Category Archives: Abstinence Education
There’s been so much in the news in the past few months about abortion, contraception, and a woman’s right to choose that as I said in a previous post, I’ve been overwhelmed. I’d like to take a moment to get a little idealistic.
When I was in high school, I took a class about early human development. We learned about the stages of pregnancy, and the different stages children go through in their first two years of life. At one point in my class, we were given the task of brainstorming the ideal situation to have a child. We already knew that adoptive parents had to fulfill certain criteria in order to be able to have a child, so we were told to imagine a “test” of sorts that a woman (or a set of parents) would have to pass in order to have a child.
If I remember correctly, we came up with the following points:
- Financially stable, with at least six months worth of income in accessible savings.
We came up with this because pregnancy and raising a child are both expensive. There’s also the risk of complications with the pregnancy or child’s health leaving one or both parents unable to work for a period of time. We thought that at least six months of income in the bank would help ease that potential burden.
- Emotionally stable, with a supportive network of friends and family.
Just like the financial cost, pregnancy and raising a child can be unexpectedly difficult, emotionally. We learned about postpartum depression, and how the woman’s emotional state can affect the child’s development in the womb. Having a supportive network of friends and family, especially people who are geographically close, is important to making sure that the parents can have a break occasionally.
- Good health, and good health insurance.
Making sure that the woman is already in good health when she gets pregnant, and maintains her health during the pregnancy were also stressed during my class. Proper nutrition and regular exercise, as well as the ability to see a doctor when necessary, were things that we deemed of highest importance to the development of the child.
- A stable and safe place to live.
Being teenagers in the suburbs, we were imagining owning a house with a large backyard. While I no longer think that is necessary, I do think that living in a relatively safe neighborhood, and taking the proper precautions to baby-proof your house are incredibly important.
- Ease of access to hospitals, schools, and other important services.
I think this one is self-explanatory.
I am close to many women who have had children without checking any of these boxes. Their children are happy and healthy, and they are excellent mothers. I still think that all of these are important things to have in place before I consider having children, and that is why I chose to get an IUD. When I decide to have children, it will be because I am ready. This is not a criticism of any woman or her choices. I fully realize that this is an idealistic list.
I would posit that is also idealistic of the Republican Party to expect to reduce accessibility to contraception and abortion and to somehow still not have any unwanted pregnancies occur, or for parents to not need some sort of assistance to care for their children. Abstinence education just exacerbates these problems. People are going to have sex, and sometimes, despite precautions, pregnancies occur.
If you had to come up with a list like this, what would you put on it? Do you think that the list we came up with in high school was good? Have you formulated a similar list? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.
Hey everyone, I am still very sick, so I apologize again for the short post.
I am very proud of California’s commitment to comprehensive sexual education in the school systems. A law passed in 2003 requires that sexual health education in California’s public schools be comprehensive, medically accurate, bias-free, and appropriate for students of all sexual orientations.
Unfortunately, the Clovis Unified School District is now being sued for their abstinence-only and heavily religious leaning sexual education curriculum. They are now being sued by two parents, the American Academy of Pediatrics California District IX, and the Gay-Straight Alliance network, with the ACLU providing free legal assistance.
Students were being taught that HIV could be spread through kissing, and that getting “lots of rest” was an effective way to prevent STIs. Both of these statements, of course, are ridiculously inaccurate. There were also passages in the textbook “Lifetime Health”, published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston, comparing a woman who is not a virgin to a dirty shoe, and states that men who are aroused are unable to control themselves. Oh, and there are no mentions of condoms. Anywhere. At all.
Congratulations, Clovis. You have now handed these young men the mental excuses they need to rape someone: “But I just couldn’t control myself! Besides, she’s not a virgin, so she’s dirty anyways. Condoms? Eh, those don’t work anyways.”
Fresno County has had one of the highest teen pregnancy and birth rates in California for over a decade now. The Central Valley area also has one of the highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases. Why, then, are the schools barring their students from medically accurate information? It almost seems like they are proud of these statistics.
Today’s post is composed mostly of links. Let me know what you think about the below news links!
The last one has me facepalming.
When you become a parent, one of the biggest parts of your new job is protecting your child. You’d never let your child sleep with a plastic bag in the crib; you’d never let him or her ride a bike for the first time without a helmet; and you would never just toss your child the keys to the car without teaching them how to drive it first. So why, then, are so many parents failing at protecting their children from the lies, misinformation, and danger of abstinence-only sex education? Read the rest of this entry
This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to have some one-on-one time with a lovely 13 year old young lady. We had a two hour long talk about sex, puberty, and relationships. I was able to answer all of the questions she had regarding these topics, and to give some information that she couldn’t get through school, and was too embarrassed to ask her family members. Read the rest of this entry
In searching for a topic for today’s post, I was browsing some of the research institutes that advocate for scientifically accurate sexual education. The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) is a particular favorite of mine. Read the rest of this entry