programs today. In other words, the debate continues.

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Very Interesting! Based on this one study, and I am sure others are being conducted as I write, I would say to those on both sides of this issue that Congress should be lobbied to spend the money on
literature, books, videos, and training FOR PARENTS to empower them to teach sex education at home where it belongs! If 50% of 16 year olds, with or without a sex education program promoting abstinence or not, (it was unclear from the article if "the other half" had not had ANY type of sex education program or if they had not been part of an abstinence-only program), are having sex then good money is being thrown after lousy results! Would we be satisfied if only 50% of all high school seniors graduated from our local high schools?

Let's put the education of the "facts of life" back in the home where they belong by providing training and materials to parents so they will feel more at ease teaching whatever they feel is morally right to their own children in the privacy of the home.

My children were taught about those things early and often because as a biology teacher, I used the materials I had at school for teaching. Yet, they still attended the mandatory classes taught by the district "experts", who were only experts in teaching the approved sex ed
curriculum. Since the experts were not trained biology teachers, they would not and could not address the tough questions that students always have but are afraid to ask in a group situation. Give parents the answers to those questions in literature and/or training classes and then let those questions be answered in the safety of the home.

If parents were given free and proper training, free literature, free access to videos, etc. from the schools, perhaps more would be inclined to do their job and teach their own brand of sex education at home rather than abdicating the job to the schools.

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  • Gary Patterson, Science Curriculum Specialist: Very Interesting! Based on this one study, and I am read more

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