This time, I will recount an interesting exchange with a sex educator.
In our November 5, 1995 Arizona Republic column, Kim Manning and I lamented the "deluge of morally relative, 'non-judgmental' sex ed programs that have torn through public schools" and "failed to protect America's youth." We went on to laud a newly signed North Carolina sex education law, which included some good stuff:
- "...[P]arents have the primary responsibility for providing for the health and well-being of their children... for instilling values, ethics and character in their children... for educating their children in all areas, including the area of sexuality, and the state should not abridge this responsibility."
- Students will be taught "the positive benefits of abstinence until marriage and the risks of premarital sexual activity."
- Students will be taught to deal with peer pressure and will be given "reason, skills and strategies for remaining or becoming abstinent" with instructors providing positive reinforcement.
- "...[A]ny instruction concerning the use of contraceptives or prophylactics shall provide accurate statistical information on their effectiveness and failure rates for preventing pregnancy and [STDs], including AIDS, in actual use among adolescent populations."
- Students will be taught that abstinence "is the only certain means of avoiding out-of-wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS, and other associated health and emotional problems" and that "a mutually faithful monogamous heterosexual relationship in the context of marriage is the best lifelong means" of avoiding STDs and AIDS. Abstinence before marriage is to be taught as the expected standard.
After praising the law, we went on to say:
Some won't like this conservative approach. After all, the liberal approach has been forced on the rest of us for a generation. Everyone's best bet is to support school choice, and we parents will all be free to choose the education we want for our kids. But in the meantime, adults have an absolute responsibility to tell children the truth, and above all, to set the highest standard of behavior.
It's no coincidence that when the greater culture once supported abstinence, the teen culture encouraged virginity. We've since done a 180-degree turn....
If almost half of high school students today have stood firm against the unrelenting cultural pressure to have sex, imagine how many more might abstain if they were supported in that decision.Our column didn't sit well with some, and we soon received a letter from a local sex educator, respectfully taking us on.