Friday, January 06, 2006

Blade Looks Into Republican Legislation

The always "balanced" Washington Blade takes a deep look into Virginia Republicans social legislation about to come up. I see the papers obvious anxiety toward a couple sanctity of marriage bills(which I agree with on a state-level) but come on...why would the paper disagree with this.... Sex education also is on the General Assemblys radar. Del. L. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Prince William), an avid opponent of opening civil marriage to gays, has filed a bill to emphasize abstinence education in school curriculum, according to the Virginia government website. The bill states that family life classes that include mentions of sex must emphasize that abstinence is the accepted norm and the only guarantee against unwanted pregnancy. The bill also requires that family life courses include materials that emphasize honor and respect for monogamous heterosexual marriage; provide information on the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases; inform students on laws addressing the unlawfulness of sexual relations between unmarried persons. I can not understand their negative view on this bill...and as a public school student I agree with Delegate Lingamfelter abstinence is and should always be the best policy if sex-ed is taught in schools. STD's are just as big a problem with homosexual couples as heterosexual couples..so why disagree with a bill telling kids the risks involved? As far as the unwanted pregnancy issue..an issue the homosexual community does not have to deal with, again I can not see why the paper chooses to disagree. The bottom line in my opinion is if the Contraceptiveptive/abstinence fight causes such controversy why teach sex education at all? This is a very delicate topic that is taught differently teacher to teacher...when it should be taught at home.

22 Comments:

At 1/06/2006 12:19:00 PM, Anonymous getagrip said...

You must have missed the part of sex ed where they insist that the only acceptable behavior is "abstinence until marriage" (yes, that's already an integral part of the "abstinence based" curriculum), and then make it clear that marriage is only for heterosexual people.

Note that the objective is not to abstain from sex until the attainment of responsible adulthood, which I would support. It's to abstain until marriage.

I guess that means that if you aren't heterosexual you're never allowed to have sex, for the rest of your life? Do you think that's a reasonable, or realistic, thing to be teaching young people?

 
At 1/06/2006 01:01:00 PM, Blogger Willis said...

Abstinence-only sex-ed has been proven, through studies, to do very little to decrease the amount young people have sex.

It does nothing to educate young people on how to use contraceptives, and thus, after learning this abstinence-only stuff, they have a higher rate of not using contraception or not knowing how to use it properly, when they have sex.

It is bad policy.

 
At 1/06/2006 02:06:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Willis knows. He speaks from experience. His high school gym teacher never taught him how to talk to the ladies!

 
At 1/06/2006 02:09:00 PM, Blogger too conservative said...

getagrip-huh?

Those are two seperate parts of the bill..

Abstaining until marriage is not just right religiously..it's the safest thing to do, and I commend Delegate Lingamfelter for actually putting a bill like this forward..as our education systems become taken over by extreme leftists

 
At 1/06/2006 02:19:00 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said...

I think you make a good point about getting rid of sex education.
No matter how it is taught, someone will be offended. Kinda like evolution/creationism.
Its a no win situation.

 
At 1/06/2006 02:20:00 PM, Blogger Mitch Cumstein said...

As the father of several teenage children, I believe that abstinence-only education is completely irresponsible. I'm fortunate enough to have the kind of open relationship with my children that they don't need any assistance from our schools. But many kids don't. That some would use sex education as a way to further a particular political agenda is just infuriating.

Abstinence until "responsible adulthood" should absolutely be stressed. But ignoring the importance of contraception, just for the sake of discouraging unmarried or homosexual relationships, misses the point entirely. Telling a teen, who is in the midst of an often scary hormonal battle, that they should really just wait until they're married to think about or act on their sexual urges is tantamount to telling a starving man to just look at a cupcake but don't touch it. Turn your head for a minute, and all you're left with is crumbs.

Let's leave the morality issues where they belong: at home and in church. Our children need to be educated on the real-life lessons of unprotected sex and understand the consequences. Hell, scare them if you have to. But give them real options that will protect them from both disease and unwanted pregnancies, not just some drivel about what's right and wrong in the minds of some. Our children aren't stupid and deserve better.

 
At 1/06/2006 02:30:00 PM, Blogger Willis said...

