Every reasonable and open-minded study on the topic that I've ever heard of has proved otherwise. I know that in my own case none of my schools provided decent sex ed but my mom was very open with my sister and I about all the facts and I waited until I was 21. My sister started earlier than I did but she was very careful to practice safe sex, something she might not have done if she hadn't had all facts.
I think conservatives do teens a disfavor by making sex seem like something mysterious and forbidden and "grown-up". If you teach people that sex is just another part of life that we should treat respectfully and make sensible decisions about, then we handle it a lot better.
This subject is one of my biggest pet-peeves.
From the time that can remember my mom was always honest and open to answering any questions i had about sex. So by the time we started sex ed in school I pretty much new everything they were teaching us, but it was so shocking to me how many people didn't know. And how much stuff they DON'T cover.
Well anyway, from my experiences I've seen people get into more trouble because they weren't informed about what could happen if they have sex, what to do when they do have sex, and how to help themselves with STD's and STI's. And a number of other things.
But I've also seen the positive side. I knew a girl who was having sex in 5th grade. That totally blew my mind! It's because she didn't know anything about it. Just that all the older kids were doing it. Which wasn't true.
I know my friends don't know much about it. And I know their parents think if they don't tell them they won't do it. But the truth is they are more likely to do it because they don't know the facts.
I know I'm rambling. And probably not making any sense. So gonna go.
------------------ Be creative - not created
Due to lack of intrest tomorrow has been cancelled.
I think that the ONLY thing that held me back from having sex earlier was that I was educated about it.
When I was little sex was interesting and something I wanted to do because it seemed fun from what my friends were saying. I didnt know anything about STDs or AIDS or accidental preegnancy. So sex was just something that was forbidden yet I didnt understand what was so wrong about it. When I started learning about all the bad things that sex can bring on i got scared of it.
The thing is, if an uneducated person is propositioned with sex, not knowing any consequenses that could come out of it, then chances are they will do it. All they know is that mommy and daddy say not to do it. Chances are they would practice unsafe sex and be scared about what happened later. I know that if i saw blood my first time and had no idea why i would probably freak out.
I thought it was common knowledge that uneducated people generally get into more trouble. duh. is it that hard to figure out?
We all know that babies do not know much, right? Well have you ever seen a baby turn down an oportunity to put something in its mouth even if it could choke them to death? No, probably not, because the baby doesnt know it is bad for them so why shouldnt they do it? And even then, if a child burn himself on firee it may not learn the first time because it doesnt know why it got hurt it just knows it is hurt. Then it may just stick its hand in the fire again. Does that make sense?
And one more thing. saying that if someone doesnt know about sex then they wont do it is like saying if someone doesnt know what chocolate is then they wont eat it.
That article seemed to use false logic. Maybe many teens who have sex do regret it, but to draw a correlation with what seems to be a rather pathetic (in most states) sex ed system, is just silly, not to mention dangerous.
Posts: 2710 | From: Australia | Registered: Jun 2000
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That article is nothing but propaganda. I don't know where they get their statistics from but I'd suspect they are just as "made to order" as those of planned parenthood.
The superstitious right are a bunch of kooks. Their motivation for articles such as this is religion. But few of them will come out and say so because they would immediately discredit themselves. So instead they manufacture other arguments including the "evidence" to back them up. Disproving these superficial arguments isn't good enough. To fight them you've got to shake the faith they have in their religion. Either that or goad them into discussing religion, at which point their true colors will show and no one will listen to them except other religious kooks.
The truth is, sex education isn't something anyone should depend on their parents or schools for. If someone doesn't know the facts its because they haven't taken it upon themselves to learn the facts. There are scores of books out there on sex, most of which can be found at the public library. Go read them, you'll know more than your parents when you're through.
Sex ed doesn't lead to sex anymore than its absence does. Things like hormones and the human libido lead to sex, not what someone hears or doesn't hear in health class. Sex ed does lead to more responsible and safer sex. This is all anyone can reasonably ask for because there is nothing wrong with people our age having sex in the first place.
I can't understand how ignorance and confusion will lead someone to make a better choice than knowledge and understanding. But then that isn't the way the superstitious right looks at it. They don't want us to make choice a about sex at all, any choice. They think they should make it for us. Our sex life is of the utmost religous importance to them. By obscuring the truth they think they are better able to control what we do. But the truth is that sex is a personal decision, one that no one can make for anyone else.
