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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » RE sex ed rant

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Author Topic: RE sex ed rant
Djuna
Activist
Member # 29269

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Anyone who went to Catholic schools knows the 'joys' of Catholic sex education.
I've only recently found out how many lies I've been fed by my RE teacher. I got on really well with him, but now I'm almost too angry to think about it.
For instance, we were told pro-choice meant pro-abortion. We were told that doctors and nurses are trained to lie to their patients to get them to have abortions.
For instance, in a lesson on contraception, we were told that the only options the Catholic Church allowed were abstinence and the 'Rhythm Method', that is charting your cycle to work out when you're fertile or not. We were told that if the woman doesn't miscount, it's foolproof and WILL work. I learnt here recently that you have to measure basal rates and mucus levels for years for this to be any kind of accurate.
The last one in particular scares me, because people may have been put in danger of STIs and pregnancy by that. My teacher tried to hint that we should use condoms and probably the Pill with them, but all he could do was hint, he was too scared to come out and say it. Because the Church says he's not allowed to.
We were also told that IVF is wrong because it is against the dignity of the embryo, and also because the man has to masturbate to produce the sperm, and that's 'not allowed'.
Well here's the thing: I've left that school now for college. And because I've got a day off soon, I'm going back to say hi and let people know how I'm getting on. And part of me wants to talk to my RE teacher about all the people he put in danger, and all the perfectly normal, healthy practices he condemned. But do you think it's a bad idea? Or should I do what I can to make sure people get better sex ed?

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“In a strange room, before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are filled with sleep you never were. I don’t know what I am. I don’t know if I am or not... how often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.”

Posts: 1269 | From: London, UK | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
wobblyheadedjane
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 11569

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I think this might be a better fit for Sex Ethics and Politics, so I'm going to move you over there, okay?

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Unlucky at cards; lucky at love.

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DarkChild717
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 139

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In all honesty, that one day you're planning on would probably be better spend volunteering with, say, your local planned parenthood. Unfortunately, talking with one teacher won't do much. You're quite right: his hands are tied by the governing body which has influence far beyond your one classroom.

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Caylin, Scarleteen Volunteer
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Posts: 2789 | From: The Evergreen State | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Djuna
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That's a good point I guess. I'll look into doing some volunteering. By the way, we don't have Planned Parenthood specifically in the UK, it must be called something else. Does anyone know what the equivalent is?
Also, does anyone know who (if anyone) it's worth writing to within the Church about this?

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“In a strange room, before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are filled with sleep you never were. I don’t know what I am. I don’t know if I am or not... how often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.”

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ladydexter
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Brook family planning clinics are probably the closest equivalent, but there are a lot of smaller sexual health clinics out there too. There's one in three locations in the country called Central Youth which is basically the same thing, and I know there are other variants of the service operating under different names in Manchester.
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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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There's also Marie Stopes.

http://www.mariestopes.org.uk/

I actually have a different opinion about talking to your teacher (especially since a 15-year-old male getting a volunteering spot with a birth control org is going to be unlikely to happen). I think it could be worthwhile, especially if you can ask questions and be calm and level in voicing your feelings.

At least it'll maybe make that teacher think?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Djuna
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Ouch. My brain hurts. I'm all confuzzled now. [Smile]
Yep, now you mention it there's just about no chance of the volunteering (and let's face it, I'm already a member of this site to try and help people, while learning at the same time [Smile] ).
Here's the weird thing: my RE teacher was a something of a radical (as RE teachers go), and he'd often said to me about how he didn't really follow many of the rules the Church had put into place, how he didn't particularly like organised religion. And he encouraged me to read around in texts the Church forbids Christians to read (such as the Gnostic gospels, for those who were wondering). So he'd probably agree with my views. I'm guessing he'd be able to do little about it though - he's not head of RE and I don't know the Head of RE too well because he's never taught me.
Here's the big problem though: this man was great to me. He really helped me at times. And while I'm mad about the fact that I found out he lied to us, I don't want the last time probably that I talk to him to be negative.
I really appreciate all your help, and I have to say that I've never found myself thinking differently to you about something, Miz Scarlet.
That's no offence meant to you, Darkchild, just I feel I know her a bit better probably.
Anyway, I feel it's important that I say this stuff to him, but I'm sort of afraid of the fallout.
Finally, do you think it might be worth asking him to recommend this site in sex ed lessons?

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“In a strange room, before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are filled with sleep you never were. I don’t know what I am. I don’t know if I am or not... how often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.”

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wobblyheadedjane
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You could ask, but I doubt it'd happen, either because of your teacher's own hesitation over it, or because the school would not allow it to be spoken about. As an institution goes, Catholic schools are under the heading of private schools which means like it or not, they follow the teachings of the Church. I've known teachers of mine who were reprimanded/fired for going outside the allotted material, or for believing in things other than Catholicism, unfortunately.

I've had some really good interactions with a young woman here in Ontario who teaches Catholic sex ed to teens. She teaches them that it's cool to love your bodies, and to enjoy sex, and that oral sex isn't a dirty word. She also teaches that sex before marriage, masturbation and condoms are not allowed under the rules of the RCC and that the rhythm method is the way to go. We did walk away agreeing to disagree, and I thought that at least there were people out there who were passionate about their faith and passionate about teaching teens (especially young women) that there was nothing wrong or shameful about their bodies and their sex drives. Yes, there is a lot of things that the Church doesn't cover, like it's heterosexualist slant, or people who don't want to get married, have children and the like, but I never felt attacked by my friend's POV and she never felt threatened by mine, which at least shows that disparate ideas doesn't have to get in the way of good dialogue and shared ideas.

So don't write off speaking with your teacher as a negative experience - it could be a very good experience, for the both of you.

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Unlucky at cards; lucky at love.

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Djuna
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I'm not sure what that means really - sort of yes but it'll make little difference.
Is there more point in asking a teacher at my (secular) 6th form to recommend Scarleteen? Problem being I don't know the relevant people well.

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“In a strange room, before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are filled with sleep you never were. I don’t know what I am. I don’t know if I am or not... how often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.”

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wobblyheadedjane
Scarleteen Volunteer
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I don't see why you couldn't advertise Scarleteen at your college. In fact, on the main site there used to be a poster that users could download expressly to promote the site. I've also handed out the link to ST at safer sex talks at my college.

As per my previous story, it was to illustrate that two people can be coming from different points with regards to sex ed, and it can still be a positive experience per learning about one another, even if you can't come to a point of agreeing. Plus, positive and respectful dialogue can do a heck of a lot more for your point than coming from a negative place, you know?

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Unlucky at cards; lucky at love.

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Djuna
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Ok then, thanks for the advice! The whole thing will now be a mature discussion instead.
What happened to that poster? Did it get taken down through lack of popularity or something? Because it would be real useful. If not I could mock-up something on my laptop with screenshots of the logo and parts of the background.

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“In a strange room, before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are filled with sleep you never were. I don’t know what I am. I don’t know if I am or not... how often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.”

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Dude_who_writes
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 5640

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Probably more along the lines of got lost in the shuffle during a site update. Here's the link: http://www.scarleteen.com/flyer/index.html

[Smile]

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Tim

The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances; if there is any reaction, both are transformed. -- Carl Jung

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Djuna
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Member # 29269

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Thanks. [Smile]

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“In a strange room, before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are filled with sleep you never were. I don’t know what I am. I don’t know if I am or not... how often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.”

Posts: 1269 | From: London, UK | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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