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Sex-ed & teenage pregnancy

Posted by JR on 09/23/1996 at 02:05:50
The father of an 11-year-old was shocked the day his daughter came home from school saying that during a lesson on sexually transmitted diseases she and her fifth-grade classmates had put a condom on a banana. The parents had not been consulted or even informed about their children participating in this activity. This incident illustrates what has become an increasingly common attitude among educational bureaucrats, especially when it comesto AIDS prevention programs: as professionals, they know what children need to learn, making any concerns parents might have about the material insignificant.
Parents in New York City discovered that schools were giving their teenagers copies of a pamphlet containing a sexual 'bill of rights' for teens. One tenet stated, 'I have the right to decide whether to have sex and who to have it with.' Who, parents wondered, had the authority to bestow the inalienable right to be promiscuous?
Apparently it was some anonymous individual in the city's Department of Health. The booklet, which was published with federal funding, also contained the statement, 'I have the right to ask for help if I need it.' Although that seems innocent enough, Irene Impellizzeri, vice president of the Board of Education in New York City, says what it really means is that there's nothing wrong with students keeping their parents in the dark. She believes that it's counterproductive, especially for minority groups, to allow the schools to come between parents and their children. She asserts, 'Any school policy that shields children fromtheir parents' traditional values and authority-- any practice of addressing children over the heads of their parents--tends to hinder the progress of the group and to 'emancipate' more and more of its children into the underclass.'
The condom distribution program in Washington, D.C., allowed parents to have their children exempted by simply writing a letter to the superintendent. Dr. Mohammad Akhter, the city commissioner of public health, however, instructed school nurses to ignore any such notes. Ignoring parental instructions in this manner seriously weakens their authority in the eyes of their children. 'Schools to parents: keep out' by John Leo. U.S. News & World Report,
Oct 5, 1992. Page 33.
These are the facts from The Alan Gttmacher Institute, The American Medical Women's
Association, Inc. and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1. 56% of all pregnancies are unintended.
2. More than 8 in 10 pregnancies among teenagers are unintended, compared with 4 in ten for
women aged 30-34.
3. Although U.S. teenagers are no more sexually active than teenagers in other countries, the
pregnancy rate is much higher here. For example the U.S. teen pregnancy rate is 7 times higher
than in the Netherlands, 3 times higher than Sweden and twice as high as Canada !
4. JAPAN has THE LOWEST teenage pregnancy in the world.
5. A World Health Organization review of studies on sex education program found there was no
evidence that sex education leads to earlier or increased sexual activity in young people.
So what is the solution?
Pregnancy rates rose nine percent from 1980 to 1990 for girls age 15 to 19, according to a
retrospective study of statistics on US adolescent girls aged 13 to 19 years in 1980, 1985, and 1990.
Pregnancy and birth rates in that group continue to be higher than those of any other developed
country, the study authors report in the April 4, 1996 issue of The Journal of the American
Medical Association.
Mandatory sex education per se is not a solution: it depends on the quality & content of the sex
education. Teen pregnancy rates have soared in part because sexuality has been separated from
morality. If public schools are precluded (by misinterpretation of church-state issues, for
example) from introducing moral responsibility into sex education, the pregnancy rate will
'Telling a person who engages in high-risk behavior to use a condom is like telling someone who
is driving drunk to use a seat belt.'
--Dr. Malcolm Potts, one of the inventors of the condom and
President of Family Health International
Also sex education must include parental involvement. Such has not always been the case:
'These things have a way of happening without parental input,
possibly because the sensibilities of parents, poor yahoos that
they are, aren't as good as the sensibilities of enlightened
bureaucrats in instructing the young about sex.'
As we have so many causes we need to approach the problem with realistic and practical
solutions. Let me start with the reason why Japan has the lowest teenage pregnancy . In Japan if
a girl ' Teen or Unwed' got pregnant ,the responsibility will fall on the father { of that baby to
be} and his family if he is minor and not the girl. The disgrace (As they consider it) , will be
bestowed on the boy's family. Their society consider that the boy usually is the pursuer of sex
advances more so than the girl and hence the problem was contained from the begining with
more logic approach. In the U.S. the blame and the resources to approach this problem is rather
different .
