Here is the fourth question we will include in our voter guide for the following election, Chairman, Prince William County School Board, At Large. This election is scheduled for November 6, 2018 (see 2018 ELECTIONS.
Do you support or oppose using only abstinence-based sex education curricula?
Why this question? Unless parents assume the primary role in the education of their children, other people will teach them their values, and the public schools are almost the ideal place to attempt implementing such instruction.
What will a search on “sex education” abstinence only turn up? About 549,000 results (0.40 seconds). There is a lot of interest in this subject, and most of the top hits are from pro-choice advocacy and news media organizations opposed to abstinence only sex education. Consider the top five.
- The Truth About Abstinence-Only Programs (advocatesforyouth.org): Advocates against abstinence only sex education. This is a pro-abortion organization.
- Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs (plannedparenthoodaction.org): Advocates against abstinence only sex education. This is a pro-abortion organization.
- Abstinence-only sex education (en.wikipedia.org): Advocates against abstinence only sex education by stating such programs are ineffective.
- Abstinence-Only Education Is Ineffective And Unethical, Report Argues (npr.org): The centerpiece of this news article is an interview with a research scientist employed by the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health research group that supports abortion rights. That research scientist coauthored a report which purports to show that abstinence only sex education does not work.
- Abstinence-Only Education and Teen Pregnancy Rates: Why We Need Comprehensive Sex Education in the U.S (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov): Advocates against abstinence only sex education. The University of Georgia Research Foundation funded this research (from here).
At least two of these organizations receive government funds, Planned Parenthood and NPR. Considering the fact they receive government funding, their advocacy role is at least inappropriate. NPR, of course, can claim to just be covering a story, but why is our government funding news reports? We trust our politicians to be unbiased?
Is abstinence only sex education effective? Frankly, the effectiveness of abstinence only sex education a red herring. Consider what is lost in “scientific” studies of the effectiveness of abstinence only sex education. We have an unrealistic expectation. We expect politician-run, secularized schools to instruct our children to refrain from sex until they are married? Seriously?
Why do people believe that we should reserve sexual activity for married relationships? There are some commonsense health reasons for refraining from unmarried sex, but the primary reasons are religious. However, because of our fallen state — the fact we are inherently sinful creatures — Christians know that without the help of the Holy Spirit we will not wait until we are married to have sex. So the real of objective abstinence only sex education is to keep civil servants — teachers — from teaching our children that it is okay to have sex BEFORE they are married.
Since Donald Trump won the White House, abstinence only sex education is making a comeback. Here are several articles.
- Abstinence-only education making a comeback under Trump (thehill.com)
- Under Trump, the lies of abstinence-only sex education are back (theguardian.com)
- Research Confirms That Abstinence-Only Education Hurts Kids (forbes.com)
- Want to reduce sexual assault? Start with eliminating abstinence-only sex education (marketwatch.com)
Much of the news media is, unfortunately, unhappy with the change, but consider that last article. Marketwatch is an investment magazine. What is that article doing in their Personal Finance section? When it is just going to offend many of their readers, why would an investment magazine want to take on that issue? What has made sex education, the instruction of other people’s children in sex, such a holy cause?
How should Christians respond to the uproar from the advocates of comprehensive sex education? Here are several points of view.
- How to Respond to Claims That Abstinence Training Is Ineffective (churchleaders.com)
- Should Sex Ed Teach Abstinence? Most Americans Say Yes (barna.com)
- 5 Things Christians Should Know about Sex-Ed in Schools (crosswalk.com)
What are Virginia’s policies on abstinence only sex education? The Virginia Department of Education refers to sex education as Family Life Education (FLE). Virginia does not have abstinence only sex education. Abstinence is, however, part of the program.
Virginia’s standards for family life education provide a comprehensive, sequential K-12 curriculum. They include age-appropriate instruction in family living and community relationships, abstinence education, the value of postponing sexual activity, the benefits of adoption as a positive choice in the event of an unwanted pregnancy, human sexuality and human reproduction. Instruction is designed to promote parental involvement, foster positive self concepts and provide mechanisms for coping with peer pressure and the stresses of modern living according to the students’ developmental stages and abilities. Parents have the right to review the complete family life curricula, including all supplemental materials used in any family life education program. (from here)
Prince William County Schools has a page devoted to Family Life Education. Parents should study what the program includes and decide whether they wish to opt out. The FLE Guidelines describe the opt out procedures.
Here are the previous posts in this series: