A SYTYCB entry
“Later, hear about the woman who told her daughter that dirty towels could get her pregnant to keep her away from boys!”
This what what I heard on the radio yesterday afternoon, as I drove home from running errands. I was, of course, appalled. How could a mother spread such preposterous lies? I was enraged that a daughter would believe her. I was also annoyed that the daughter’s sex education must have been a complete waste of time and taxpayer money.
I was not, however, surprised. I live in Georgia, one of the 26 states which requires schools’ sex education classes to promote and emphasize abstinence. I have seen and heard peers my age believe ridiculous claims such as this one countless times. I know young women who have gotten pregnant because they did not know the facts.
In school, I heard only that condoms were rarely effective. It took two years of sex ed, which I started in the 5th grade, to realize the penis had to go in the vagina for “sex” to occur. I had previously thought simply being together, naked, in a bed was enough. I only found out the truth through the internet. My classes never taught how sex actually works. Is it any surprise that so many of my peers find condoms unnecessary? Is it any wonder certain universities in the area have reputations of being rife with STDs?
I recently found the sex ed curriculum my cohort and I were subjected to. Here are some fun statistics:
“Abstinence” is mentioned 60 times.
“Condoms” are mentioned five times.
“Pills” and “diaphragms” are each mentioned once.
“Contraception” is mentioned 10 times.
“AIDS” is mentioned 90 times.
“STD is mentioned once. “Sexually transmitted diseases” are mentioned 20 times.
“Pregnancy” is mentioned 82 times. “Pregnant” is mentioned twice.
Thus, all together the guide mentions consequences of sex 195 times. It mentions reliable forms of contraception (I did not include abstinence) 16 times. Even without analyzing what this curriculum is saying, a dangerous pattern is clear.
It becomes even worse when you read what the guide is saying about these topics. For example, the guide says sex ed:
“Shall include [...] abstinence from sexual activity as an effective method of preventing acquired immune deficiency syndrome and the only sure method of preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. This instruction shall emphasize abstinence from sexual activity until marriage and fidelity in marriage as important personal goals. Procedures shall be developed that allow parents and legal guardians to exercise the option of excluding their child from sex education and AIDS prevention instructional programs.”
“I) No counseling or referral related to abortion or to abortion services. 2) No dispensing of contraceptives (including condoms). 3) No female, internal pelvic examinations. 4) No instruction or prescriptions for contraceptive availability or use, nor referrals for the aforementioned, unless a written parental consent has been received on a form approved by the Clay County School Board.”
“Homosexuality is not to be promoted or taught as an accepted alternate lifestyle. In dealing with homosexuality it should be emphasized that homosexual acts are not the result of genetic or hormonal abnormalities, but rather the decision and choice of the individual. While some people may have a stronger tendency toward homosexuality because of their background and environment, it should be emphasized that the act of homosexuality is a choice and experimenting with homosexuality is not a normal part of growing up.”