Everyone is entitled to believe as they like but I deeply feel that parents teaching kids "abstinence-only" sex ed are basically setting their child up to fail. By not properly educating kids and teens on safe sex, pregnancy, STD's and relationships we are forcing them to fly blind. Just telling them not to have sex is not enough to send them out into the world and expect them to come out unscathed.
Professor and author Alice Dreger awesomely highlights the utter insanity of abstinence-only education by live-Tweeting a class her son had to sit through. I've never gone through this kind of class myself so reading her account was enlightening and also, mildly terrifying to say the least.
Here is a sampling of her amazing Tweets as she documents the terrible information being given to these kids. You can read them all on Mashable:
Absolutely incredible, right? There are so many Tweets, I cannot include them all, so please take a look at the link if you have a chance. There is more wtf than I can fit in this post.
You can get the gist from the few Tweets I included, though. Fear is the underlying lesson here and that's so unbelievably wrong in every way. I wasn't raised with abstinence-only education but I was definitely raised to believe that having sex before marriage was wrong and that if I came home pregnant, it would be a huge problem. I don't want my kids having that feeling -- that they can't come to me and ask questions or that I would shame them for having a sexually-related issue. I think it's pretty obvious that abstinence-only education doesn't really work and that even if it does prevent kids from having sex, it can leave them with some pretty serious emotional scars afterward. And an unhealthy or fearful attitude toward sex.
The thing is, parents are kidding themselves if they think they can just tell their kids not to have sex and terrify them into obeying. They will still do it. I can promise that. They may as well do it equipped with the right information and the ability to access birth control and condoms to prevent STD's. I don't understand why parents would bury their heads in the sand when it would be so easy to protect their kids and be realistic.
It's wonderful that Dreger live-tweeted this class and that it went viral. I know on my end, I had no idea how much ridiculousness was spread to kids via this kind of "education". Now that I know, I will be sure to aggressively counteract anything my kids hear if their school tried to pull something like this. No matter what your religious beliefs, you're only hurting your kids if you think you can help them stay safe by just not having sex. They need to know more than simply "don't do it" and it's your job as a parent to teach them.
(Images: Alice Dreger Twitter/Mashable)