Why Even Have Sex Ed?

 

With Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law (which has nothing to do with saying “gay,” oddly enough) and all of the disproportionate hand-wringing, mud-slinging, and poo-flinging for all to see, I have come to wonder why we let schools have sex education anyway.

It is possible that this will mark me (yet again!) as some sort of dinosaur.  But follow me here.  What was the original purpose of sexual education?  If you ask Planned Parenthood, it is to promote sexual health and wellness.  If you ask others, it is to promote awareness of the body, reproductive functions, and to limit negative behaviors that result in unwanted pregnancies and STIs.  If you ask even more people, they’ll tell you that it is to teach healthy sexuality and promote monogamy.  Everyone has their own definition and purpose of what it is.  Newsweek even had an article on the history of sexual education in the US starting from the 1920s onward.

Sexually Transmitted Disease Warning Poster WWI and WWIIHistory indicates that we had sexual education for various reasons, but mostly our national compulsory education began with, who else, the military.  Men are notorious for their desires, particularly when away at war.  Everyone remembers those delightful posters from the WW eras.

Ah yes, prophylaxis.

When our men came back from WW1, the US started educating earnestly.  People had moved from farms, where procreating was a fact of life and very much available to be seen in any yard, to the more compartmentalized life of the cities.  This shift was a move away from agrarian society and into cosmopolitan graces.  Girls no longer saw what happened in the yards.  They had to take it from their mothers, sisters, preachers, and husbands that what was going to happen on their wedding night was normal, permissible, and necessary.  Boys no longer saw it with their own eyes, but caught word from their friends and others who were just as like to spread tall tales as share real information.

The government decided it was in our best interest that we have an educated public.  Along with compulsory education, we began having sex ed.

The Newsweek article from 12 years ago, speaks to conservative opposition of sex ed in the 1960s and their fears:

Gordon Drake and James Hargis framed sex ed as communist indoctrination: “[If] the new morality is affirmed, our children will become easy targets for Marxism and other amoral, nihilistic philosophies—as well as V.D.!” Rumors spread that sex instructors were encouraging students to be homosexuals or even stripping and having sex in front of their classes.

Ironically, the article mocks conservatives and the religious right-wing as being alarmist.

Those who follow educational materials currently will laugh or shake their heads because that is literally what ended up happening.  The teachers are teaching Marxism and a number of nihilistic philosophies.  The sex education instructors were and are encouraging students to be homosexuals, queer, transgender, and to perform sexual activities precociously (though, not likely encouraging it in front of the class).

Articles now look at education around the world and ask the question: what has sex ed really done for us?  Has it decreased teenage pregnancy or just teenage births?  Has it decreased transmission of STIs?  Has it really fostered healthy sexuality?

Given the numbers of children that have been sexually assaulted by the time they are 18, I’m going to say no.  I’m going to say that it has not fostered healthy sexuality.  It has not fostered bodily respect.

Without massive changes to the curriculum to emphasize psychological well-being, maturity, growth, consent, pleasure, and adult consequences (including mental/physical), I sincerely doubt that it will.  Parents must step up and talk about sexuality (age appropriately) before the schools.  The kids need to be able to recognize that the schools are not protecting them when these things are said.  The trust must already be built between parents so that the children can come home and ask questions and get real answers.

If I always have to undo this education, why are so many pushing for an expansion of it?

It is time to ask why.  Loudly and publicly.

Why do we still have Sex Ed when it does not and has never met the stated goals?

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  1. Kephalithos Member
    Kephalithos
    @Kephalithos

    You’re right, of course. There’s no reason why public schools should be focusing on this stuff. At best, it’s a waste of time. At worst, it’s downright nefarious.

    But it’s part of the school system’s drift toward supplanting parents. The more pathetic and dysfunctional society becomes, and the more ill-suited Americans are to the job of parenthood, the more public institutions will feel the need to “step in” — and when they step in, it won’t be in ways we on the right like.

    • #1
  2. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    TheRightNurse: Why do we still have Sex Ed when it does not and has never met the stated goals?

    What government program has ever met the stated goals?

    • #2
  3. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    What should its stated goals be?

    • #3
  4. DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax)
    @DonG

    I think we should return to basics (reading, writing, math) and lots of Americanism.   Push the propaganda hard that America is the greatest and why. 

    • #4
  5. Retail Lawyer Member
    Retail Lawyer
    @RetailLawyer

    I always thought it was so kids know the mechanics of how sperm meets egg before they might try intercourse, how VD is transmitted, and the menstruation thing, so girls are not startled like Sissy Spacek in Carrie.  I was a boy and my dad told me about it and I said, “You and mom did that?”   “Yes”. “Eww, I’ll never do that”.  And he said, “Oh yes you will”.  I was probably not age appropriate.  He was also assuming I was cis heteronormative.  It was nothing that 10 years of therapy couldn’t fix.  (kidding). Worked well enough for my brother and I.  I worked out the fine points in the public library.  Research in the public library!

