Sex Education Insulting Teenagers

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While abstinence is an admirable goal, it's unrealistic to think that young people will wait.

Advocates for Youth
Women's E-News

A recurring theme of comprehensive sex education is that we must teach teenagers how to use birth control pills and condoms and how to recognize and get treatment for sexually-transmitted diseases, because it's "unrealistic" to expect teenagers to limit their sexual activity in any way, no matter how dangerous or exploitive the activity may be.

If you're a teenager and your sex education teacher makes such a statement, I think you should politely ask, "Teacher, are you capable of using your will-power to do what you know is good for you and respectful of others, even when your feelings tell you to do something different? Can you stop yourself from eating another piece of cake when you know you've had too much already, no matter how good it looks? Can you force yourself to take your medicene even when it tastes bad? Can you refrain from punching someone even when you're angry? Can you stop yourself from having sex with every good-looking person who smiles at you? If so, why do you just assume that we can't? Are you saying that while you are a rational human being who can make intelligent decisions, we in this class are mindless animals driven by our instincts, completely incapable of controlling our own behavior?"

You should be offended at this insult. Don't let your school and your teachers disrespect you like this! Stand up and demand an apology!

Don't let them tell you that they're just trying to present all your options. In math class, they don't tell you how to solve the problems, and then say, "But we know you're too stupid to figure them out, so when you can't, here's how to copy from another student's test paper." In drivers ed, they don't tell you the dangers of drinking and driving, and then say, "But we know that you're irresponsible and you will drive drunk, so when you do, be sure to wear your seatbelt." Don't let them get away with saying, "You should save sex for marriage, but we know you're all a bunch of self-centered sluts, so when you do have irresponsible sex, be sure to wear a condom."

Don't let them talk you down by saying that sometimes you fail and do foolish things. We all screw up sometimes. But when you fail, you do not deserve to be told that you failed because you are a mindless, stupid brute and that there is no hope for you. What you need is help and encouragement to do better the next time. What you deserve is to be respected as a human being who has the potential to use his or her intelligence to make good choices about your own life. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise! You are not an animal. You are a human being. Demand to be respected as one.

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Posted April 5, 2008.

Copyright 2008 by Pregnant Pause
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