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  1. #1
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    Default Comprehensive sex ed versus abstinence

    So I'm currently writing a big paper for my human sexuality class about comprehensive sex ed versus abstinence-based ed. For me, it is obvious that we should be teaching kids comprehensive, but I'm not a parent. For a long time in the U.S. abstinence programs were being pushed for and funded the the government, although in the last couple years that is starting to change.

    Are there any parents who think abstinence-based education should be taught? At what age do you think we should be teaching kids sexual education? I hope this isn't too risque a topic for COTH, but hey it actually is a class I'm taking and something still hotly debated by politicians!



  2. #2
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    Sadly, there are too many parents who think that abstinence is the way to go, as if the kids would not know what to do with the equipment before mom or dad tells them....
    The teen pregnancy numbers point the way: Countries with comprehensive education are far better off than the US.


    At what age? They should know the basics pretty much in elementary school.
    I know I heard the first mentioning in 5th grade...but by then I was already well educated, thanks to the curious nature of my older sister.

    But I think once the prepubescent shyness sets in, it's actually too late. But I am not a child psychologist....
    Reason being, because before that, you teach the facts of life, it's just that, facts, later you get the blushing and the giggles...<insert Beavis and Butthead: She said Penis, hehehehehe>


    But then again, I grew up in a country where the nudy magazines were pretty much in the shelf above the comic books...and the leading youth magazine had a Q&A sect6ion with pictures, explaining the world.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  3. #3
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    abstinence is stupid.
    I love sex.

    I think schools should teach sex ed. Mine did when I was a wee Junior Higher.

    actually, being a non Christian, I don't comprehend abstinence at all. It makes no sense to me.
    Just don't get preggo and all is good to go.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by purplnurpl View Post
    abstinence is stupid.
    I love sex.

    I think schools should teach sex ed. Mine did when I was a wee Junior Higher.

    actually, being a non Christian, I don't comprehend abstinence at all. It makes no sense to me.
    Just don't get preggo and all is good to go.
    heathen!

    but yeah...
    the abstinence thing leads to weird things IMHO, people getting married, just so they can canoe...only to find out that they really don't mesh with each other....
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.


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  5. #5
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    I think you can promote abstinence and explain that it's a better choice until you're emotionally ready to have sex and able to distinguish who you trust enough to actually have sex with.

    But to NOT teach about sex, sexuality, sexual diseases, and contraception? Calling it "shortsighted" is putting it exceedingly mildly.

    Abstract of one of many articles on the subject.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...54139X07004260


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  6. #6
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    Comprehensive sex ed. I am going to scream if I hear one more time that pulling out is an acceptable form of birth control.

    When I was in high school (9th grade), we had a very in depth sex ed class. We went over EVERY kind of birth control available, effectiveness, how to use, etc. And yes, that included abstinence.
    Only two emotions belong in the saddle: One is a sense of humor. The other is patience.


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by purplnurpl View Post
    abstinence is stupid.
    I love sex.

    I think schools should teach sex ed. Mine did when I was a wee Junior Higher.

    actually, being a non Christian, I don't comprehend abstinence at all. It makes no sense to me.
    Just don't get preggo and all is good to go.
    I think you and I would get along just fine!

    I went to a big public high school and comprehensive sex ed was taught, but I do have some friends who either went to smaller public schools or Catholic private schools and they got abstinence-only education! My biggest challenge writing this paper is I cannot even wrap my head around why you should teach abstinence-based ed in the first place! I can't write 6 or 7 pages about it because to me it isn't even a debate.


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  8. #8
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    I favor comprehensive. Honestly, I think abstinence-based education is absurd and unrealistic, and to be completely honest I don't necessarily think abstinence/"waiting" is always the best or healthiest choice. But, if parents want to opt out of having comprehensive sex ed taught to their kids, I'd agree that they should have the right to do so.

    Looking back on my own childhood, I'd say 5th or 6th grade is the right age.


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  9. #9
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    Why is it comprehensive education VERSUS abstinence? Couldn't comprehensive sex ed include alternatives to penetration including oral, touching and abstaining? And stress safe ways to engage in sexual alternatives if birth control is not available.


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  10. #10
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    why don't you do some real research instead of gathering opinions? there are lots of scientific studies on the topic. Go search on PubMed.

    for example, a study of the impact of one kind of education program:






    J Adolesc Health. 2004 Dec;35(6):442-52.