Those who would denigrate the vital importance of values and morality in sex education have
somehow deified education itself. History gives many examples of the fact that education itself is
no panacea. Some of Hitler's most brutal henchmen were in fact quite well educated. Morality is
not a dirty word. Physicians who place exclusive value on education cannot be effective in
helping teenagers avoid pregnancy.
You question how it could be possible that sex-ed has increased the teen pregnancy rate ? While
I can't site any sources, it seems quite possible and logical to me. The sex education that is taught
in our schools today is a how to. They tell how to have sex and tell you that when you have sex
you should use a condom. The whole attitude of the program is that everyone is having sex and
therefore we are going to teach you how to do it right... use a condom. As this is taught in the
schools the presumption is that everyone your age (as an adolescent) is having sex. The desire of
an adolescent to be 'normal' is overwhelming. Couple the normalcy desire with a package of
raging hormones, a classroom instruction on how to do it, a homework lesson from the T.V.,
another adolescent with the same, and what do you get... A TEEN PREGNANCY
'Education' is a quick and easy answer to any perceived social ill. At an early age children can be
taught the basics, it shouldn't take much time or effort, but it won't make much difference.
Human nature, especially marinated in raging hormones, usually leads a teen to conclude 'it
won't happen this time' etc.
As further proof, I don't think sex education was very good a few decades ago and yet the teenage
pregnancy rate was manageable. At least it wasn't a burden to society.
Consider now that if you personally have two children you actually are raising three. You will
provide the medical care, food, housing, and education for this 'shadow child'.
The problem, and it is a problem, seems to have developed as the built-in negatives of
illegitimacy disappeared. I would suggest that the vaunted education approach would be more
effective if the negatives are stressed, not just how the act is done (simple) or methods of birth
control. How many times do you have to watch a condom and banana show? We don't have to
cast stones but the unwed teenager should not be made to feel that her sudden protuberance is a
badge of honor. Financial benefits should be limited which may make life less for some but in the
long run humanity will benefit if competent two parent homes increase in the future.
Financial responsibility of the sperm donor which is mandatory and well publicized will also put
the brakes, if not the condom, on the issue.
Those who argue that all children should have the same advantages whether born in wedlock or
not may want to contemplate that this means somehow society has collective responsibility
without individual responsibility. The logical extension of this thought is all children turned over
to the state at birth. That would sure equalize out differences in environment.
The situation has a component of Economics:
When we punished farmers for growing marijuana hemp, they began to grow less of it.
When farmers are paid for breeding hogs, they'll produce more piglets.
When society expelled the pregnant 15 year old from public high school, and when her family
had to tighten it's belt to support the new young'n --- and dreaded having to explain the word
'bastard' in about 6 years, there was less adolescent pregnancy and a whole lot less illegitimacy.
Since Gov't now pays mothers a Regular Cash And Food Stamp Capitation Per Child, and the
Santa Claus Fund pays for the kids' toys, and the Public Clothes Hamper has more clothes than
it can give to them, and Unlimited Medical Care like 60mg Ritalin per day is theirs for the asking
because of each child, and since it has put a decent teacher's job on the line if they attempted to
expose the child-parent to any religion, and when it still puts any moral person's job at-risk
from the Politically Correct Speech Police to make a Politically Incorrect Criticism of said
minor's 'right' to breed as much as she can, then you will find an increase in the bastard crop.
I got wind of this scam after asking an Age 16, IQ 85, Grand Multigravida why she done quit
taking The Pill. Her answer: 'Because Momma need the extra ADC for a new car payment.' The
cops knew and did not appear to care. The public service agencies knew and were glad. Evidently
she built their business up.
Did I mention that with Motor Voter these kids will get to vote early and often? You're paying for it. So enjoy it...
(Or take control of your government!)