Fighting For Accurate Sex Education

Last week, President Obama said he is eliminating $85 million for abstinence only sex education from the Federal Budget for 2017. Naturally, many states are fighting against it. Some states are adopting better sex education policies. The abstinence only programs not only misinform students, they also increase the rates of teenage pregnancies and teenage sexually transmitted disease diagnoses.

A few state actions related to sex education

In my home state, Alabama, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a survey and found that 50% of teenagers in the state have had sex, and nearly half of those did not use condoms. I had one of those programs in middle school; they tried to get students to sign an abstinence pledge in the eighth grade.

According to the Kansas City Star today, there is a bill being debated that will say that will present abstinence as the preferred choice for sexual activity. It also repeals a law prohibiting abortion providers from giving out materials in schools. Unfortunately, the bill is not likely to pass the Republican Senate in Missouri.

According to the Jacksonville Free Press, the state congress has fifteen bills before it about sex education. The “Personal Responsibility Act” will require sex education to be taught at the middle school and high school levels and requires that the curriculum be evidence-based. It is up for vote in July of this year, and is set to repeal 2011 legislation requiring abstinence only programs.

The CDC counsels young people to use birth control (pill, IUD, shot, etc…) AND condoms every time as well. The Title X family clinics offer private and confidential services for teens. Planned Parenthood also provides birth control and counseling among many other health services.

These programs are telling young people that any sex before marriage is evil. They also either don’t tell students about contraception or tell them that contraception doesn’t work. Pressuring middle-schoolers to swear off sex until marriage is kind of a big deal.

Featured Image by faungg’s photos via Flickr, available under a Creative Commons license.

Hi, I'm from Huntsville, AL. I'm a Liberal living in the Bible Belt, which can be quite challenging at times. I'm passionate about many issues including mental health, women's rights, gay rights, and many others. Check out my blog