    The "Safer Choices" intervention: its impact on the sexual behaviors of different subgroups of high school students.

    Kirby DB, Baumler E, Coyle KK, Basen-Engquist K, Parcel GS, Harrist R, Banspach SW.


    Source

    Department of Research, ETR Associates, Scotts Valley, CA 95066-4200, USA. dougk@etr.org


    Abstract


    PURPOSE:

    To measure the relative impact of a school-based human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-, sexually transmitted disease (STD)-, and pregnancy-prevention intervention on sexual risk-taking behaviors of different subgroups of students.

    METHODS:

    Twenty schools were randomly assigned to receive Safer Choices or a standard knowledge-based HIV-education program. Safer Choices was designed to reduce unprotected sex by delaying initiation of sex, reducing its frequency, or increasing condom use. Its five components included: school organization, an intensive curriculum with staff development, peer resources and school environment, parent education, and school-community linkages. A total of 3869 9th-grade students were tracked for 31 months. Results are presented for initiation of sex, frequency of unprotected sex, number of unprotected sexual partners, condom use, and contraceptive use. These results are presented separately by gender, race/ethnicity, prior sexual experience, and prior sexual risk-taking. Statistical analyses included multilevel, repeated measures logistic and Poisson regression models.

    RESULTS:

    Safer Choices had one or more positive behavioral effects on all subgroups. On four outcomes that could be affected by condom use, it had a greater impact on males than on females. It had greater effects on Hispanics, including a delay in sexual activity, than on other racial/ethnic groups. Its greatest overall effect was an increase in condom use among students who had engaged in unprotected sex before the intervention.

    CONCLUSIONS:

    Safer Choices reduced one or more measures of sexual risk taking over 31 months among all groups of youth, and was especially effective with males, Hispanics, and youth who engaged in unprotected sex and thus were at higher risk for HIV, other STD infections and pregnancy.


    PMID: 15581523 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dudleyc View Post
    Why is it comprehensive education VERSUS abstinence? Couldn't comprehensive sex ed include alternatives to penetration including oral, touching and abstaining? And stress safe ways to engage in sexual alternatives if birth control is not available.
    comprehensive includes abstinence, yes.

    But the prevailing idea of some people is to tell the kids 'just say no' and to keep the knees together.

    IMHO that leads to a couple of problems:
    Like under age drinking, it becomes more interesting to go out and do it...after all, everybody does it, why shouldn't I.

    Sex becomes that huge deal, at the same time that shameful deed...and the problem is perpetuated down the line, with parents not being able to talk about it...

    Interesting conversation between a 15 yo guy and the librarian about the sex ed book in the YA section...He thought it should not be there....where as the librarian told him how many requests she had for books on you-know-what and she then has to guess which what, and point them into the direction...
    yeah, buddy, not all kids are blessed with parents you can ask those questions....
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.


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  12. #12
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    I have done a lot of research and gathered many peer-reviews articles and research. I'm actually halfway done with the paper, I was just snowed in and curious about the opinions of others since as a health science major I am kind of biased.

    And dudlyc--comprehensive sex ed typically includes abstinence as an opinion. That's why it is COMPREHENSIVE. It includes information on a broad range of sexual option and topics.



  13. #13
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    As the parent of a daughter and I suppose this would apply to boys also, I am teaching her that it is better to wait to have sex until she is emotionally mature enough to deal with it and has a partner that she is at least somewhat committed to and is committed to her. I'm trying to teach her to have enough self respect not to just have sex with any male that shows some interest in her and that having sex with a boy isn't a way to get him to like you. But I am a realist enough to talk with her about birth control, diseases, etc. I know she doesn't tell me everything but we do talk about a lot. I wouldn't be pleased if she began a sexual relationship at 16 but I wouldn't freak out either. I'd rather get her on birth control than have a teen with a baby. I've told her that she is too young to raise a child and I'm too old.

    We live in the country and have had cows, horses, dogs, etc. so she learned the mechanics of sex and all the parts when she was quite young. When she approached puberty, we had the "your body is changing" talk. I started talking to her about the emotional side to sex when she was around 13. I would not have a problem with a comprehensive approach to sex ed. I think abstinence only isn't realistic.


