Sexual education is fundamental for our kids
The Utah state Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would allow schools to drop sex education, prohibit instruction on how to use contraception, and prohibit discussion of homosexuality in class. During the debate many senators expressed their belief that sex education is meant for the home, not school.
Republican state Sen. Stuart Reid:
To replace the parent in the school setting, among people who we have no idea what their morals are, we have no ideas what their values are, yet we turn our children over to them to instruct them in the most sensitive sexual activities in their lives, I think is wrongheaded
I strongly believe that the lines between religion and morality are getting quite blurry these days. Mothers of any background or belief system understand that the subject of sexual education affects us all.
We live in a country that has a huge array of religions and races, so I have trouble understanding how come politicians make decisions for only part of the population. Shouldn't they think about the broader implications? Shouldn't they see how a decision like this affects people who may not see see the world exactly as they do?
Let's put aside politics and just talk in human terms about the abstinence-only sex education or lack thereof.
Perhaps in another era, leaving sexual education for the home only could've been possible. But nowadays, with the access to information our youth have, is this even realistic? Do we want to take the risk?
This sexual education bill touches a nerve for all of us who have kids. Conservative or Liberals--we all want what's best for our children. I hope that my daughter loses her virginity with her one true love when she's much, much older (and wiser)--but is my wish going to dictate what happens with her? Of course not, it never does.
I believe that as a society, we need to acknowledge all the facts and figures. It may be that for youngsters abstinence is the correct choice. But they're having sex regardless and more important than saying "no" is their decision making process and the precautions that should be taken to avoid unforeseen consequences. How do we expect them to make good, responsible decisions if we're hellbent on witholding information? This limited and hypocritical bill will only fail our youngsters and in the end our society.
Abstinence is, of course, the ideal we hold up for our kids--at least until they are well into their teens or even 20s--but we still need to offer youth an overview of contraception and its role in preventing pregnancy and STIs. I think we can all agree that if they decide to have sex, they should be using contraception.
The bill lifts the current requirement that all public schools must teach Sex Ed in grades 8 through 12. Districts would decide whether to offer classes that teach an abstinence-only curriculum, or not offer the course at all. Also teachers are barred from talking about homosexuality (even if asked by a student) and they must restrict their sexual education curriculum to advocating abstinence before marriage and remaining faithful to your spouse.
To me this is unbeliavable, we all need to move beyond the current divisiveness of our political and religious points of view and unite solely for the preotection of our children. I feel ultimately that most decent human beings (whatever their religious/atheist/political backgrounds are) can agree on this. If our youth lack information, we are putting them at risk.
We have to offer them enough knowledge about the consequences of any sexual act. We have to do it at home and our schools have to do it too.
What our kids need is a comprehensive and frank discussion about sexuality. They aren't getting it from this absurd abstinence programs and they aren't getting it either from many uncomfortable parents who think that just saying "Don't do it," it's enough.
Let's think about this twice and let's be smart, at least let's consider it. We owe it to our offspring.
Do you think kids should get sexual education classes in high school?