Writing this blog has taught me a lot about the situation inside America’s “sex education” classrooms.
Some of my knowledge has come from closely following the news on this topic, but plenty has also come directly from comments that you have left after the posts.
I’ve really enjoyed reading them, so I thought I would share some highlights with you:
ArielMeog says, “I live in North Carolina … I can tell you loads of bull crap I got from the abstinence-only ed. It’s the whole “girls give sex to get love, boys give love to get sex.” They basically promoted the stereotypes that girls were weak and gullible while boys were unable to control their urges.
In my ninth grade health textbook there was a load of information on drugs such as marijuana, crack cocaine, heroin, barbiturates, meth … very comprehensive information. But when it came to sex it was ‘SEX IS BAD, YOU ARE GUARANTEED AN STD AND PREGNANCY. PLUS, IT GOES AGAINST YOUR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS!’ And I go to a public school.”
Leah says, “At my school in Michigan, we get the whole abstinence-only education crap. Even our STD unit sucks. They basically tell us, ‘If you have sex, you will get chlamydia and die, even if the person does not have chlamydia. If you wait until you get married, you will never ever get an STD … even if your husband has one.’
In the entire program, (STD and standard sex ed) I never heard the words “condom” or “birth control”–except the first day, when we were told that we weren’t allowed to say them. The sex ed unit was just about a bunch of pregnant girls talking about how much their life sucks.”
Elizabeth says, “When I was in ninth grade, sex ed was taught by my health teacher. He was a football coach and did the ‘sex is scary, giving birth is scary, and sex will make you diseased and gross’ thing.
Miranda says, “In eighth grade (supposedly our “big sex ed year”) it was kinda comprehensive, which was good, only our teacher was a big believer in abstinence until marriage and she kept talking about our virginity as a “gift to give to the right man” and other stuff like that.
Anna says, “We just recently had the annual ‘AIDS Presentation.’ It essentially told us this:
- We push abstinence-only, because you’re irresponsible
- All drugs will kill you the first time
- We push abstinence-only
- People get high and get raped at all raves
- The techno music at raves will make you start worshipping Satan
- We PUSH abstinence only
- If your boy/girlfriend shows any signs of jealousy, s/he’s abusing you
- WE PUSH ABSTINENCE-ONLY
I also learned that most of the, like, 200 7th graders at my school think that if a girl is the victim of domestic (dating) abuse, it’s her fault. How sad is that? Really. It makes me sick.”
Deanna says, “I’m in 9th grade, in Georgia. In 6th grade we began the ‘real’ sex-ed class and the teacher stated that abstinence was the only way to protect yourself from HIV/AIDS and she didn’t mention that condoms would serve any purpose until I raised my hand!
Now, we are taught abstinence and a little bit about contraception. This year I was lucky enough to have a teacher who was straightforward and knew how to get through to kids. His stance was, ‘Even if we don’t want them to have sex, they’re gonna do it, so they might as well learn how to be safe when doing it.’ He was great. The only bad thing was he couldn’t answer all the questions because of the laws.”
Opheliasawake says, “My sex ed class was horrible. We went into great detail about STDs and AIDS, and then my teacher propagated several myths, including (but not limited to) condoms having a 30% failure rate and that AIDS arose from homosexual sex. I brought in an article from a scientific journal that demonstrated that the HIV virus came from a hunter getting contaminated monkey blood on his hands. She responded by making us watch a video from the Reagan era where a female AIDS victim who got it from a bad transfusion told us that abstinence was the only way to avoid HIV. She also refused to publicize the location of Planned Parenthood, where I used to volunteer. Not exactly ‘You will get pregnant and die,’ but close.”
What’s sex ed like at your school?