Sex Education Eliminated From Schools in PA

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by MisterMark, Aug 16, 2004.

  1. MisterMark

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    http://www.advocate.com/new_news.asp?ID=13.../14/04-08/16/04

    Pennsylvania county will stop teaching safer sex in schools

    Public school officials in west Allegheny County in Pennsylvania, home to suburbs of Pittsburgh, have revamped the sex education curriculum for the counties schools to remove all references to condom use in preventing HIV and sexually transmitted diseases, instead focusing solely on abstinence, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

    The new curriculum also does not include information about condoms, oral contraceptives, or any other methods of preventing pregnancy. The previous curriculum, developed in the late 1980s, focused heavily on HIV prevention. But despite a lack of evidence that the old curriculum was leading to increased sexual activity among county youths, district director of education services Charles Fazekas said the curriculum "needed to be updated."

    A committee of parents and teachers, alarmed at reports of rising STD rates among young people nationwide, decided the best approach was to teach abstinence only. Committee member Pam Perry said she supports the revamped curriculum because she says no one should have sex until they are married. "That's what's taught in the Bible," she told the newspaper.
     
  2. D_Martin van Burden

    D_Martin van Burden Account Disabled

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    Reading crap like that really kills me. It's not enough that we make useful and accurate information unavailable for young adults who feel they are ready to start exploring sex in an intelligent way. We're giving these youth less of a responsive outlet to talk about sex, emotions, hormones; we're curtailing useful information that may inevitably get more teens pregnant.

    I mean no offense to anyone when I say this, but if teens are that interested in sex and their interest is met with sanctioning and shame, we're hurting them twice. We're nullifying and condemning their choices. We're also giving them a no-way-out should something like pregnancy or sexual transmission disease occur. The Bible isn't going to disseminate anything new, I'm sure.

    Moreover, kids make more informed choices when there is a multitude of responsive sexual education tools available. Abstinence-only programs, at best, curtail some sexual activity in limited sectors. Kids will still do it and kids won't know good ways to bring up condom use, let alone how to use one or how to know when the time is "right" for them.

    :angry:
     
  3. KinkGuy

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    sigh......and the right marches on. :(
     
  4. ponybilt

    ponybilt Member

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    I had my first sex-ed class in first grade in suburban Minneapolis. Our parents had to approve of participation in the class. It didn't teach us about abstinence and such, but focused on the physiology and the emotional aspect of it (in little kid language, mostly). That was pretty much the first time I realized that "when a man and woman really like each other.... " wasn't goning to happen to me. Um, and I didn't have sex until just before I turned 19.

    But there are *so* many problems with not teaching kids about human sexuality. Where to begin...

    First, public schools are funded by taxes, so they fall within the separation of church and state rules. To base curicula on religion is against the law. Pam Perry should be arrested for stupidity as well. Is that allowed?

    Second, abstinence-only has no greater (and some would say no lesser) effect on the onset of sexual acitivity. Douglas Kirby, a sex education researcher who studied thirty-three sex education programs, found that six of the *abstinence-only* programs in his study failed to delay sexual activity.

    The best documented abstinence-only sex education program was used by California schools from 1992 to 1995. The state spent $15 million over three years teaching abstinence -- but only to 187,000 middle school students. Kirby found the students who had not participated in abstinence-only classes were no less likely to postpone sexual intercourse or prevent pregnancies or STDs than students who had participated in abstinence-only classes. Kirby’s study also found that comprehensive sex education programs do not promote sexual activity. According to Kirby, “Sexuality- and HIV-education curricula do not increase sexual intercourse, either by hastening the onset of intercourse, increasing the frequency of intercourse, or increasing the number of sexual partners.”

    Is that the best argument for abstinence-only education? Doesn't sound compelling at all, considering there are many, many more legitimate studies that demonstrate comprehensive sex-ed is the most responsible thing we can do for ourselves, kids, and society.

    My 2 cents. Thank you very much. :)
     
  5. KinkGuy

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    Hormones always win.
     
  6. ponybilt

    ponybilt Member

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    Yeah, what Kink said.

    :)
     
  7. jonb

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    First grade?

    Ultimately, it's naive to think abstinence-only will work. I mean, you'll notice Uganda reduced their AIDS rate by encouraging abstinence and fidelity as a first option, with condoms as an alternative if you can't or won't have only one partner.
     
  8. ponybilt

    ponybilt Member

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    Yes, first grade.

    Under Minnesota's fragile liberal facade, sex education is probably the only things that's real. Or maybe was -- first grade was a while ago.
     
  9. jonb

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    Yeah, well, apparently it scarred many kids for life; only the insane would elect a pro wrestler governor.
     
  10. ponybilt

    ponybilt Member

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    Yeah, after he was elected, they performed a poll and something like 85% of the people said they voted for him. He won with something shy of 60% of the vote. Everyone wants to be on the winning team.