Well said mitch. We completely agree, I think.

TC: while abstaining until adulthood (not marriage, because a significant percentage are gay and thus, not allowed to marry in our backwards america) is the safest thing to do, telling kids to do this won't accomplish much at all.

They need to be educated on how to protect themselves.

 
At 1/06/2006 02:50:00 PM, Blogger too conservative said...

Mitch-
I could not disagree with you more.

As in Montgomery County..where tax-payers provide the contraceptives to the students..I believe this is irresponsible and an incorrect method to teach in schools.

Any school system which provides the contraceptive might as well provide the sexual partner..logically having a contraceptive would make the ability to have safe sex easier.

If sex-ed is going to be continually taught in schools..I dont feel we stress abstinence enough.

Kids leave school thinking if they use contraceptives they will not catch STDS, or father children.

The negative consquences are not stressed enough. If it was up to me..I would show pictures of what the various STDS do..give stats of the local area and STDs, and then show just how often contraceptives do not work.

Male contraceptives work even less than womens, mos of them 3/100 do not work.

Willis-I believe you are mistaken. While telling a child what is right and wrong doesnt belong in the classroom..if it is to be taught..the school system needs to be absolutely clear and firm with the students.

The moderate/liberal arguement to me on this issue seems irrelevent, as kids wouldnt have to "protect" themselves at all..if they just abstained from pre-marital sex while in High School.

None of these students can support a family or child..which leads to abortions...when over 95% of abortions are just simply unwanted pregancies...stressing abstinence not only protects the student from STDs, but also the child.

It is the ONLY method of contraception that works 100% of the time...and we need to be moving towards it.

 
At 1/06/2006 02:57:00 PM, Blogger Willis said...

TC: while you are correct that abstinence is the only form of contraception that works 100% of the time, it is impossible to force adolescents not to have sex through teaching.

As I said earlier, studies have shown that abstinence-only education does very little to decrease the amount young people have sex. It simply doesn't work.

You say 3 times out of 100, male contraceptives don't work. Know why this is (I'm assuming your statistics are correct)??? Because when they are misused, they don't work. This is why teaching kids how to use condoms correctly is so essential. Mis-use results in failure.

I don't necessarily agree with providing the condoms in school. I can see how that could encourage sex, and I don't think schools should be doing that. Maybe the schools should have condoms available on request, but they shouldn't distribute them willy-nilly.

As you state, unwanted pregnancies among young people inevitably leads to more abortions. And, as has been shown, abstinence-only education is far less effective than traditional sex-ed teaching contraceptive use, in preventing unwanted pregnancies.

So, your boy Bush's abstinence-only policies are leading to more abortions. How do you like that??

 
At 1/06/2006 03:01:00 PM, Blogger too conservative said...

Actually Willis-

If you look nationally..abortions are on the decline...

which I would state that sex education is a big cause..

and I just heard on Rush some interesting statistics..I will try to do a post on it in a minute.

Abstinence needs to be taught.

 
At 1/06/2006 03:09:00 PM, Blogger Mitch Cumstein said...

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on this one, TC. As I stated before, we should absolutely stress abstinence. But teaching abstinence alone just will not work. Again, I have three teens. I've spent time with literally hundreds of their friends over the years. I know through experience that what is being proposed is a recipe for failure. Willis is right (wow, I really did just say that) on the issue of condom misuse and lack of education. And we should absolutely ensure that kids know all of the potential reprocussions of premarital sex. I also disagree with the notion of schools distributing contraceptives. That certainly sends the wrong message. But simply teaching kids not to have sex (unless you use some sort of electro-shock therapy) won't help.

 
At 1/06/2006 03:30:00 PM, Blogger too conservative said...

Mitch-

I respect your views.

I am out with this generation, and I see what goes on at parties ect.

We need to get tougher on these kids, because people literally do not realize the consequences of having sex.

When I lived on the Outer Banks sophomore year...sex ed there was much different. It was more of a down home place, and pregancy seemed per capita to be more common than Fairfax. Pregnant girls wandered around High School..and some even brought their babies.

Here in Fairfax from what I've seen things are done differently.

I know 16, 17 year olds who have had abortions with their parents consent..just because the parents don't want to allow the community to know their child was having sex.

