Abstinence-centered or safe-sex education?
That's how we are often given the parameters of the debate for our teen's education on sexual health and behaviors, but why?
Since when did American students only get one or the other? I think this is an irrational straw-man set up to perpetuate erroneous and illogical conclusions. Having sex is like teaching someone to avoid setting fires in your living room, a fire is dangerous, unless it’s in the fireplace where fires are meant to be. If a fire is started on the living room floor use a fire-estiguisher. It's common sense stuff. To say a fire isn’t best placed in the hearth is nuts. If homes are burning down, its not because we have built or encourage fires to be contained in hearths!
Liberals think handling ones hormones is above a young person's ability but these same uncontrollable young men and women are perfectly able to be equipped and sent to war, where they perform, administer and execute adult duties required of them by their country.
I am not oppose to free access to condoms etc., but I also know that access does increase likelihood of use. I've see this within my pursuits of walking out a nonviolent neighborhood presence in East Central Spokane. By choosing to not own a gun, I've had to use other methods to deal with the potential violence I've encountered where I live. When I've had intruders on my property or trying to get in my house, I know that if I had a firearm, I would of been more likely to use that weapon in a moment of anger and fear. The emotions are real in high passion moments and rational thinking often gets sidelined in such moments. I am grateful to have learned how to deal with situations without relying on potentially lethal options.
According to the logic of most opponents of abstinence centered education, we should abandon marriage as a good institution based on the increasing divorce rate. I don't see the logic in lowering the bar because of failure of some to rise to the challenge of developing the self control needed for a solid character. Learning to say no to impulses of various kinds is part of learning to grow up and self manage one's life, relationships and appetites.
Knowing my wife was able to say no, before marriage adds extra confidence and trust that she is able to say no, after marriage. Sexual health and fidelity is a matter of character as well as love, passion and pleasure.
I know many individuals and couples who have chosen to wait for sex in marriage or committed relationships and consequently are avoiding pregnancy, STDs, distracting emotional entanglements, in order to pursue education, life goals, spiritual fidelity and mastery of one's self. Having power to choose is dignifying, empowering and a God given blessing originating from the image of God within us all.
Below are current studies, FAQS and policies of the Obama Administration in which Abstinence Centered Education is determined to be “Evidence Based”:
Abstinence/Evidence Based Curriculum used in the Obama Administrations Health & Human Services:
“Last month, for the first-time ever, Health and Human Services added an abstinence-only education curriculum to the list of 28 evidence-based pregnancy prevention programs that the Obama administration will fund….In April, the Office of Adolescent Health added Heritage Keepers’ Abstinence-Only curriculum to a list of evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs. Heritage Keepers is the first abstinence-only curriculum to become eligible for the Obama administration’s $75 million Teen Pregnancy Prevention Fund.”
-Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/under-obama-radministration-abstinence-only-education-finds-surprising-new-foothold/2012/05/08/gIQA8fcwAU_blog.html
The arguments and concerns against abstinence centered curriculum are not true for all programs: http://www.choosingthebest.org/faqs/index.html
New Study Establishes “Choosing the Best as Evidence-‐Based”: http://gallery.mailchimp.com/9e12930887c459fb26eddf3c5/wp-content/uploads/ctb_study_final.pdf