Minnesota has cold winters, the largest mall in the world and, now, a bill requiring comprehensive sex education in schools. That’s good news in a state where the birth rate for 15-17-year-olds grew 10% last year, (the national average at this time was 3%), and the rate of sexually transmitted infections increased almost 4%.
A local news station reports, ”According to the Minnesota Department of Health’s 2007 Sexually Transmitted Disease Statistics report, more than 17,000 people became infected with chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis in 2007…The MDH report showed adolescents between the ages of 15 and 19 had some of the highest rates of STD and comprised the majority of chlamydia cases.”
Despite these numbers, there are still people who oppose Minnesota’s sex ed requirement. As someone calling herself mstrehlow wrote in response to an article about the decision:
“I suppose we should also teach kids how to practice safe drug usage? Make sure you clean that needle after you inject the heroin into your body. We wouldn’t want you to be unsafe? That makes as much sense as talking out oneside [sic] of your mouth saying abstanace [sic] and then the othersie [sic] of your mouth saying here is a condom….”
Not only is this argument full of typos, but it is like comparing apples to oranges. Drugs and sex are not the same. Yet the commenter makes sex seem like it is always inherently dangerous and damaging, and not something that can ever be a natural and positive part of the human experience.
A lot of the folks who oppose comprehensive sex education don’t bother to learn what is actually being taught, because if they did, it would be a lot harder to criticize such programs.
For example, in Minnesota’s case, the curriculum, “must focus on abstinence but must include medically accurate information about contraceptives, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and pregnancy prevention.”
Focus on abstinence: Isn’t that exactly what supporters of abstinence education want?