    I didn't vote for the guy. He must've taken treasury raiding classes from the shrub. I voted for the Dem that year, but I wish the sitting Republican had run again.
     
  11. Imported

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    TripodMillenium: *sigh*

    The stupidity leeches its way so close these days.... -_-


    I live in Westmoreland County, PA.... which is the really big county that shares Allegheny County's eastern border....


    I do hope the excise (sp?) the cancer of stupidity that has grown in good &#39;ol western Allegheny before it spreads and makes all of western PA a hotbed for teenage pregnancy and disease..... <_<
     
  12. MASSIVEPKGO_CHUCK

    MASSIVEPKGO_CHUCK Well-Known Member

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    I was taught sex ed in 6th grade. I don&#39;t understand PA&#39;s idiocy over the whole situation.
     
  13. mindseye

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    *sigh*

    Apparently, they don&#39;t teach algebra in the public schools these days, but that doesn&#39;t stop kids from thinking they know how to do that either.

    On a more serious note, the UN reports that the effects of sexual ignorance and underfunded sex-ed programs have devastating effects worldwide. In particular, failure to educate the world&#39;s citizens about proper condom use results in overpopulation, adult illiteracy, poverty, and high incidences of HIV among the population.

    How is the Bush administration responding to this issue globally? Find out here.
     
  14. Imported

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    TripodMillenium: Thankfully.... there is some sort of sex ed in the schools in my area in the health classes.....


    But.... I had already known all about that stuff from a combination to trivia enthusiasm and... well.... being horny since I could remember, just about.... :p


    So, Health class served to teach me nothing.... :rolleyes:
     
  15. madame_zora

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    Millenium, I&#39;m right there with you- I already knew most of what was being taught before I learned it in school, but there were sure plenty of kids there who were hearing it for the first time. I think it&#39;s completely appauling that PA could make such an overt foray into religions-based decision making about sex ed. This is a blatant violation of the rights of those kids to learn, oops, I forgot, minors don&#39;t have civil rights so that explains it. Who ever heard of spreading ignorance as a positive solution to anything? Ignorance is only the root disease, the symptoms are unwanted pregnancy, aids, stds, not to mention the lack of conversation about what transpires emotionally surrounding early sexual experience- this can lead to very profound emotional trauma for young people who don&#39;t know what to expect from it. I wonder how many of the adults on the "just don&#39;t do it" team were themselves married as virgins? Assholes, either way. And I DO mean to offend.
     
  16. overshot

    overshot New Member

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    Millenium, small world&#33;

    I&#39;m actually from around the area in the article, too (though right over the Washington county line). This isn&#39;t a conservative "right" thing so much as a left thing. You&#39;d be hard pressed to find republicans in our area.

    My mom has taught many Sex Ed classes in the area, I&#39;ll have to ask her for some more info on what she is and isn&#39;t allowed to talk about. I know my sex ed class (my school didn&#39;t use my mom :-() preached and preached abstinence and did a large bit about condoms.
     
  17. Imported

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    TripodMillenium: I think that the schools have it right in my immediate area....


    Teach sex ed..... and let kids who have a religious confliction with it opt out...
     
  18. jay_too

    jay_too New Member

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    Why opt out? AIDS and other STDs infect even those who inhabit "holier than thou" homes. These are a public health issues; one of the precepts of organized society is that the individual gives up certain rights for the common good. To me, sex education should be taught/viewed as a citizen responsibility.

    Someone needs to shout in Jerry Falwell&#39;s ear, "Sex education is not a nookie card."

    jay
     
  19. ponybilt

    ponybilt Member

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    Why opt out? AIDS and other STDs infect even those who inhabit "holier than thou" homes. These are a public health issues; one of the precepts of organized society is that the individual gives up certain rights for the common good. To me, sex education should be taught/viewed as a citizen responsibility.

    Someone needs to shout in Jerry Falwell&#39;s ear, "Sex education is not a nookie card."

    jay [/b][/quote]
    I second that whole-heartedly.

    It amazes me that the left is oftentimes the first to applaud the education efforts without acknowledging that the &#39;common good&#39; requires relinquishing certain rights outside of those deemed inalienable.

    Some of the far left will actually argue that stance to be rightist. I&#39;d be inclined to debate that political disposition isn&#39;t linear but circular, with the extremes of both very close to each other.

    Glad to see another reasonable person exists. :)
     
  20. jonb

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    Well, ponybilt, the proper explanation is that you also have a libertarian/authoritarian scale. An example of a left-wing libertarian would be Gandhi or Nelson Mandela. Stalin and Mugabe would be left-wing authoritarians. Hitler and Mussolini would be right-wing authoritarians. There are few famous right-wing libertarians; actually the only one I can think of is Milton Friedman.
     
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