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09/30/2008 at 02:15 PM ET

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Sharona on

Ugh. It is SO frustrating to me to read stuff like the article about the parenting classes in Texas…how does the United States government not realize that putting money into abstinence-only programs for teens is just completely ridiculous. You think they’d notice that with the exxxxtreeeemely high teen pregnancy rate that the US has, more funding should go into talking about protection and birth controls. Yes, abstinence is the way to go, but with teenagers that’s not always going to happen and they should take preventative measures. Jeeeeeezzz, I don’t understand how they can’t see it!!

TinkiWinki on

Sharona,

FYI, I had comprehensive sex ed and I mean comprehensive (like I was well versed on how to have oral, vaginal, and anal sex by fourteen because of that class), but by sixteen ten out of the twenty girls in my health class had gotten pregnant. Eight of them had moms who put them on the pill too, but they forgot to take it. Four of the eight were pregnant again by the time they were eighteen (BTW, none of them gave birth).

The girls who didn’t get pregnant because they were on different birth control did get STDs. About fifteen out of the 20 had some kind of STD by the time we graduated. They knew how not to get it, but they wanted to have fun and experiment and not all of the guys they were with wanted to use condoms (ruins the mood).

Education doesn’t really help when you’re told by the instructor that your hormones should dictate your actions. We were just taught to say yes to our needs and to not let other people’s hang-ups hamper our desires.

I can’t imagine a class being more comprehensive than mine, but my younger brother’s class did talk more about homosexual and group sex than mine so I guess they can be more graphic, if necessary. Maybe your experience is different from mine and you think a more extensive explaination would help young people?

MB on

I can’t imagine a teacher telling the students their horomones should dictate what they do! Wow. I’m getting a graduate degree in public health education and I plan to teach sex ed, at least for a bit. Research does show that *overall* a comprehensive program does a better job of preventing teen pregnancy and the spread of STDs (though not necessarily the start of sexual activity; those teens tend to start earlier than teens in abstinence only programs BUT AO teens have the same rates of sexual activity by college).

We define comprehensive as a program that talks about abstinence and why that is the only guarentee, but also discusses healthy relationships (how to feel comfortable asking a partner to put on a condom, how to say no when you don’t want sex, etc.) and the different types of birth control. None of the comprehensive classes I took ever taught how to have sex (minus that one in middle school that explains where babies come from).

In any case, it sounds like all of the teens are getting the parenting classes, not just the ones who are having kids? It will be interesting to see if that is useful in deterring pregnancy/helping teen parents be more self-sufficient.

Lauren on

“I can’t imagine a teacher telling the students their horomones should dictate what they do! Wow.”

Absurd as it sounds, there are people out there who use this argument in favor of teenage sex, as well as the argument that teenagers are “in heat” due to the fact that they at the prime biological age to give birth (I have talked with people who feel this way). I guess little things like education, financial resources, partner support, and emotional maturity don’t matter to them.

I agree 100% that comprehensive sex education is what is needed to prevent teen pregnancy/STDs. You can talk about pills and birth control til the cows come home; until you present both sides of the story-including the reasons why it is important to wait-you are witholding valuable information from impressionable young people that could well determine the course of their lives.

Sharona on

I just want to clear up that I didn’t mean they should Only learn about birth control methods etc…and yes it is important they learn the importance of waiting…however, I think that from what I’ve heard, talk about abstinence is the Only kinda of sex ed. that a Lot of American teens are getting…and it obviously does not seem to be working.

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