Posted by: wildflowerz | October 2, 2010

Boy, you’ve been a naughty girl, you let your knickers down.

News from Washington yesterday was that the federal government will now be funding sexuality education programs that aren’t just based around abstinence-only.  I guess it’s a step in the right direction?  My immediate reaction was to cheer.  And then I read the AP article:

New sex ed funding ends decade of abstinence-only

Abstinence-only programs are still getting $50mil and require state matching of $3 on ever $4.  Then there’s this:

“Communities seeking different or additional instruction for their kids will choose from the 28 programs that were approved for funding by HHS following evaluations by Mathematica Policy Research that deemed them effective.”

So, we live in Georgia.  And it’s awful and backwards here about this kind of stuff, at least where we live.  There’s no way our district will be trying anything other than abstinence-only unless they’re forced to.  So while, on the whole, this is a step in the right direction, right now nothing’s changed for us.  And it probably won’t until funding for the faulty abstinence-only programs are cut.  Even then, I’m not sure that Georgia wouldn’t find a way to continue with them.  I’m still going to have to set Em apart and not let her attend these classes whenever she gets to the age when they’re offered.  Once upon a time I had that information, but I can’t find it on the school’s website any more.  So, while she’ll be fine because we teach her the facts and the truth, her classmates whose parents aren’t as involved won’t be so lucky.

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Responses

  1. Just curious (because honestly I have not examined it except waaaay back when I was teaching) what misinformation is concerning you?

    When I was teaching, it was 6-8th that got some form of it, at varying level depending on age (6th was more about puberty, etc.) and it was “abstain for sexual health, no pregnancy, etc” but that is true…? I mean, there are also OTHER options, which you may choose to teach Em about (in fact I assume you will!) as in, you can also avoid pregnancy and disease by using condoms – but I’m not sure I get what you are thinking of when you say “the truth”? They aren’t religious in any way – far from it. Of course, that was Fulton and Cherokee may be a good bit more conservative…

  2. I’m speaking more in general since you can only view the materials they use for sex ed here in Cherokee at some predetermined point at the beginning of the year that I always seem to miss. However, I don’t feel that abstinence-only programs provide an accurate picture. From what I’ve read, they very often grossly exaggerate the failure rate of condoms. They also impact the ability of youth to make health-conscious decisions based on all the facts, rather than just the notion that the only option is to abstain. Also teaching abstinence as the only viable option usually ends up conveying the idea that sex is bad and dirty and shouldn’t be discussed. That goes along with the fact that any questions about homosexuality and masturbation are not even brought up at all.

    Of course, whenever it is that they have these classes, I’ll be in contact with the teachers ahead of time to see what exactly it is that they’ll be teaching them with my own set of questions on various topics. Last year, I’d looked all this up on the school’s website. You couldn’t see the actual materials, but it did tell you the program they were using that I could then look up online. The few clips I saw were of the fear variety. Barely more subtle than “have sex before you’re married and you’ll die” kind of thing. Em and I have already had the “where babies come from talk” and I feel I’ve got some good resources on talking to her about that. Chances are good that anything they’d be teaching in the class, she’s going to already know anyway.


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