This is an issue I'm very much concerned about. I just wish more people would do something to get themselves informed instead of waiting around to be spoon-fed the facts of life. A person who knows the truth of something is free. You will never enslave such a person. The most you can do is kill them.
Lee said: "Sex ed doesn't lead to sex anymore than its absence does. Things like hormones and the human libido lead to sex, not what someone hears or doesn't hear in health class. Sex ed does lead to more responsible and safer sex. This is all anyone can reasonably ask for because there is nothing wrong with people our age having sex in the first place."
Well, I must say that learning about sex did make many of us curious about it, and giving out free condoms could be taken by some people as a sign that it may be ok to do. But for the most part, teens today would be having sex even if there was never a class on sex at all. We are exposed to a lot more sex by just watching movies, TV, and music videos, than at any sex ed class.
Posts: 384 | From: Malibu, California, USA | Registered: Jun 2000
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quote:Originally posted by HotGrrl99: We are exposed to a lot more sex by just watching movies, TV, and music videos, than at any sex ed class.
And that is why there is also a fight about the sex (and violence) on TV and in the movies and such. The thing is no matter how much people fight over these issues they are never going away. There will always be sex ed, how good and informative it is depends on the teacher and whatever laws might be in place determining what can and cannot be said.
I think most of us on this site agree that sex education is an important part of the curriculum, so there's not really much argument here. However, I just want to say that I don't think sex education has made me irresponsible... how ridiculous! I think education of any kind can only make a person more responsible. It has made me realize that sex has consequences and therefore must be enjoyed responsibly. Has education made me promiscuous? Certainly not. Learning about the dangers of STDs has given me reason NOT to be promiscuous. I think, if anything, it has encouraged me to be monogamous. Finally, though, I'll say that MAYBE anti-sex-ed people have a point, for a minority of teens. I am a very cautious person, so if all information about sex had been denied to me, I would have played it safe by remaining "pure". But I'd wager that very few teens are as cautious as I am, and I'm sure it's impossible in this day and age to block out all information about sex. People should stop trying to shelter us and just be upfront.
Posts: 582 | From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada | Registered: Aug 2000
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Personally, I think sex ed was kind of a waste of time. I am 16 now and when I took sex ed when I was around 12 or 13. I already knew everything there was to know about sex, from my friends and such. The only thing that really caught my attention was the use of contraceptions and the dangers of STDs. So, I think sex ed made kids more responsible about sex. It kind of scares kids away from unprotected sex.
Posts: 2 | From: North Bangor, NY, USA | Registered: Aug 2000
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Nothing is less sexy than hearing about crabs or syphilis. Sex ed doesn't make teens promiscuous, it makes them aware of the dangers. Sadly, my teacher couldn't stop talking about his weight training schedule (? don't ask) for us to get anywhere on the topic. Back on track- health class does not make kids want to run out and fool around under the nearest bushes. Street talk does that more than sex ed, and the point of sex ed is to get the facts straight about street talk.
Posts: 50 | From: New York, USA | Registered: Jul 2000
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I took sex ed when I was around 12, and then again this past school year, as a sophomore. Never once did it make me want to go out and screw whoever was nearest to me...it informed me about the risks of having sex, and protection...which is something my parents have NEVER been open to me about.
It's not like sex ed teaches them things about the mechanics of it that they don't know. It's only going to *cut back* on teen promiscuity, and if it doesn't do that, at least they are informed about protection, how to use it, where to find it, what's the best...etc.
I first had sex ed in the fourth grade. It was rather shocking to me, a sheltered, conservative girl, when the teacher began giving a summary of what we would be learning. It was completely unbelievable to me that people would actually talk about such things in public! My parents had never really talked to me about it; I suppose they knew that the school would take care of that, but they were willing to answer any questions or confusions I had.
To say that denying people information about sex prevents promiscuity is nonsense. It's like saying that not telling girls what a period is all about will mean they'll never have to live through it. For me, sex ed was an enlightening experience. I liked how the teachers gave us the facts about everything. They gave students a choice, "we know we can't stop you from having sex, but we can at least make sure you know the consequences." It was very informative for me to have a two day unit on various methods of birth control. Besides, all the STD talk makes people think twice before engaging in sex, especially unsafe.
