"Since the public schools have been mandated by the legislatures to be the
primary source of sex ed, why do you tie the hands of teachers by not
allowing morals to be part of the teaching? You mention not using
"religion" but how about a moralistic approach that is not specific to any
individual religion? The reasons for abstinence are very shallow without
bringing in the moral issues.
"As for sex education it should NOT and I repeat SHOULD NOT be taught in
ELEMENTARY schools PERIOD! I find this absurd. "
"The only sensible and workable solution to handling teen sex is
comprehensive sex ed in the schools AND parents talking with their kids.
I am 53 and my parents never said one word about sex. Teaching me about
normal bodily functions like menstruation and the consequences of
unprotected sex was left to the classes at my school. IT DIDN'T WORK! I
have never had an STD, but I did get pregnant at 16, thanks to my parents'
closed minds. I had an abortion at their insistence, and no, I don't
regret it. I know now how hard it would have been. I taught my daughters
sex education myself, and took them for birth control when they felt it
was needed and am proud to say that neither of them had an STD and neither
had kids until they were at least 22. Teaching abstinence doesn't work;
the sex drive in a normal healthy person is nearly overwhelming in the
teenage years. Using their heads to contradict these feelings is the only
way to deal with it. And I don't want to hear anyth!
ing about how good a christian you are and God doesn't want sex outside
of marriage. Thank the Goddess I'm not christian! She teaches that sex
is a normal, joyful part of life, but only when you are ready, both
mentally and physically. Education is paramount, because using your head
before doing anything is the key."
"This is a highly charged emotional topic. I would recommend this site
rewrite the abstinence only write up to remove the obvious bias against it.
My suggested rewrite would be:
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Teaches that sex is reserved for marriage and that if you are not in a
committed relationship abstinence is the only acceptable behavior
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ May or may not discuss condoms or other birth control.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Omits topics such as abortion and sexual orientation
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Teaches communication skills so that teens can keep from being pressured
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Helps teens explore their goals in life
"At what age do schools teach sex-ed classes? Do they teach it more than
once? If not, they should. Once in elementary ( a more simple aprroach).
And then again around age 15, at that age really getting into STD's and
"I have enjoyed receiving your e-mails. However, I found this one to be
particularly slanted. I am certainly open to a middle ground approach To
Sex Ed. in schools. But It was not clear if this article was strictly
informational (facts only) or simply a commentary on Sex Education from
past to present. Based on how it was presented I would have to guess the
latter. It was clear, from your verbiage, that an abstinence program is
considered less than ideal. I also find that your representation of that
approach is considerably inaccurate. I hope that in the future when
various views are presented, you are able to contact and use reliable
sources from ALL perspectives.
"Frankly I think adults need sex education too. I work as a nurse practitioner at a family planning clinic and still get a lot of men and women of all ages who never received accurate information on sexuality, contraception, STD's and relationships. My youngest patient I treated for gonorrhea was 13 and the oldest-- 72 for chlamydia. If I got a dollar every time I heard the phrase ' I must have gotten it from a toilet seat or a towel', I would be rich by now! As a society obsessed with what's on reality TV, we have done a great disservice to the next generation coming of age. More needs to be done on educating and advocating to the mass media(yes, this includes music, magazines, news shows etc..) and Hollywood of the stereotypes they depict of gender, race, age and sexuality. The education system and parents are trying to do what they can without upsetting the vocal 'pro-abstinence minority' on school boards and others. So far I haven't heard anyone mention the mass medi!
a. THEY need more scrutinizing then ever before (they are a reflection of pop culture and society)--this does not mean censorship by no means! Abstinence only programs can be argued as a subtle form of censorship and propaganda---allowing only one side to be heard and taught. I am not for censorship. In other countries condom ads run during daytime and prime-time evening TV. Why can't this happen in the USA in the 21 century! We are quick to run ads on viagra though!
If you want change to happen---you must advocate for the truth.
mother in California"
"Very nice job. I had not heard about the U of Washington study saying comprehensive programs had better outcomes."
