Sunday, November 18, 2012

My Thoughts on Abstinence Only Sex Education

 Abstinence only values and education have shown to be ineffective at preventing STD’s and pregnancy. Abstinence as a value system is based on the idea that the only good way to avoid STD’s and pregnancy is by not engaging in sex.
My parents went by this when I was in middle school and I always felt sort of weird about it. I wasn't nearly as critical about sexuality back then, but I always thought that waiting until marriage was something that I’d never do. Sex made me extremely uncomfortable either way, weather I saw or heard of sex that wasn't related to marriage or heard about why it’s important to wait and be abstinent.
Now, from this I think that abstinence only values are corrupted and bigoted. It really comes from a lot of shame that our culture and religion associate with sexuality. It doesn’t allow for critical thinking or open thought. It’s a very restrictive set of ideas that limit one’s possibilities for exploring their sexuality. I think any time limits are placed on this (that are not done for health’s sake) are oppressive and reinforce the shame around sex.  Therefore, I feel that this is harmful and not something we should be encouraging parents or schools to enforce.
I think that kids will definitely rebel from this . I know this from my own experience and from statistics! Those who go through abstinence only education in school are just as likely to have sex as those who have comprehensive sex ed and most of those who participate in purity programs will end up breaking their promise to not have sex before marriage.  
I think too from my own experience that those values made me want to rebel against them. I really wanted to have fun and do things that were against my church and my parents so that I could make a statement and do things my own way. All of that repression of normal, natural, healthy sexuality is going to make teenagers experience a lot of anxiety and a lot of times that comes out through rebellion, even if it isn’t by disobeying in regards to sexual activity.  

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