Skip to main content

As I was going to check my email, I came across this article on Yahoo!

It seems Tennessee's latest abstinence only law is to outlaw handholding. Yes. Handholding.

Can we just take a moment to actually talk about abstinence only education?

I live in MS. I received an abstinence only education. And I can tell you it doesn't work. Kids who are taught abstinence only are just as likely to have sex, and more likely to do it unsafely and associate sexual exploration and fulfillment as something shameful.

I'm a non gender normative, non sexual normative individual who was pushed through and broken by that system, and I've managed to pull myself together again relatively unharmed. Scuffed, but with more character for it. I'm a best case scenario. There are others who will have issues with shame and body image, not to mention self worth for years because of the slant MS takes on sexual education.

And those are just the psychological damages. There's also the high rate of teen pregnancy and the spread of venereal diseases, and just general ignorance all around. A MS sexual health class, if taught how the state mandates, actually teaches very little about sex itself. Everything I know about sex is information I went out of my way to learn myself.

The be all and end all of the class was "If you have sex, you're going to hell. If you have sex, your parents will hate you. If you have sex, your peers will revile you. If you have sex, you are a dirty whore. If you have sex, do all you can to hide it. If you need help, there is none to be found here."

Abstinence only education builds up sex into an event of such importance and significance that there is a tremendous feeling of pressure, of being watched, judged, every moment. It takes a long time to escape that feeling. It creates an unrealistic expectation of doom, a Sword of Damocles hanging over your head. The emphasis is DO NOT HAVE SEX DO NOT HAVE SEX HAVING SEX IS THE WORST THING YOU CAN DO NO DON'T DO IT DON'T, YOU HARLOTS, HEATHENS, DEMONS. It's about fear, and social stigma, rather than a calm, reasoned explanation of the inherent risks.

We need to, as a nation, accept that sexual feelings, from asexual to homosexual, bisexual, heterosexual, and everything in between is a normal part of the human experience and stop minimizing the importance awareness and acceptance of your own sexuality plays in a well adjusted individual. Abstinence only education is never going to achieve that.

Originally posted to Ms Pris on Fri May 18, 2012 at 10:28 AM PDT.

Also republished by Southern Action, Sluts, and Community Spotlight.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site