"i think sex ed is a very important subject that needs to be taught in scholl like safe sex with condoms and so on so i think schools nedd to push the subject because there are so many young girls 11-16 having kids and have sex sometimes unprotected so i think that they should know not oly the prgnancy risk but the diseases like pictures go to the extreme because i know that if my child god forbid starting having sex aat 13 the age sh is now i would be very dissappointed in her that is why we have an open relationship and i very much support all of the sex ed classes in america now giving young girl birth control in school is pushing it a little but if that what it takes to not hvae my child getting pregnant at a young age by all means give it to her - ms.campbell"
"Sex is a wonderful yet serious topic. I think parents should innitiate conversation on the topic with their children at an appropriate age. My girls have expressed that they are glad that they have had the 'sex talk' with their mom because many of their friends at school are confused and misled by the things they hear from their peers. They are confident in their knowledge on the subject and aren't left to wonder or question what they've heard from peers. Also, they wer'e probably much more comfortable in the classroom setting among their peers having already been informed. Do your best to make your kids feel comfortable to talk with you about anything. "
"I think absitnence-only sex education is doing our kids a disservice. Sure, in a perfect world, they should remain abstinent, but parents need to pull their hedas out of the sand and realize the pressure our kids are under to be sexual. Just look at the advertising, at the celebrity culture, at MTV! Kids think they HAVE to be sexual. It's up to us as parents to talk to them about it, to encourage them to wait, but we should also allow the schools to teach them the clinical facts along with methods to protect themselves from disease and unwanted pregnancies. You can tell them not to do it, but they will be the ones in control of what they decide to do or not do and we should make sure they are armed with the facts, as opposed to trying to keep them in a bubble ot ignorance. Face facts, parents. You can't protect them forever but you can help them be prepared to face reality. "
"The only education there should be taught is 'CELIBACY' till marrage. I personally find it affendsive and stupid that there has to be a depate. Bottom blunt line, no sex--no unwanted births, fewer fatherless children, no disease, less warefare, fewer food stamp handouts, fewer medicaid applicants. I personally am a single mom through divorce and I've been celibant now going on 13 years. And I have had opportunity and invitation of otherwise. Why, well I am a Christian. And our father in heaven said 'NO' This I teach my child. Deb"
"sex ed made a difference, for the better, for me. In junior high school I had a sex ed class, over 40 years ago. Having been taught the responsiblities and consequences of sexual relationships proved these well learned lessons.
Having a 12 year old daughter has brought me the opportunity to share what I know and practice. She is well aware of the multitude of sexual issues of today and, as with I, the responsibilities and consequences of having sexual relationshops. She is aware and knowledgable far in excess of her peers."
"I believe that it is important to teach the children about sex education and not just focus on the Abstinence only. If you are going to discuss it discuss it all. The risk of disease, pregnancy, the stigma of multiple partners for boys and girls etc... I believe that it is wrong that sterotypically the boys get a pat on the back while the girls on the other hand get branded. I believe BOTH sexes should abstain until they are mentally mature enough to handle such a big step in their lives and that having multiple partners should be frowned upon by BOTH sexes and not just for the females. I would like it better if they waited till they are married, ideally, but let's be realistic!
Also I believe starting this dialogue is a bit early in the sixth grade. I believe ninth grade in my opinion would be better. I agree that the parents have a major role in influencing their children greatly when it comes to a childs sexual behaviour and so this is a discussion that should begin at home and continued on. Instilling values and self empowerment and confidence so that a child doesnt feel that sexual encounters should need to take place in order to be liked and feel loved and accepted.
