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View Diary: Teen pregnancy in the Red States (325 comments)

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  •  One more point (none)
    Just so you know where I am coming from, I have spent my adult life (30 years) in various federal and state public health efforts.  Up until about 1997, I thought we were getting a handle on this sex education and safety issue, but then the fundies and their abstinence only anachronism returned.  Now the Scopes monkey trials are being overlooked.  What next, the stork is the true case of babies?

    I have never been so frsutrated and angry at the stupidity of a nation in my life.  Listening to some of you supposed progressives here makes me really fear for our future.

    Political censorship is the root of all evil! It is the antithesis to a functional democracy!!

    by truthbetold on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 06:41:45 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Fact sheet follow-up (none)
       Just some facts:
      From Kaiser Family Foundation:

      Research suggests that women are biologically more
      susceptible to STD exposure than men.3 While STDs,
      including HIV, affect every age group, people under
      25 account for roughly two-thirds of all new STD
      infections: 42 percent occur among those aged 20-24
      and 25 percent occur among 15-to-19-year-olds.1,2 CDC
      data also show higher reported rates of STDs among
      some racial and ethnic minority groups, compared
      with rates among whites - possibly reflecting overall
      health disparities as well as greater use of public health
      clinics by minority populations.4

      Political censorship is the root of all evil! It is the antithesis to a functional democracy!!

      by truthbetold on Tue Dec 07, 2004 at 07:03:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We agree about the problem (none)
        What we disagree on is your belief that only your solution should be taught.  And furthermore that your solution is imposing your own values on children whose parents do not agree with you.  For all the spite against those imperialistic religious rightists, I don't see many attempts around here to pull back from pushing your own values on groups who disagree.

        I expect homeschooling and private/charter schools to grow substantiallly as long as public schools force parents to accept values they disagree with.

        •  It's not about forcing values onto people (none)
          The reason why comprehensive sex education does better is precisely that it doesn't force any values onto people. In fact, the entire point of comprehensive sex ed is not to impose values on people who don't share them. It's called "comprehensive" education for a reason. Comprehensive sex ed shows all the options, including abstinence, and allows families to come to their own conclusions. There's no reason why a personal or family belief in abstinence is incompatible with a comprehensive sex education program.

          Nobody is advocating refusing to teach about abstinence. That's a straw man similar to that used against abortion. Abstinence should instead be integrated into an education program so that those who choose not to abstain aren't left behind. When you force your own values onto those who won't accept them, you're leaving a group of people in the dark. However, with a comprehensive program you're giving everyone, regardless of belief, a chance to bring something home to the table.

          You say that we agree on the goals. Nearly all impartial studies (and by "impartial" I mean not done by the Heritage Foundation, et al) show that abstinence-only sex education does not achieve those goals as well as comprehensive sex education does. And, because comprehensive sex ed isn't incompatible with any values at all, I see no reason not to teach it.

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