This entire system is messed up, too many people have sex..and at somepoint someone needs to step up and try to slow the number down.

People are molded in their public school system..and we need to mold our youth into moral trustworthy beings..not people who can "get out of" pregnancy by using contraception.

 
At 1/06/2006 03:39:00 PM, Blogger Willis said...

"mold[ing] our youth into moral beings" sounds very suspicious to me. Almost like you'd be trying to teach them a particular religion...

I always though school was for teaching children about the world, and turning them into intelligent people, rather than trying to indoctrinate them into a particular moral philosophy.

The sex rate among adolescents is too high, I agree, but that has nothing to do with sex ed. It has to do with television mainly, music, and other areas in which kids get socialized like that. Teaching kids about condoms doesn't make them have sex.

This seems like yet another area where republicans are idealistic and seem to lack a basic knowledge of reality. What good is an idealistic policy if it does more harm than good?? That is what I would like to know.

 
At 1/06/2006 03:45:00 PM, Blogger too conservative said...

Willis-

We can read every study in the world..

My friends are going through the sex-ed program..and I have friends my age throughout the country who are doing the same.

And yes..giving kids condoms does encourage them to have sex.

Doesnt it sound similar to lets say what if D.C. schools gave kids "clean needles" for shooting heroin...hey if your gonnna do it..

 
At 1/06/2006 03:50:00 PM, Blogger Willis said...

Shooting heroin isn't good to do in any respect. Responsible sex can't be equated to that.

If condom education makes kids have sex, why do so many kids still have sex after abstinence-only education?? Hmm??

 
At 1/06/2006 04:12:00 PM, Anonymous getagrip said...

If kids are leaving high school thinking that contraceptives don't fail or that they prevent STDs, that only shows that they are not getting medically and factually accurate information about sexuality.

Again, TC, you missed the point about "abstinence until marriage." Not only are some people prohibited outright from marriage, many people delay marriage until well into their 20s or longer. You can't seriously be suggesting that people not have a sexual relationship until they are close to 30? Or even worse, that they jump into early marriage for the wrong reasons - just so they can have sex?

My son and his friends were insulted by the sexuality curriculum they were forced to endure. It was nothing but scare tactics and they could see right through it. With such a lack of credibility, if anything such programs have the opposite effect from what is intended.

 
At 1/06/2006 04:15:00 PM, Blogger Willis said...

getagrip is right. Often, when you try to scare adolescents instead of speaking to them honestly about a subject, it tends to make them very curious and determined to try it in defiance.

 
At 1/06/2006 04:36:00 PM, Blogger too conservative said...

getagrip

-If your son and his friends were insulted with the curriculum, that does not make the curriculum wrong.

I am not sure what county you live in, but Fairfax sex-ed is not scare tactics, and nor was Dare County in North Carolina.

The sex-ed programs have continually moved to the left in NOVA, and need to be centered out again, if not moved completley to the right.

 
At 1/06/2006 05:43:00 PM, Anonymous getagrip said...

I'm one of those involved parents that actually reviews the curriculum, so I got to see for myself. One of the things that most alarmed me was that none of the source material had been updated since the late 80's. There was medical information in the curriculum that was just flat out wrong, and there isn't even a mechanism for updating it. The committee that developed it was disbanded.

I guess there is considerable variability across counties. Where I live, the instructors have been told that they may not discuss abortion, homosexuality or masturbation, even if directly asked about these things by a student.

To me, that seems to be a recipe for having kids laugh at you and not take anything you say seriously - which appears to be the case among the kids I know.

 
At 1/06/2006 05:50:00 PM, Blogger Willis said...

That brings back memories. I remember being in one of those classes, late in junior high I think, and a kid asked the teacher about "whacking off". The teacher said something to the effect of, "I can't talk about that," and after that, some kids would make fun of him.

 
At 1/09/2006 08:07:00 PM, Blogger Involved said...

Clearly, neither of you have any idea about what the NoVA sex-ed contains, then.

They get a lot more graphic than anything that you seem to have in your middle schools or high schools.

 
At 1/10/2006 07:47:00 AM, Blogger Willis said...

I had NoVa sex ed. I know exactly what it entails.

 

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