Question of the day

Do you think it’s okay for schools to teach “Abstinence Only” classes?

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10 Responses to Question of the day

  1. mssc54 says:

    Absolutely! The aspirin method is THE only 100% guaranteed method.

  2. Joy says:

    Well I don’t know if thinking it’s okay is the right question. I just don’t think this works. Sometimes the more you tell kids one thing the more they want to do the opposite. I do think sex ed should be taught to some extent and at some point but if they teach that, how would they teach this? It’s so contradictory.

  3. SKL says:

    I can’t help but think that “abstinence only” is a myth. I mean, what exactly is it? Are there really kids today who have had sex ed in school and NOT been taught about birth control? I find that extremely hard to believe. Or is “abstinence only” just one part of the kid’s education? Kind of like when you go to math class, you don’t talk about the Louisiana Purchase? Doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to know about the Louisiana purchase, you just aren’t focused on that during math class.

    Abstinence should be taught. Knowledge of birth control should also be taught, but not as an alternative to abstinence for teens. That would be like pushing stomach stapling as an alternative to healthy eating. When I taught my sister (then age 10) about contraceptives, I presented it as “what you do if you’re married but don’t want children yet.” I think it’s wrong to present contraceptives in the context of “we know you’re going to have sex as teens, so here are some pointers.” Or, “premarital sex is not a moral issue.” Or, “sex with a condom is just as healthy and responsible as abstinence.” Because whether or not you personally agree with those statements, it’s not the school’s place to teach that to kids.

    There is no contraceptive that is as effective at preventing both pregnancy and STDs as abstinence. There is no contraceptive with fewere potential side effects than abstinence. Abstinence also has significant mental health benefits, social and economic benefits, etc. If schools are going to teach about sex ed and contraception, then they should have to include abstinence, and I see nothing wrong with having a whole separate unit on abstinence, provided it’s well-designed and taught by someone who believes in it.

  4. Just a Mom says:

    I think abstinence should be taught along with the other forms of contraceptives. I am finding out that more and more kids don’t even learn about abstinence, from their parents or the school.

  5. Laura says:

    It seems like, whenever someone (and I’m thinking of people I “talk to” online at blog sites) discusses “abstinence only education”, there is this idea that it’s a whole bunch of Bible Banging and “the Lord will SMITE you” going on. The truth is, SKL is right… abstinence SHOULD be taught in schools, and it should be the main thing. I’m not saying that other methods shouldn’t be taught, as well, but it seems like our society has taken such an “oh, well, they’re gonna do it anyway” attitude towards so many things – sex, drinking, whatever – that it feels like we’ve taken a defensive, rather than an offensive position.

    I don’t understand why it’s so wrong to encourage kids to respect themselves and their future, and wait. I get that it’s hard to say ‘no’ in the heat of the moment. But isn’t that exactly what we train them to do with drugs? “Just say no” and all that? We school them, rehearse them on how to stay away from drugs and cigarettes, and even drinking a little bit now, but when it comes to sex, we’re pretty much, “go all in!! Here’s a box of condoms!! Have big fun!!”

    I don’t get it.

    So yes, I think it’s absolutely appropriate for schools to not only teach abstinence, but to emphasize it. Birth control options should be in there, as well as safe-sex procedures, STD’s, etc. But you don’t have to say a word about religion to teach effective abstinence lessons, so I don’t understand why it’s such a big stinkin’ deal.

  6. Emphatically NO. I believe that kids should be taught that they shouldn’t have sex just because their friends are having it, that peer pressure shouldn’t be a factor in the decision to have sex, but I do not, under any circumstances, believe that abstinence only is a viable option.

    There are more and more girls obsessed with the idea of their “virginity” today, but the definition of virginity is not what it once was. There are teenage girls engaging in anal sex before vaginal sex, because it means that they’re technically “virgins.” I blame this in large part on the idea of “abstinence only” which puts such a high value on the need for women (because let’s face it, nobody gets all that riled up when a teenage boy loses his virginity, but they throw a fit when a girl does) to keep themselves “pure.”

    • Joy says:

      I agree with you Ilana.

    • SKL says:

      I could be wrong, but I think the focus is on pointing out the emotional and physical benefits of waiting for sex, and on empowering kids to avoid finding themselves in the “heat of the moment” and to say “no” and mean it and be heard.

      I agree that some kids seem to have a strange idea of what “virginity” is. I don’t know that that comes from abstinence education, though. I doubt that the classes are designed to teach, for example, that anal sex is somehow more advisable than vaginal sex for teens. Though I could see that sometimes happening if a sex ed teacher does not believe in abstinence and thinks her role is to teach pregnancy prevention only. Perhaps sex ed classes should be teaching a broader view of “abstinence” than they are. I haven’t seen the curriculum, so I really don’t know.

      I agree that there’s a fine line to walk when it comes to teaching girls the value of “virginity” (which is really better stated as the value of forward thinking, self-respect, and self-control). When I was 12, I thought that it would be better to be dead than to be raped and live with it. I was fondled by a “dirty old man” and I felt disgusted with myself for having been seen as a potential sex object. Raising my two daughters, I do want them to choose the benefits of waiting to have sex, but I don’t want them to feel their self-worth depends on being physically “pure” (or child-like) in the way it was seen in the “old days.”

  7. Nikki says:

    I wouldn’t mind my son being taught to be abstinent. He knows that is what I “expect” from him until he is married, but I’m not delusional. I also make sure he knows he can always come talk to me if he ever EVER feels the urge. He’s 11 and if you ask him now, when it’s right to have sex…he will say when he is married. That might very well change and we’ll all be prepared for that. I think teaching abstinence should be a part of sexual education, along with teaching how to protect if they chose to not be.

  8. Phyllis says:

    Simple answer from me….Yes, I believe abstinence should be taught as a part of the sex education that currently goes on.

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