    I think modern parents might be embarrassed and some might even pass on disinformation, so the schools took over the job, and because schools are the government, it morphed into something with an agenda beyond what was stated above.

     

    • #5
  6. Samuel Block Support
    Samuel Block
    @SamuelBlock

    Zafar (View Comment):

    What should its stated goals be?

    I think the question here is whether the goal-stating “it” should exist at all.

    • #6
  7. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    What should its stated goals be?

    I think the question here is whether the goal-stating “it” should exist at all.

    What with teenagers and puberty and all I think it should.

    • #7
  8. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    When I was in high school, sex Ed was looking at gross VD pictures. After seeing the oozing pus you swore that you would never do that. So, it worked . . . until you left class and saw a pretty girl walking down the hall.

    • #8
  9. TheRightNurse Member
    TheRightNurse
    @TheRightNurse

    Zafar (View Comment):

    What should its stated goals be?

    Well, the aforementioned goals could’ve been ok.  But as we’ve seen, the state doesn’t do a great job. 

    I’d give it a D.  It’s still not worth credit, but at least some tried to achieve the goals.

    At the end of the day,  government is the only area where we have stated objectives, huge requirements for knowledge or experience, clear budgets and at the end…none of it matters.  Projects don’t meet objectives, often go beyond budget or outright stop when beyond estimates, and there’s no accountability.  Zero.

    Project failed?  The blame is passed down the bureaucratic line to the contractors (who already finished their already paid contracts).  And round and round we go!

    No private business could remotely function that way.  Departments would be liquidated, management sacked, businesses “reorganized”.

    But when it comes to our kids and their education, hey, it’s A-OK.  Throw more money at it.  Add some more administrators and bureacrats.  Add some social scientists…. and voila!  We will still have incompetent education.  But now the per capita spending is up and it looks better.

    The goals should be education: reading, writing, science, logic, math, civics, economics.  Kids should leave high school with a solid understanding of human anatomy, budgeting, resume writing, basic home skills, American history, and math.

    They should be able to thread a needle and sew on a button as well as troubleshoot their internet connection.  They should be able to explain how credit cards work, compounding interest, and points.  They should be able to create a menu on a budget for one week; and be able to prepare it.  These are absolute minimal basics for functioning in society, but many kids now have no experience of it until college (or after!).

    But yeah, kids should be taught these things.  Because if we’re going to pay for their upkeep because they can’t, then we clearly need to give them the best chance at understanding the assignment.

    • #9
  10. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    TheRightNurse (View Comment):

    Well, the aforementioned goals could’ve been ok.  But as we’ve seen, the state doesn’t do a great job. 

    I’d give it a D.  It’s still not worth credit, but at least some tried to achieve the goals.

    So let’s say public education is going to keep on going.

    But they outsource sex ed to a private company.

    What measures would you use to assess them when thinking about extending their contract?

    Teen STI rates go down.

    Teen pregnancies go down.

    Any others?

    And if it works for sex ed, why not for literacy, numeracy, the sciences, physical education, etc?

    I’m trying to marry the advantages of public funding with the benefits of the free market.

    ??

    • #10
  11. Internet's Hank Contributor
    Internet's Hank
    @HankRhody

    If you’d like a look at the state of the debate fifty years ago, William F. Buckley had an hour-long episode of Firing Line on it in 1972.

    • #11
  12. Cow Girl Thatcher
    Cow Girl
    @CowGirl

    Oh, friends…where do I start? I grew up on a farm. I’m sure I’ve told these stories before here: I never saw an animal procreate. Artificial insemination was how our dairy cows got pregnant! This was in the 50s-60s when this awesome scientific advancement gave the hundreds of smallish dairy farms the ability to have the services of a purebred bull (there was a catalog to let you choose which one and which breed) to impregnate your cows without having to deal with that bull. My dad had many stories about scary dairy bulls from his childhood. Anyway…between that service, and growing up in a household of six sisters, and being the 50s-60s, I simply never learned about human procreation until in the seventh grade (6th grade…I forget) we had “The Lesson” from some female teacher. We got a little booklet about it all, and a sample of feminine hygiene products. My mom noted that we’d had the class. But–at no time–did someone from my family talk to me about it all. Maybe that was a failing of my parents.

