Friday, April 07, 2006


It's interesting, how the debate about teaching abstinence in the US centres around the effectiveness of the technique (abstinence with no forms of other education, this is). While there is plenty evidence which suggests that the method is deeply ineffective at reducing teenage pregnancy (possibly because while it reduces the amount of people having sex, those who do will have little knowledge about contraception), this is not the issue. Thing is- why can't people have sex?

Ultimately abstinence is a worthy choice, and one that should be made apparent to all children, but I fail to see that there is anything inherently wrong with having sex, ignoring scriptual teachings that this is true. As long as both partners are fully aware of the risks they take, and are both very much consenting, there is simply nothing wrong with sex, and to my mind it is surely far more sinful to say so. I think it might be time to celebrate sex a little more, rather than think of it as something shameful. Sex does have consequences, and everyone should be aware of these, so they can be careful, and do what they feel the right thing to do. All we do by ignoring these desires is subjugate them, and cause severe repression.


At 6:52 pm, Blogger Kirbie said...

People need information to make informed decisions. To simply not teach something is bad education

At 8:45 pm, Blogger Kelly said...

Can teenagers be trusted to be really aware enough to make such a decision?

At 12:04 am, Blogger cait said...

Well, I don't know about the states, but I know they taught chastity in our school (which is slightly different from abstinence, because abstinence tends to demonize sex) under the auspice that high school students are simply not mature enough to make good decisions about sex--now that I'm out of high school and see how young high school students are, I agree wholeheartedly.

We learned about contraceptives and what they did and how they worked, but the overarching theme was, "you're not ready for this."

You know what I hate, though? The kind of sex education that gives the impression that if you have sex, you will immediately be infected with half a dozen chronic STIs. Now THAT'S bloody stupid.

At 1:28 am, Blogger Kirbie said...

I'd have to disagree. I think we were taught all the facts and would like to think that's how I've always been taught.
I've always been given all the information and been left to make my own informed decisions. If I did anything wrong I was taught why it was wrong and not just told this is how we do things.
I think I was (and still am!) immature, but was certainly able to make my own choices.

At 2:53 am, Blogger Mr K said...

Heh, yeah Caitlin that was the overwhelming impresion I got from sex education, that every time one was to have sex, one would get every STD in the set (gotta catch em all!)

Ultimately I think in the society we live in, for better or worse, kids are going to learn about sex fairly young, and it's probably better to learn about it in a controlled and non-judgmental environment (becuase, y'know, school is so non-judgmental...)

At 5:58 pm, Blogger Kelly said...

Ah, but part of the goal of schools is to inculcate society's values in the children, so they're not intended to be entirely non-judgmental. At least in America, "society's values" in this sense is not the nation as a whole, but in the locality of the school. Some people are trying to change that (ACLU comes to mind) but so far the concept has not been abandoned.


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