I can see how some people would want sex education to be something parents teach their children, something to remain within in the family. However, I believe that most public schools (or, at least elementary) require a parent signature on a permission slip authorizing the school to teach their children. If certain people have a problem with public sex ed, they don't have to sign the form.
well...to me, i don't really think sex ed. make someone decide they're sexuality or what have you. i first had sex ed. in 5th grade, and all they did was tell us about periods, wet dreams, bras, and that kinda stuff. nothing sexual, i think as u get older u get more information. and its good information to know, but stuff like STD's and stuff are ignored. and i think it should be the school systems job to make sure EVERYTHING that falls into the "sex" category should be addressed.
Posts: 139 | From: San Ramon, California, USA | Registered: Jun 2000
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Lack of sex ed can really screw up a person. My parents never talked about sex. Their sex talk: "don't have it until you are married." Seriously, that is all they said about it. My high school only talked about the diseases and various methods of birth control that would be available to us when we were older (though they never said when "older" was.) I had read somewhere that it was painful, so I abstained though high school, but my sister was a different story. With all the talk about "scientific facts" sex ed never talked about feelings (as that would encourage sexual behavior, according to my soph. year health teacher.)
My sister got the idea that sex was approval from boys from friends/media. Without sex, a boy will never really like you, according to her. She has had multiple partners, often times unsafely, because she wanted approval, to be liked. She got the impression that sex=love, not that love should come first, then possibly sex comes later. It is sad that there are people who want to ban/"tone down" sex ed--I really think that we need more of it than we do. Sex is too much like a great mysterious "grown-up" thing that teens aren't sure how to feel about. Sex ed has the power to change that view, but with people all against such things, I don't know if it will ever happen.
------------------ "What is done out of love always occurs beyond good and evil."--Nietzsche
Ok this is what i think, i may be wrong excetera excatera...
The first think i saw was an Ad(?!?) Why would they put an ad on an impotant article like that, ok i understand it is a tv network and i understand why Scarlet teen has an add(if they doo, dont wana lose what im writing here to go and check) they would be compleatly diffrent reasons.(scarlete would have one to try and suport the webpage)
Now what i was getting too, Do they seriously expect us to take it seriously when you have an ad like HIT THE MONEY AND WIN $20 or say Buy a Color tv for $10 what do they expect ppl to do refuse that offer(expecaly if they just got the net) and leave the page to go and see what the add is, well thats my opinion, tell me what u think
I teach sex ed -- 5th through 8th grade mostly, but I also teach medical students (who, IMO, need it even more than most people!). One big thing I always try to emphasize in my classes is that sex ed is also a place for learning to TALK about sex -- with themselves, with partners, with parents/support people, etc. Talking openly about sex is really hard, and we are not encouraged to do it by our society... and if you can't talk about it, there's the danger that you'll make sexual decisions in a communication vaccuum and end up getting hurt or hurting someone else by accident. I don't think it's enough to just talk about anatomy and menstrual cycles and STDs and birth control (though all those are important and need to be presented openly and honestly) -- people need to be able to think and talk about HOW they're making the decisions they're making, and how they want to go about making their sex lives happen.
And I don't think youth are "too young" to comprehend this; they deserve to be given the opportunity to practice, hopefully before they start having sex.
We talk a lot about the "Sex ed = promiscuity" thing when I do classes with youth -- I aks them, they talk about it amongst themselves. Most of them seem to feel that classes DO NOT make them want to run out and have sex (though they do tend to want to run out and buy copies of "Changing Bodies, Changing Lives" and "Our Bodies, Ourselves"). The ones who are having sex already say sex ed doesn't necessarily make them want to stop having sex (unless they weren't likin it to begin with but didn't know you could stop once you start), but does a lot of the time help them decide how to have sex more safely, whether that's with birth control or disease prevention or choosing partners or whatever. IMO, that's what it's all about.
The idea that "giving information and decision-making tools = all hell breaking loose" makes me mad. Young people are going to have sex if they decide they're going to have sex; I think it's totally irresponsible of adults to leave them to make that decision in a vaccuum. If you can start your sex life with good skills you've got a lot less to un-learn throughout the rest of your life, so why not make it easier for people, eh?
