No, abstinence is. Whether you like it or not, not engaging in sexual activity means not getting pregnant and not getting STDs, 100% of the time. (I know there are a few non-sexual ways of getting diseases classified as STDs, but those that acquire them in non-sexual fashion would have acquired them in non-sexual fashion anyway, regardless of sex education.)
I'm not saying you don't have a legitimate argument about teaching sex ed in public schools (though I admit I don't share that view). What I am saying is that it's disingenuous to claim that sex ed is the best way.
And in case somebody tries, "teens will do it anyway" isn't a legitimate response. If they will do it anyway, then they're still going to be at a higher risk of pregnancies and STDs than if they did not. And there are tons of fat, ugly teens out there who aren't "doing it anyway." Unless they're all rapists, male and female.
I just do not believe the state should have the right to impose its own moral judgements over those of individual parents, period.
By the way, "civics" is the teaching of civic affairs, the laws and rules under which society operates. Sexual matters have nothing to do with civics beyond those which are codified: don't rape, don't sexually harass, etc. What you do with a consenting partner is your business (and your parent's business if you're still a minor), not the state's.posted by aaron at 12:57 AM on December 31, 2000
Well, that's just it. I believe a majority of Americans don't want a "socially-responsible" government, because they know that they will not get to decide what is "socially responsible." What they want is a government that will provide necessary services and otherwise leave them be, not bureaucrats thousands of miles away deciding how they can live and, worse, how they may think. And when you take decisions like how to teach sex ed to your kids out of the hands of parents, you are essentially deciding how the kids will be allowed to think.
In a sense, you have two choices: a publicly funded sex ed program or a large percentage of the population running around with STDs and having children at young ages — which increases welfare and social security roles. Sex Ed, comparably, is much cheaper, finanically and politically.
I have no desire to take away citizens' rights merely because it will save money. (And things like forced sex ed have not generally been without political risk in this country.) If it costs a few extra bucks to retain parents' rights to impart their own morals to their children, fine. As others have noted above, parents have responsibilities. This is one of them. If the government wanted to spend a little money to get the word out to parents that they ought to talk about this stuff with their kids, fine. That, at least, would leave the final decision to the parents, not the state.
If you think that ugly kids only have sex when they rape each other, maybe you needed a little more than a just-don't-do-it sex ed class in school.
Ah, the good old Appeal to Ridicule fallacy, combined with a mischaracterization of my post (I never said all ugly fat kids). I stand by the statement.
The idea that they should be taught nothing but abstinence -- a moral judgment you seem to have no problem with in school -- is incomprehensible to me.
I didn't say either of these things. First, I have no moral qualms about premarital sex or sex amongst teenagers. I have moral qualms about the government deciding which moral judgements will be taught to all children. Second, I don't want them to be taught only abstinence - I don't want them to be taught anything at all on this subject, as it isn't the school's business, especially in a time where so many public schools can't even teach academics properly. But I believe that, when governments do try to force sex ed into the curriculum, abstinence is given short shrift, tossed off at the very start ("Of course, you don't have to have sex, but in case you do, for the next 3 days we'll be talking about....") And that is logically indefensible.posted by aaron at 11:08 PM on January 2, 2001
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