Now...on to the juicy part of the title. Sex is something we've discussed in this blog before. And, we may have even talked about sex education, but something came up (no pun intended) that makes me want to do another blog on the subject.
I have a reader who wants to remain anonymous and she sent me a copy of the sex education permission slip that her son's school sent home. Her son is a ninth grader (14 years old, I would guess) at a public school in Oklahoma. Here's the text of the permission slip.
- Dear Parents/Guardians,
- ********* *********** district high schools will commence a lecture series for students in the Freshman class on May 25, 2008. The students will here from two representatives from local agencies dealing with sexual relations. ******* ****** from ********Crisis Pregnancy Center and Rev. J ******** will discuss the benefits of abstinence and options and services a sexually active couple may seek out if the need arises. A district health educator will spend approximately twenty minutes at 3:00pm giving an overview of birth control options and sexually transmitted disease by a CNP, ****** **** , from Planned Parenthood. We have scheduled as such so that you may remove your child from school a half-hour before regular dismissal if you do not want your child to participate in the discussion of birth control or STDs. This program is in compliance with state law and President Bush's Abstinence Education Program (2003). Please notate by checking the appropriate boxes on your child's permission slip as to which classes you consent to. Sexual education is not a mandatory lecture. Any student not participating will be sent to the library for study hall. Children who will attend the first two lectures, but not the third, are free to leave campus early with a note from their parent or guardian.
- ************ *****
Does anyone else have a problem with this? I know I have several objections. What's up with having a representative from a Crisis Pregnancy Center come in? For those not in the United States, this wiki gives you an overview of what CPCs do. CPCs are always operated by pro-life theists. Always! The goal of these centers is to bring young girls in and make them watch horrific videos of abortion, usually in a room filled with cute pictures of cherubic infants who have been "saved". The emphasis is on finding adoptive parents and encouraging girls to continue the pregnancy. These "centers" are always staffed by volunteers and RARELY, if ever, have a licenced medical practitioner on staff. Yet, the entice these girls to come in with claims of giving them a free test, exam, and counselling. Of course, the following words are never uttered during counselling: "blastocyst", "embryo", and "fetus". The developing organism is always called "the baby". This is manipulative. By convincing a teen aged girl that she's carrying a "baby" creates a powerful feeling of guilt should she desire to end the pregnancy. They usually show a movie called "The Silent Scream" (the link takes you to the actual video). They always give out pamphlets showing aborted fetuses in the second trimester...but, they leave out the fact that the second trimester sample is far different in appearance than the first trimester blastocyst or embryo. In some cases, the material they give out claims that a "baby in the first trimester can feel pain, scream, and cry, during the abortion." Obviously, it's a Christian organization that receives money from Focus on the Family, the Christian Coalition, several Catholic diocese, and - incredibly- the federal government!! In fact, the Southern Baptist Convention has made it a goal to get ultrasound machines in all CPCs so that the girls can be shown the fetal pole and heartbeat of the embryo. Not only is this a complete mind fuck (sorry about the cussing), but it also appears to provide medical advice and procedures without a license.
According to the reader who sent me this permission slip, the Reverend mentioned in the article as a lecturer, is the leader of a local, vocal pro-life group that frequently stands in front of OG/GYN offices and Planned Parenthood. How, exactly, is a Christian minister qualified to come in and give a lecture on pregnancy and STDs? Where his medical degree? Shoot, I'd settle for a nursing degree or even paramedic training. But, to have a prominent pro lifer come in and bully the kids into seeing abortion (or premarital sex) as a one way ticket to hell is crap!
Why is a publicly funded school setting up this "lecture series"? What happened to the separation of Church and State? Leaving only twenty minutes, at the end, to a REAL nurse from an organization that supports the right to choose is a steaming pile of horse shit.
I realize that George Bush is an abstinence only proponent, but the evidence is clear - abstinence only education does not work. (Side note: I wonder if Jenna was a virgin when she married? Somehow, I doubt it.) It results in more pregnancies than programs wherein birth control is discussed in an open and honest manner. AND, PP doesn't try to cram Jesus and the Bible down your throat while they're explaining how a condom works.
As a mother of a teenager, I know that I have an obligation to tell my daughter about all of her options. That's not to say I condone teenage sex. I condone knowledge and choice. How can you expect children to conceptualize the mental, physical, and emotional consequences of sex if you're just going to stand there and say, "Sex...just don't do it." How is that education? P1 and P2 can name you five forms of birth control on demand. But, they also know that I want them to finish up some of their more time consuming goals before becoming parents. I've also talked to them about the way sex can ruin a relationship if both parties aren't mature enough to handle it. We had an hour long conversation on responsibility, should they choose to have sex in high school, and I've told them that I would rather them come to me and ask for help procuring the pill or condoms without judgement. Sex is natural. It's natural for boys and girls to want to connect physically with the people they're attracted to. It's part of life and I can't understand why anyone would turn it into this ugly, pain inducing, immoral act one year, but then consider it a Christian obligation upon the placing of a ring on a finger. How could these young women and men possibly enjoy sex when they've been taught, all their life, to avoid it or suppress the feelings?