    I taught elementary school for 25 years. I gave that very lesson a few times lately, because I taught fifth grade here in Nevada toward the end of my career. Fifth grade is where we give them The Lesson. Parents must sign a form saying their child can be in the class. The majority of my students were from traditionally Catholic Mexican-American families. We passed out papers for them to write notes with questions. We gathered them and no one knew who’d asked what. When they found out that I was not embarrassed to answer their questions, the girls wrote many more notes with questions! Our materials included a diagram of a woman’s anatomy, and a man’s anatomy. We identified the correct names of the parts. We explained the process of having sexual relations, how a baby got made. 

    Whenever I spoke of it, I always phrased it, “And when you and your husband…” which was fine with them because that was their norm. Plus, they all knew I was married and had five kids. I was older than some of their grandparents, as we’d already established when they did the math on my birthday the month before. I was pleased to be able to help these girls learn something that was important to them at this age. 

    BUT…I totally agree that talking about transgenderism, transitioning, etc. etc. is SO NOT APPROPRIATE at school. 

    • #12
  13. Roberto Member
    Roberto
    @Roberto

    Zafar (View Comment):

    TheRightNurse (View Comment):

    Well, the aforementioned goals could’ve been ok. But as we’ve seen, the state doesn’t do a great job.

    I’d give it a D. It’s still not worth credit, but at least some tried to achieve the goals.

    So let’s say public education is going to keep on going.

    But they outsource sex ed to a private company.

    What measures would you use to assess them when thinking about extending their contract?

    Unless that private contract is the parents I cannot imagine any responsible parent agreeing to something so insane.

    • #13
  14. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Sex Ed? How about Dennis Leary classes? This is a paraphrase because I can’t find the original clip:

    My father’s idea of “the talk” was whatever he could squeeze into the commercial timeout of an NFL game. He turned to me and said, “Be careful. You’re carrying a loaded weapon now.” And I’m thinking, (geeze) he’s right. I was cleaning it in the shower the other day and the thing went off!

    • #14
  15. navyjag Coolidge
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    Interesting stuff never thought much of  before.  The “sex ed” I got from the priests and monks at my Catholic HS boarding school in religion classes was: “don’t even think about it.” So we had to learn on our own.  Which meant from our HS classmates who were good with guitars or owned cars or were star jocks.  And did appreciate those lessons. 

    • #15
  16. navyjag Coolidge
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Sex Ed? How about Dennis Leary classes? This is a paraphrase because I can’t find the original clip:

    My father’s idea of “the talk” was whatever he could squeeze into the commercial timeout of an NFL game. He turned to me and said, “Be careful. You’re carrying a loaded weapon now.” And I’m thinking, (geeze) he’s right. I was cleaning it in the shower the other day and the thing went off!

    Good one EJ. Close to my dad’s “lecture”:  “Be careful! Females are irrational; males are rational.” That was it. WTF?  So you can’t tell me how you got chicks in the sack at the Mark Hopkins hotel after the Saipaign campaign?  So the talks I had with my three, including the daughter, were a little more detailed. 

    • #16
  17. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    TheRightNurse:

    If I always have to undo this education, why are so many pushing for an expansion of it?

    It is time to ask why. Loudly and publicly.

    Why do we still have Sex Ed when it does not and has never met the stated goals?

     

    Comment Removed because Randy Webster  said it first. That’s some nerve there, Randy.

    • #17
  18. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    The education-industrial complex believes in its alleged heart-of-hearts that too many parents will say the wrong things to their children regarding sex. 

    And some no doubt will. 

    But that doesn’t change that fact that dispensing this information is within the purview of the parents. It is not for the government to tell children how, when, where, why, and who to [redact]. Because they don’t have the moral authority. And because there is no one-size-fits-all answer to these deeply personal concerns. 

    • #18
  19. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    TheRightNurse:

    Articles now look at education around the world and ask the question: what has sex ed really done for us?  Has it decreased teenage pregnancy or just teenage births?  Has it decreased transmission of STIs?  Has it really fostered healthy sexuality?

    Given the numbers of children that have been sexually assaulted by the time they are 18, I’m going to say no.  I’m going to say that it has not fostered healthy sexuality.  It has not fostered bodily respect.

    Spot on Nurse!  Spot on!  I completely agree with you.  Not only is sex ed a waste, it has proven detrimental.

    • #19
  20. Ed G. Inactive
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    Why Even Have Sex Ed?

    No one has ever asked me that so directly, but I have answers.

    I just noticed there is no comma in that question and you might have been getting as something else altogether.

    • #20
  21. TheRightNurse Member
    TheRightNurse
    @TheRightNurse

    Cow Girl (View Comment):
    friends…where do I start? I grew up on a farm. I’m sure I’ve told these stories before here: I never saw an animal procreate. Artificial insemination was how our dairy cows got pregnant!

    Ha!

