Teaching children to ABSTAIN from sex is NO longer effective, and, if you think that by threatening them with all the wide varieties of STDs, STIs, unwanted pregnancies will work, get R-E-A-L, parents, found on the Houston Chronicles…as reported by: L. Faulkenberg.
When people find out I’ve got two daughters who will someday be teens at the same time, they often give me this look of sympathy or concern that I never really understood. Until now.
The hours I spent reviewing statistics on sexual activity among today’s children were enough to frighten any parent, including those of you breathing a sigh of relief that you have boys.
At age 11, I think I was still playing with Barbies, maybe even still mourning the loss of Santa. Today, in the age of YouTube, 11 is the average age of a child’s first exposure to porn, according to Melissa Peskin, an associate director of University of Texas Prevention Research Center.
In the United States, 11 percent of sixth-graders are sexually active. By the ninth grade, it’s 35 percent. By the 12th grade, it’s nearly 70 percent. These are among the statistics Cypress-Fairbanks ISD provided to parents who had questions about the district’s new sexual education curriculum, called “It’s Your Game, Keep it Real.”
But it wasn’t these statistics that some parents of Cy-Fair middle-schoolers found most shocking. It was the abstinence-plus program the district implemented. Parents have made headlines recently, speaking out against the supposedly graphic nature of the “It’s Your Game” curriculum, expressing concern that it prematurely exposes children to sex.
This week, the district informed parents that the curriculum will be reviewed by a local advisory council made up of staff and parents, and may not be taught to seventh-graders at all.
Parental objections to sex education classes are nothing new in our conservative state, where three-quarters of school districts use abstinence-only programs, and only a quarter use something called “abstinence-plus,” which teaches medically accurate information about contraception, according to the Texas Freedom Network‘s analysis of Texas Education Agency data.
The course works
But most Texans may not know that the vast majority of districts are not implementing programs that are proven to work, according to UT’s Peskin. In the vernacular of scientific studies, these programs proven to change children’s behavior, which include abstinence-only and abstinence-plus, are called “evidence based.” And the award-winning program that Cy-Fair is thinking about delaying, and possibly eliminating, is one of the few that has earned this distinction.
Harris County middle-schoolers who participated in trials of “It’s Your Game” were 1.5 times more likely to delay initiating sex, 50 percent more likely to delay oral sex, 29 percent more likely to delay vaginal sex, and 66 percent more likely to delay anal sex.
“It’s Your Game” is used in 11 districts in Harris County and cities as different as Midland and Los Angeles. It was developed by the folks at the University of Texas Prevention Research Center, which is funded in part by the Centers for Disease Control. And it was designed very specifically to begin in seventh grade, early enough so that children can still be influenced, and encouraged to delay sex, and hopefully avoid teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
Despite claims from some parents, and the fear-mongering on websites such as Tea Party Nation, UT’s program is not trying to encourage kids to have sex or to shun traditional marriage. Its main focus is abstinence, a message that’s repeated more than 80 times in program materials. Videos that may seem too sexually explicit to parents are geared toward reality, Peskin says, presenting situations that students can relate to and take seriously.
While Peskin says she respects parents’ concerns, and Cy-Fair’s decisions, she cautions: “We don’t know if the program will be as effective if the program is delayed until later grades.” When I shared this fact with Cy-Fair’s Linda Macias, associate superintendent of curriculum, instruction and accountability, she said she’d share it with the panel reviewing the program. I hope so.
Every parent has the right to be scared when it comes to today’s statistics. And every parent has the right to choose how to educate our children about sex. Parents in Cy-Fair who disagreed with the “It’s Your Game” approach were given the option to opt out.
But before those parents pressure the district to scrap a program that’s proven to encourage our kids to delay sex – and help prevent the pregnancy, STDs and other problems – they should face the facts first.
So, with children getting exposed, earlier and earlier by the generation, WHAT are we, the parents to do, to help keep their innocence INTACT? What can we do, to PREVENT from them to getting E-X-P-O-S-E-D to S-E-X, I mean, you DO realize, how easy it is, for a kid of two or three years of age to get SOLICITED, right? And then, it wouldn’t have been CONSENSUAL for those two-to-three year olds, I mean, how can they consent, IF they don’t even have a CLUE what they’re consenting to, right???
And, before you know it, your lower graders (between first and fifth grades???) will be bringing home their first C-O-N-D-O-M applied on your “little boys’” PENISES, or who knows, they’ll just put it on themselves, and start HUMPING their sisters’ dolls here…
Handing out CONDOMS at a high school or middle school auditorium with those “guest lecturers” talking on why you shouldn’t have SEX is still a VERY ineffective way to T-E-A-C-H them about S-E-X, if you ask me. But hey, WHO asked Y-O-U??? Exactly!!!