Posts: 2 | From: Chicago, IL, USA | Registered: Sep 2000
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I'd like very much to make these responses into an article at the site to respond to this idea. If it isn't okay with someone for me to post a portion of their response, please shoot me a line: firstname.lastname@example.org
There's an article that adds some more recent information to this debate here: http://abcnews.go.com/sections/living/DailyNews/sex-ed000926.html I can't believe that almost one quarter of sex ed in the U.S. is abstinence only. Then again, a pretty large portion of the population in Canada attends Catholic schools, and I'm sure they're not getting great emphasis on the birth control or protection aspects of sex ed, either.
Posts: 1515 | From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada | Registered: Jun 2000
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Isn't it amazing how people twist facts around? Along with almost everything related to education these days, the money, and information in a lot of sex education classes out there is totally insufficient. Up until the course I took last year, the most my friends and I had formally heard about sex from the school was regarding puberty. In my opinion, providing accurate information to someone gives them a better understanding about the subject, regardless of what it's about. I think about it this way- a lot of people don't know the inner workings of their car. They have had someone show them how to basically drive it, but everything else is a mystery. Giving someone a book on cars does NOT make them a worse driver [i.e. "They'll drive more! And take more risks!"]; in fact, it would probably do the opposite. Knowing about condoms & clits, STDs & sexual orientation doesn't encourage sex, but rather enables us to make better choices for ourselves. It is our right to be informed about our bodies; if the religious right doesn't like it, they can choose for their children to be temporarily removed from the class.
********************** "The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware; joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware." -Henry Miller
I really disagree with that article. People will be curious about sex whether they learn about it in school or not, and I think learning about birth control and STD's and stuff actually makes people more responsible with sex. If there was no sex ed, people would still believe that they can't get pregnant if they have sex during their period and they would be generally misinformed. Also, the more people hear about STD's the more careful they'll want to be. Information really helps people make responsible decisions.
Posts: 12 | From: None | Registered: Nov 2000
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I just can't imagine a life without sex ed. If I had never learned about contraceptives or STDs or the like in school, I'd still be thinking you put a condom on your tongue when you kiss somebody so you don't get AIDS like I did in fourth grade. (Yes, seriously... But I've come along way, thank you very much.)
I'm not sure whether sex education altered my decisions in having sex or not. I've always been somewhat sensible about things like this, and have always known sex is important and shouldn't be done until I love a person, but sex education taught my WHY I shouldn't be doing it until then. I really don't know if I would have blindly followed those rules or not. I like to think I would have found the information on my own. Guess it's too late to find out, eh?
Anyway, sex ed is just like any other subject in school. If it's taught well, students will listen and take what they learned into the real world, not warp the information to better suit their own needs. Boy, if I had a nickel for everytime I heard of a kid blowing up a building because of what he learned in chemistry...
------------------ ~*~I'd buy you lemonade right now, if you were here. Then I'd throw it in your face, and I'd listen to you cry.~*~
I've said it before and I'll say it again, it is up to <b>you</b> to make sure you have the facts concerning sex. Don't just sit there and expect your school to spoon feed it to you or for your neurotic parents to actually tell you the truth about it. Most people learn how to read by first grade, go out and read some books on sex and issues related to sex. The public library is full of books like this and unless you're living in the bullshit belt, no one is going to stop you from reading them.
If someone doesn't know something, it is because they haven't made efforts to learn. This goes for any subject. People complain about our public schools and lack of funding and poor teachers etc. This is pathetic as it is the responsibility of the students to seek out knowledge. At least that is how I've always approached my education. The fact that most people don't do this explains why there are people here at ASU who are completely clueless, including graduate students and even instructors. People get schooled, but they never get educated.
I would think the idea that you should seek out information on something you don't know about would be common sense and not have to be stated here. But from all of the posts I've seen here, as well as elsewhere, by people complaining about the poor quality and quantity of their sexual education, I must assume that people just don't get it.
