Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Sex Ed in Ohio

Amanda is all over this one:

Drudge breathlessly reports today that 65 of the 490 female students at Timken High School in Canton, Ohio are pregnant. The usual suspects are being blamed.

The article reported that some would say that movies, TV, videogames, lazy parents and lax discipline may all be to blame.
Damn, and here I was foolishly playing videogames without slapping a condom on the controller. A quick search on sex ed in Ohio schools was telling on other possible causes of the students' sudden inability to protect themselves from pregnancy.

Ohio does not require schools to teach sexuality education. However, the board of education of each school district must establish a health curriculum for "all schools under their control," that includes information regarding STDs and HIV/AIDS. This information must emphasize that "abstinence from sexual activity is the only protection that is one hundred per cent effective against unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease, and the sexual transmission of a virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome." Further, all materials and instruction regarding STDs must:

1)Stress that students should abstain from sexual activity until after marriage;
2)Teach the potential physical, psychological, emotional, and social side effects of participating in sexual activity outside of marriage;
3)Teach that conceiving children out of wedlock is likely to have harmful consequences for the child, the child's parents, and society;
4)Stress that sexually transmitted diseases are serious possible hazards of sexual activity;
5)Advise students of the laws pertaining to financial responsibility of parents to children born in and out of wedlock; and
6)Advise students of the circumstances under which it is criminal to have sexual contact with a person under the age of sixteen pursuant to section 2907.04 of the Revised Code.

These points closely mirror the federal definition of abstinence-only-until-marriage programs.

Of course, if your purpose is not to help girls and women control their child-bearing so that they are better able to pursue the lives and careers they want instead of the ones you can trap them in, abstinence-only education is a resounding success.

Let's see. They told students 1) abstain from sex until marriage, 2) society will think you're a slut if you don't abstain from sex until marriage, 3) you'll be a bad mother if you don't abstain from sex until marriage, 4) makes sense to me, 5) kids cost money, and 6) again, makes sense to me. Yet 65 of the 490 female students at this school are pregnant. Maybe they should have included some additional points:

7) when the man's sperm meets the woman's egg, fertilization can occur, and
8) birth control can help prevent #7.


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