Abstinence-Only Advocates in Denial
The Philadelphia Inquirer has a great piece about what is being taught in abstinence-only classes:
Gale Grant, who has taught abstinence in Virginia and now works for the Virginia Department of Heath, said she teaches students to wait until they are married. She doesn't teach them about the use of condoms or other birth control, she said to an audience gathered at the National Academy of Sciences last week.Those opposed to sex education and abortion always fail to talk about the disturbing fact that three in 10 American girls become pregnant before the age of 20, which is high compared to other industrialized countries.
Someone in the audience asked about masturbation. She said she tells students to "abstain from arousing yourself sexually" because, she explained, it could lead to dangerous sexual behavior.
Somehow you're supposed to act as though your body below the waist doesn't exist until you're married.
There must be something we can learn from the Canadians and Europeans, who have as much sex as we do but end up with fewer abortions and teen pregnancies. Could it help that they're more open about sex, while we Americans treat it like a crime, all the worse if it's, God forbid, premeditated? You're supposed to be swept away by passion with no plan, no discussion, no change of clothes for the next day, and no condom. No wonder three in 10 teenage girls end up pregnant.