As a parent I dont want to think of my child out there having sex (but lets be real!) but you hope you give them the tools and knowledge necessary to make good decisions and safe decisions and the decision to wait as long as they can. When that time comes to let go as least lets do so with knowledge so that our children can better defend themselves. To carry themselves with pride, respect for themselves and others, and safety always first. "
"Yeah i pretty much think it is the parents job to teach their kids about sex, i hoenstly dont think it is the teachers responsibility. Like it said some parents are concerned about what the teens are learning. But thank you everyone for the info. it realy helped with my paper :D"
"wow! i think it should be a law to have sex ed in schools and use scientific data on the subject! i am 16"
"I am a senior in high school and I have a few comments to make. I feel like Absinence Only Courses are inadequete and will lead to unwanted pregnancies and STDs. I realize that in an idealistic society your teenagers don't have sex. They don't say curse words, and they will never lose their bright eyed innocence. Unfortunatly we are living in an imperfect world. 80% of American women have sex before the age of 20, and 70% of those women, have it before thirteen! The fact is, we're kids, and we need to be taught about sex, diseases and ways to prevent pregnancies. If you go on leaving us uninformed then we will look to outside, non-reliable sources. What kind of parnt would want to jepordize their kid's saftey like that. Also, if you refuse a child the right to learn about contraceptives, than you have absolutley no right in being appaled at the current abortion rate. There are 1.3 million abortions a year. If you want to solve that problem, go to the root of the issue, I beg!
you. Protect us. "
"'Abstinence is and will always be the answer and it needs to be taught through out the world. I am very sick and tired of hearin about people being pregnant and having stds. and I dont feel bad for them.'
Fool. It's the abstinence-only education that leads to that. Teens are teens - and if they want sex, then they'll probably get it. Teachers telling them it is bad to have sex and that God will send you to hell for it won't MAKE many teens listen. (And as a bonus, not everyone is Christian.) With the other forms of education, teens can atleast learn to protect themselves."
"Abstinence is and will always be the answer and it needs to be taught
through out the world. I am very sick and tired of hearin about people
being pregnant and having stds. and I dont feel bad for them."
"Sex education should be taught the way it is taught in Europe. Their teen pregnancy rates makes ours look sick. They teach sex education as a health issue. The USA teaches it as a moral issue. Hence, we have more teen pregnancies than in all of Europe combined. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure this one out. Abstinance should be taught as the only safe sex. In other words, safe sex is no sex. But on the other hand, the use of condoms and birth control should definitely be taught. Bottom line, if the parents do not teach the kids everything about sex, then someone else will do it without your permission. That information may be a bit skewed."
"it's very important that schools (as well as parents) talk to their kids about STD, HIV and Sex Education in general. Children look to school as a superior place of learning, therefore Sex Education should be included. The MORE information kids have the better the chance of making RIGHT decisions !! I'm for the SEX ED in school & HOME !!' becouse more and more kids are becomming std inficted each year"
"I think it's very important that school (as well as parents) talk to their kids abour STD, HIV and Sex Education in general. Children look to school as a superior place of learning, therefore Sex Education should be included. The MORE information kids have the better the chance of making RIGHT decisions !! I'm for the SEX ED in school & HOME !!"
"Sex Ed. should be taught in school. It should be kept to facts, and notes should be sent home, when kids are younger, to notify parents of the discussion. If the parents choose not to have their child there, then the child should be excused without penalty. It's a better thing for the kids to have the facts, than to be ignorant. Abstinance should be encouraged, but the facts of what happens is important because too many parents don't discuss with their children what might happen at all or soon enough. We all want our children to be young and they seem to grow up too fast no matter what..."
"If you're even reading this posting, then it means that you care about making a difference in your kids life. I am torn between the awesome responsibility of being my son's primary teacher in life (as his father) and giving up some of that responsibility for the right to go to work each day in my specialty to nearly perfect strangers. In a perfect world, I believe in abstinence and morality and religion above all else. But, we were born as sinners. So we need to do everything we can to give our kids the tools to make the right choices over wrong. I consider myself an upper middle class American(education, values and income), yet I have a neice who is an unmarried teenage mother on public assistance in the State of Michigan. She is the product unmarried teenage parents who eventually were married and divorced. The patterns do repeat themselves and they are life changing. My brother dug himself out of a huge hole, paid child support and/or provided a home to her. She c!
hose the easy wrong over the hard right because she did not have constant parental involvement from both parents married to each other. The mistake is recoverable, but it is a long and daunting road to travel. Thanks to this site and to you for caring about our children."
