February 12, 2010

Abstinence Only

Recycled, but still awesome.

Here's a novel idea: let's take morals and misinformation out of abstinence-only sexual education.

Gasp! No! Think of the children!

Surely kids will just go out and fuck like bunnies if we don't tell them sex is bad and evil and condoms are the tool of Satan. Or, like this one study may suggest, maybe they'll actually delay having sex for another year or two.

It's certainly an interesting concept. We've been so used to associating abstinence-only with religion and often hear outright lies that make us cringe. But, stay with me a minute, what if we told kids to wait until they're really ready for the very real consequences of sex, rather than telling them they'll die if they don't wait until marriage? It's like telling your kids they can't date until they're married. And, by the way, didn't you (yes, you) have sex before you were married, to someone not your spouse? If you say no you're either lying, Steve Carell, or you got married before you were 21.

Or you were conceived immaculately.

It's pretty common knowledge, even among the uber-religious, that kids are interested in, curious about and willing to have sex. Teens still need to know how to properly obtain and use birth control, because a pregnant 17 year-old is no better than a pregnant 15 year-old, and abstinence-only, even when used properly, will only delay sex by a couple years at best. Sooner or later teens will have sex; if they've never heard about the effectiveness of birth control or know how to obtain it they'll just risk it.

Schools are no doubt in a difficult position because much of sexuality should be handled by parents before their children's sexuality even becomes an issue. By the time puberty sets in and kids experience those embarrassing changes they've already noticed the opposite sex in that way. Parents ought to be giving their kids a heads up about the next couple years, let them know their opinions on sex, and hope and pray they've done a good job raising responsible sub-adults. But parents are pussies.

I'm not sure if people still think the mere mention of sex will turn chaste children into sex fiends, but unless you're raising your kids in a cave without any communication with the world (including Bambi) and you and your spouse are also celibate, sex is going to come up eventually so you may as well be prepared to discuss it. Sure, sex is designed for procreation, and teenagers have no business procreating, but we're one of the lucky animals who have sex for pleasure (and us ladies even have a whole organ for the sole purpose of pleasure!), and pleasurable sex is a good quality for a spouse to have. Humans are the only creatures who turn sex into something dirty, and I wish we'd just be honest about it, not only with our kids but with ourselves.

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