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  14. #14
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    My mom gave me "the talk" when I was somehwere around 4 or 5, right when I started asking questions. As someone else said, I think it's actually EASIER for both parents and kids, because there is less embarassment all around. I was still learning about the world and it was just, "OK, that makes sense," and it didn't upset/embarass me in the least. She told me all the proper names, etc., no cutesy stuff or dumbing it down.

    In school, I believe we had sex ed in the sixth grade, although I don't recall them talking specifically about each birth control method (that would have been nice/helpful, but I went to a Catholic school ). I do think the 6th grade is a little late, based on the fact that girls are getting their periods earlier and kids are having sex earlier. Can you imagine gtting your period as a 4th or 5th grader and having no idea what it is? That would be terrifying.

    So, yes, another vote for comprehensive sex ed! The whole "just don't do it" thing has never worked. Ya can't fight biology--you can try, but you won't win.


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  15. #15
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    My preference is for comprehensive...which can, and should, include abstinence. Abstinence as an option for birth control, disease avoidance and emotional self-protection. But, also give, in detail, all the other options too!!

    My boys have been late bloomers. One is 22 and one is 10. They were both uninterested in sex until they started hearing about it from their friends (usually friends with older siblings)...around age 8. Of course, they got TONS of misinformation, so I had to set them straight. The problem was that they didn't believe me when I told them the truth about how babies are made. They both said, "no way", "that can't be", "OMG!". They just weren't ready, but I couldn't have them going around with what their friends told them.

    22 year old came back to me at about age 10 and told me that he now believed me and wanted to hear a bit more . 10 year old is still in the denial stage. He does regularly ask me about the veracity of something one of his peers said, but doesn't want DETAILED discussion of the truth yet.

    I think they cover it in school here in 6th or 7th grade, but he'll likely have a clue, from our continued, gradual, what he's ready for when he's ready for it, discussion, before that.



  16. #16
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    The majority of my sex ed was in middle school, and I would say it was a mixture of comprehensive education and abstinence only. We learned about what the different methods of birth control were, but we weren't told how to use them. I knew that a condom was a thing that existed, but if I had been in a position to use one, I almost certainly would have done it wrong.

    Abstinence was always touted as the absolute best method of birth control and STD prevention (and, well, I guess it is). That was easy for me to practice because I knew well enough how NOT to have sex.

    I remember there always being a "sex is bad" undertone. Nobody explicitly said "You will get pregnant, get AIDS and have no friends if you have sex before marriage" but that was always the feeling that I had. Probably explains why I didn't go on my first canoeing excursion until age 20.
    "A horse gallops with his lungs, perseveres with his heart, and wins with his character." - Tesio



  17. #17
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    I went to an all girls school and we had "sex ed" as part of our biology curriculum in 7th grade. This was back in the early '70s. The teacher had all kinds of birth control on hand and passed them around so we could see what they looked like. She had us practice putting condoms on bananas!! Most of us were extremely embarrassed. It didn't lead to people having sex...there were only 45 girls in my graduating class, but to the very best of my knowledge (girls bragged about their usually VERY limited sexual exploits), only 2 were not virgins at high school graduation. Of course, the lack of easily available boys probably helped with that .



  18. #18
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    As a parent to a 9 and 4 year old, we talk about sex from the first time they ask any questions. Obviously in an age appropriate manner.

    I was raised in one of those ultra-religous, sex is horrible unless you are married.

    The church I grew up in there were 8 teenage girls together, 7 of us have gotten pregnant before marriage! I was the latest as I didn't get pregnant until I was in my mid 20's everyone else was early 20's or a teenager when they did! Anecdotal yes, but I'm not risking it with my kids!

    I will definitely talk to them about being mature, and never sleeping with anyone just so they'll stick around, but the mechanics, and how you don't get a disease and birth control will always be a priority. For my son I will also make clear that he holds just as much responsibility for stopping pregnancy as the girl does!



  19. #19
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    The one thing that stands out from all the various sex ed classes and sessions is the teacher who had a fellow student (who had gotten pregnant and chose to raise the baby) talk to us and answer questions. This included questions about how it had affected her relationship with the father and what she planned to do after high school, plus the logistics of raising a child while going to school. It was the sort of experience that made you think about things on your own afterwards and come to your own decisions and conclusions.


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  20. #20
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    I had sex ed in middle and highschool. Nothing like photos of herpes outbreaks to encourage teens to keep their pants on!!! I think it's made me a safer adult too.
    Sex education is about reproductive organs, hormones and disease, not sex positions.
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