Sex is something that society, at least in part, attempts to keep hidden from us. That is the reason why movies and other forms of entertainment are rated in part by how much sex they contain. It's not that sex is harmful for anyone to see, its that for whatever reason our culture has a long-standing tradition of viewing sex as evil and dirty and therefore children who are ignorant of it as "innocent." Are you going to let the views and opinions of the lowest common demoninator in our culture dictate to you what do and do not understand? Just remember that 50% of the population is of below average intelligence.
If I'm not mistaken, haven't the rates for teen pregnancy, abortion, and stds among teens actually gone down in the past few years? Wouldn't that refute the claim made in the article? An article, I might add, that is so biased it doesn't even qualify as a news story. It's blatant propaganda, folks. At one point the article quotes someone criticizing Planned Parenthood "for using 'made-to-order statistics'", but then they go on to use statistics that don't even pertain to the issue!
This article quotes statistics from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy (a perfectly good idea), to the effect that most teenagers regret being sexually active at such an early age, and think that most teenages should not be sexually active until they become adults. Leaving aside the fact that the teenagers polled were probably unwed mothers (remember who did the study now) and probably didn't have access to or chose not to take advantage of birth control, the statistics quoted from the study do not indicate that sex education had anything to do with causing promiscuity. Come to think of it, the statistics only discuss being sexually active, not being promiscuous. (And contrary to popular assumption, the two ain't the same thing.)
Even if I were someone who believes that sex ed promotes promiscuity and irresponisibility, this article certainly wouldn't reinforce my belief. If anything it would make me doubt the intelligence of the people whose opinion I shared.
Fortunately, I don't agree with the idea that sex ed causes promiscuity. I myself graduated from high school 4 years ago(yes I'm rather too old for this board), and I remember having sex ed as early as the 7th grade. I also remember that curiosity about sex among my peers and I started much earlier than that. It wasn't just that we're a culture that seems to use sex to sell everything and so are often exposed to sex at an early age. That was part of it, but what really drove our interest was that we almost nothing about it. Our parents hadn't talked about it to us, so naturally we wanted to learn about this forbidden grown-up thing.
Did sex-ed encourage this interest? Did it make us want to experiment and find out what this wonderful thing was? Hardly. If sitting in a classroom for an hour and listening to a teacher lecture us about stds and the mechanics of sexual intercourse affected our perception at all, it was only to deglamourize sex permanently.
I don't know what other people's schools were like, but I think I could have gone my whole life without hearing the faculty's take on sex and been reasonably happy. This was a public school, remember? Not exactly a place known for treating delicate subjects with dignity and frankness. The only way to make the subject of sex less appealing would be to make it part of the written test you have to take at the DMV.
Seriously, most people's educations in sex begin with they learn from their friends and what they observe in their parents' behavior. The result is usually a mass of misconceptions and contradictions. Sex education in the classroom and at websites like this one, are a chance to clear things up and set the record straight. This is not a bad thing.
Anyway, that's my two cents. Gotta run.
Posts: 1 | From: Louisville, KY, USA | Registered: Nov 2000
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1) I was fortunate enough to take a sex-ed class sponsord by my CHURCH. (of all places) The class was taught by two Drs who pulled no punches. It was informative and I don't remember abstinance even bing mentioned.
2) Many students I've talked to report that sex-ed consists of the teacher reading right out of the (approved) book. There is no discussion, no exchange of ideas. Teachers can't risk enraging some parent who will never discuss sex with their kid anyway.
4) The biggest response I have heard from parents is, "I don't want no teacher tellin MY kid that bein a *** is ok." I guess that speaks volumes about my neighbors. (can YOU say rednecks?)
5) The NRA (a darling of the conservative right) claims that accidental shootings and other incidents involving firearms will go down when "Kids are taught to respect firearms" via the NRS's various safety programs. Am I the only one to see the irony?
Posts: 10 | From: Chesapeake, Virginia, USA | Registered: Oct 2000
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quote:Originally posted by Nurseman: The NRA (a darling of the conservative right) claims that accidental shootings and other incidents involving firearms will go down when "Kids are taught to respect firearms" via the NRS's various safety programs. Am I the only one to see the irony?
Gadzooks, not at all. That's a really excellent addition. Of course, one has to wonder if their programs involve actually putting a gun in someone's hands. I mean, in this analogy, that'd be akin to not only giving folks sex information, but handing them a partner to boot. Eeep!
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