"We believe that sex outside of marriage is wrong, and have told our children that. My children know where babies come from. They have seen dogs/cats mating. They have been around when our dogs/cats have had puppies/kittens. We have told our children that homosexual sex is wrong and that it is un-natural. It is a learned behavior. At their ages, 10 and younger, they think kissing, and everything else, is 'yucky.' I believe that children should be taught abstinance outside of marriage. I believe that they should be taught about body parts in separate boy and girl classes, like in health. I think they should be taught about all the possible STD's. I think they should be taught about babies and children. If they want to have sex outside of marriage, then they need to learn how to properly care for children and take parenting classes, along with teaching them about marriage and relationships. All these need to be included."
"Remember the raging hormones that you experienced as a teenager? Unless you want to contribute to America's dismal unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted disease statistics you'll support sex education that emphasizes the use of condoms. Studies show that abstinence doesn't work. You might as well teach kids not to go out at dusk or dawn to avoid being stung by a mosquito carrying the West Nile Virus.
Sex isn't just for procreation (at least not if you're doing it right). It doesn't have to be a death sentence either."
"What a great site with valuable links to help parents and students. I am a Registered Nurse and the links you provide have very important, safe information that covers a broad number of topics. I have friends who have not yet had the 'talk' with their preteen children and I will refer them to this site. Thank you so much!"
"Oh, good God in Heaven! I read the comment from the Texas mother dated 5/4/06 and about screamed. If you wait till the kids have hit puberty, it is too late! By then, they are seeking their answers elsewhere. If your child is 8 or 9, they are already seeking out material about their bodies and about the bodies of their friends and they are comparing. Little kids still play 'doctor', don't they? I have a friend who is in shock because her 6 year old son was kissed by a girl in his class. If they are old enough to kiss, they are old enough to get the age-specific 'Talk'."
"Any talk about sex to a young child or yound adult can be most uncomfortable. I believe that we as adult parents need to take the handle on this situation with our children and the schools should back us. After all we are the parents and God has given us the burden of responsibility not the schools. However, some children/young adults may feel more comfortable with someone other than a parent and may be a little more open and ask questions that they may not ask at home. If we as parents take the responsibility given to us and do our job as a parent there really should not be an issue. I am a mother of a 9yr old son. I plan on educating him with books (age appropriate) about his body and what sex is and that it was created for reproduction. As he gets older the education will become more involved (still age appropriate-to be determined by the parent). While the schools educate our children on the basic education, I have to honestly say that about 50% of what I learned in scho!
ol has never helped me outside of the classroom. Therefore, I believe strongly that the schools should reinforce what we teach at home. After all, isn't our goal as parents and teachers to shape the next generations? Then we should be teaching thim about life also because that is what will have the biggest impact. Thank you for the great article. Keep up the good work. Sincerely, Texas mother. "
"This is a great article. As a mother of 4 young children I believe both safe sex and abstaining from sex should be taught. The parents and schools can teach abstanance from the day the child is born. Other factors (like peer presure and rebelion) do come in to play. Teaching children about all thier options and consequences of thier choices i feel is the most effective. I know a woman who is 25 years old. She became pregnant at 15. She had the baby and was pregnant again 10 months later. She had not realized HOW she got pregnant because she was never taught! She now knows all she missed out on when she was home with her babies and her friends were having fun. If someone taught her...things could have been different.
Proud Mom to Veronica 8, Jonathan 5, Sarah 2 and Nicholas 10 months"
"As a sophmore at my school, I had the pleasure of being a member of a section of Planned Parenthood called Teen Council.
This group is designed for teens to teach other teens the essential facts of sex ed.
As a teen in this situation, I have learned so much, apart from what I learned in my health class which initally was the reason I joined.
I've learned about abstinence AND the different forms of birth control, from plain-old condoms to the Depo Provera shots.
And just because you give teenagers information about birth control and STDs doesn't mean that you are going to encourage them to have sexual relations. In fact, in my case, for example, it actually made me decide to wait until I could handle anything that could possibly come my way if I have sex. Plus, you need the information in life eventually, especially considering that almost all people have sex at least once in their lifetimes."