    I didn’t even grow up on a farm, but I had rabbits.  One happened to be male.  We learned a lot about how baby rabbits get made and how not all mothers are instinctually good mothers.  My rabbit never prepared her nest until a few hours before she was due and would start trying to line the nest.  Poor thing.  She was so beside herself.

    Regardless, I used to watch soaps with my mom in kindergarten.  Sure, I was supposed to be napping, but whatever.

    By the time sex ed came around, there were care packages we had been sent around 11 or 12 y.o. (my own mail!) with mysterious items to try and age appropriate explanations of their uses.  Any explanations, I already knew.  My folks gave me a book and anything else that I didn’t now…well, that was the joy of personal discovery.

    What I do wish is that there was more emphasis on personal space, self-respect, and emotional ramifications of physical interactions.  Sure,  gross pictures will keep you in line, but having a solid background on expected behavior, respect and courtesy would help adolescents as they explore for themselves.   It would give them a foundation which is sorely needed rather than,  “you’re right! Everyone IS doing it! Here’s how!”

    Thank god the younger generation seems more inclined toward an extended childhood.

    • #21
  22. Marjorie Reynolds Coolidge
    Marjorie Reynolds
    @MarjorieReynolds

    Cow Girl (View Comment):

    Oh, friends…where do I start? I grew up on a farm. I’m sure I’ve told these stories before here: I never saw an animal procreate. Artificial insemination was how our dairy cows got pregnant! This was in the 50s-60s when this awesome scientific advancement gave the hundreds of smallish dairy farms the ability to have the services of a purebred bull (there was a catalog to let you choose which one and which breed) to impregnate your cows without having to deal with that bull. My dad had many stories about scary dairy bulls from his childhood. 

    It’s all AI now since the foot and mouth outbreak but the ‘travelling bull’ was a common sight here in Ireland when I was growing up. One local man here had 3, Charlie, Roger and George and you’d phone him and tell him which one you wanted or else wait and see which one would appear, blind date style.

    • #22
  23. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Paraphrasing a character on Yes, Prime Minister answering the question of where would kids learn about sex if sex ed was eliminated, “They can learn out behind the barn, the same way we did.”

    • #23
  24. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Schools have largely blown it when it comes to being trustworthy about this type of thing. 

    Beyond that, why should they ever talk about anything political or psychological in school? I get that this is one area where kids can be helped with psychological issues, but I’m not sure some amateur in front of a group of kids is going to work that well.

    • #24
  25. HeavyWater Inactive
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    I remember the sit-com “All in the Family” where Archie Bunker said to “Meathead” that sex education should be taught “in the streets.”

    Not sure I agree.  But maybe.  

    • #25
  26. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge
    Gazpacho Grande'
    @ChrisCampion

    Zafar (View Comment):

    What should its stated goals be?

    To rapidly go away.

    • #26
  27. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge
    Gazpacho Grande'
    @ChrisCampion

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    When I was in high school, sex Ed was looking at gross VD pictures. After seeing the oozing pus you swore that you would never do that. So, it worked . . . until you left class and saw a pretty girl walking down the hall.

    Scared straight…..sorta.

    Same approach with driver’s ed classes.

    • #27
  28. HeavyWater Inactive
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    Sex education should give the students a rough idea how each of the available birth control options works.

    So, if a woman does not want to become pregnant, they will have a familiarity with the birth control options available and they can use a birth control option to avoid an unwanted pregnancy.  

    Also, they could inform students that some percentage of the human population is attracted to people of the same sex and some are attracted to people of both sexes.  Mention that people who are “different” shouldn’t be persecuted.  

    I would support stuff like that as being part of a sex education class for junior high and high school students. 

    • #28
  29. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    It’s just another subject top down, unionized, leftwing schools can screw up.  Let’s focus on the schools, get them right and teachers and parents can individually decide what they want  kids to learn and when.    We’re too big, education is too important, and leaving basic education in the hands of organized government unions is insane.  Just let parents spend their education dollars how they want themselves not through layers of bureaucracy.  We worry about what to do with minorities who live in neighborhood with lousy disinterested schools and who suffer from disinterested parents.  Easy.  Some want out so let them out, they can choose individual schools themselves along with everybody else.   The rest are products of our great minority managing system that also runs our schools.   Fixing that disastrous left wing product will take longer, but not as long as we think, if we’ve even thought about it,  but parents who want their kids educated shouldn’t have to wait.    This radical approach (its called freedom but gives parents the choice they have when they spend their own money, but in education we subsidize folks with inadequate income) took New Zealand schools from the bottom of western schools to the top in one year.

    • #29
  30. HeavyWater Inactive
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    Certainly a vigorous school choice system would be very good, not just in the area of sex education, but in the core of the educational mission: math, history, science, reading, writing.  

    • #30
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