Out Sourcing Sex Ed Issues Beyond Palo Alto, posted by Lynn Grant, a resident of the Fairmeadow neighborhood, on Mar 23, 2007 at 1:48 pm
I am disturbed to hear that some school systems may farm out their sex education needs to evangelical churches. Coming from my own strict religious background, I can say that having an “only if you’re married” or abstinence rule was never an effective approach for me as a teen. In addition, sexual messages tied to moral imperatives only distanced me from my family and church. I did find a church, though, that has a very balanced approach to sexuality education. The Unitarian Universalist Church has developed a curriculum called “Our Whole Lives” (OWL). As a parent, I am reassured knowing that this program offers a comprehensive discussion of sexuality, self-esteem, emotional and physical health, and responsibility. As an OWL teacher, I can see how this realistic message helps young people make smart lifelong sexual choices. In an increasingly complex world, our children don’t need their most intimate decisions outsourced to organizations with a single solution.
Posted by Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Mar 23, 2007 at 7:35 pm
This is an interesting topic. Speaking as a parent, I am all for giving our kids many different types of sex education. As a teenager, I had lessons in school which were geared to give us the impression that all teenagers had sex all the time and if we didn't then we were unusual. It was only until I got into a different group and had some sex ed that was given by a local charity (can't remember which one) that I discovered that most teenagers didn't go out and have as much sex as I was under the impression was the norm. I was pleased to discover that whether I did or whether I didn't was completely up to me and I could decide for myself when and how long to wait. It was a great relief to me and my friends. We could all stop pretending and actually discuss the subject objectively. This is something I want for my children and I hope that they can get as wide a number of points of view as possible.
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Mar 23, 2007 at 8:46 pm
How about sticking to the biology of sexuality, the actual science of various birth controls and disease prevention, including abstinence, maybe the actual data concerning the impact of teen sex on females versus males, the statistics concerning the impact of teen pregnancy on the birth mother's life AND the child's, and leave the instruction in values up to the parents? Do we really want ANYONE aside from parents telling our kids what is and is not acceptable sexual behavior?
Just the facts, please. And, the facts NOT as interpreted by those with a "conflict of interest" ie Planned Parenthood or a Church.
Once we let values on sexuality be taught in a public school, we open the door for everything from "abstinence only" education to "as early and as much as you want because there is nothing wrong with it if managed properly" ( define properly, please. I was taught this way, and the result was horrible self esteem, because I believed that to NOT have sex meant I didn't know how to manage it, so I had to have sex to prove something wasn't wrong with me. Took me years and a lot of counseling to get over the wall I learned to build to "tolerate" sex as a result.)
I would have been better off just being taught the biology and listening to my parents. I resent the "teachings" I got deeply.