After reading a piece by "Arthur Caplan, Ph.D."(1) on MSNBC entitled "Abstinence-only sex ed defies common sense", it became clear that a response was in order. Rather than label differing approaches to dealing with the issue of teenage promiscuity (or sexually transmitted diseases, depending on what your agenda really is) "silly", as Mr. Caplan does, we will take an honest look at the differing approaches, the motives behind those approaches, and their results. First, we will accept, for the sake of argument, the statistics mentioned by Mr. Caplan."Recent surveys show that 70 percent of U.S. teens have engaged in oral sex by the time they reach 18, and more than 45 percent have had intercourse at least once. More than 70 percent of young women and 80 percent of young men approve of premarital sex, according to a study published recently in the Review of General Psychology.""The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nearly half of the nation's new cases of STDs each year occur among adolescents and young adults."
It is safe to sum up the main thrust of Mr. Caplan's argument as, teenagers think sex is OK, and we need to cut down on the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, so lets hand out condoms and teach children how to have "safe sex". He argues that there is no evidence of abstinence based programs cutting down the rates of sex or the transmission rates of diseases, he states "there is no reason to believe that this form of sex education is even on the same planet as those it is intended to reach."
Caplan then goes on to the typical "reality" argument. He argues that kids are going to have sex, and the only approach based in reality is to arm kids with condoms. He goes so far as to say "The message that sex must wait until marriage is not the right message to send to a young person."
He then argues that "young people" agree with him.
First, let us address the issue of Federal funding of "sex ed". The constitution does not explicitly mention "sex ed" or anything even remotely close to it. Therefore, it is safe to say that federal involvement in sexual education is yet another gross and blatant violation of the constitutional limits all elected federal representatives swear to defend.
Now, we move to "sex ed", as engaged in by the states. By allowing the state to teach our children about sex, not just biologically, but morally, and practically (how to engage in sex, and what is called "safe" sex), we abdicate our responsibility as parents. But, its worse than that. We harm each other. Lets take religious people as an example of those that are harmed. Now, in most cases I am aware of, students can be opted out of sex-ed, so by parents that do not agree with what is taught by the public schools. However, what of those funding the school system, that disagree with what is being taught? They may disagree on a religious, moral, or other basis, yet their money, taken from them under threat of jail, is being spent on something with which they take great issue. It is morally wrong to take someone's money, and then use it to "teach" a way of life to anyone, let alone impressionable kids, with which the tax payer vehemently disagrees. One could say that "sex-ed" is one of the great examples available today which illustrates why "public" schools ought to be fazed out of existence. But, I don't want to be distracted by that argument today.
Lets look at "sex-ed" from a practical angle now. When a teenager is told, "don't take my car for a drive, though, since statistics suggest you might, use my keys here in the drawer, I don't want the dash broken where you would have to hot wire it", what are we telling the teenager? We are telling the teenager that its OK, as long as you don't get caught, and don't leave any evidence. When we tell a teenager, "don't shoot-up with heroine, but since statistics suggest you might, use the clean needles in the pantry so you don't get HIV", what are we telling the teenager? Again, don't get caught, and don't get HIV. That brings us immediately to the real point and agenda of the "hand out condoms crowd", a point that Caplan stated clear as day. He is not opposed to teenage sex. It isn't clear how young he thinks sex is OK, but we will give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he is not suggesting we allow sex between 8 year olds. Just the same, the message is, "teenage sex is probably not a good idea, but since you will do it anyway, here is a condom." If thats the message you want to deliver to your kids, then do it. I will shake my head, and tell my kids not to associate with yours, but you go ahead and do it. If thats a message you try to deliver to my kids, I will put an end to it immediately.
Indeed, science, the altar at which Caplan appears to pray, teaches us that the only way to prevent pregnancy, and transmission of sexual diseases, is to not have sex. Condoms fail, other contraceptives fail as well. If one wants to teach science, one should do it, not speak of it and then engage in some fantasy world where actions have no consequences. Many of us, that favor teaching abstinence, do so not only because it is the only way to actually stop pregnancy and the transmission of disease, but also because we are morally opposed to promiscuous life styles, and some of us even to sexually monogamous ones that are pre-marital. Whether we engaged in such activity prior to our current point in life has no bearing at all on what is "right" or "wrong". Were I a recovered coke-head, I would expect my warnings about the dangers of cocaine would be even more powerful when delivered to the young, than the warnings of someone with only a text-book knowledge of the pathetic life of a drug addict. Indeed, those of us that made mistakes are in a particularly excellent position to lecture others on what to avoid, and why. Will such lectures and teachings be successful 100% of the time? Of course not. Humans make mistakes (what we religious call sin). But if we do not at least teach what we believe to be "right" our entire belief systems are compromised as we undermine the very image of the person that we strive to be, and strive to teach our children to be which is their real agenda. Asking someone with morals, to allow condom centered sex-ed to be taught on our dollar is like forcing an environmentalist communist to subsidize an anti-union logging company.
As a final point, it makes sense to bring up track record. This is something that is extremely important to do when looking at social issues. It may not be fair, because its so decisive and clear, but it is important, if one want to take an honest look at America's social problems. Do you want to allow people, who have, since the 60's and before, systematically destroyed the fabric of American life, to continue on their reckless course? Are we going to allow those, who lack values and morality, to take us even further down the path to social anarchy? The very same people that support condom distribution to teenagers, are the people that seek to ensure abortion is available up to the moment of birth (some even after birth)(2), they are the same people that have murdered over 40 million American children since the 70's. They are the same people that engage in religious cleansing, trying to ban God from America. They are the same people whose teachings have led to a culture of divorce, one where commitment is no longer measured in lifetimes, but now in temporary phases of "love". They are the same people that, in their quest to make women and men interchangeable, seek to destroy concepts of femininity and masculinity. They are the same people that want both you and your spouse to go to work outside the home, so they can raise your kids. They are the same people that believe kids need to be drugged when active and kept in "school" year round, 8+ hours a day. They are the same people that believe anyone who votes other than Democrat or Green is an uneducated, blinded by religion, idiot redneck. They, whether they realize it or not, and most of them probably do, have declared war on people of faith. Their goal is the ultimate destruction of "organized" religion. One can usually be certain that people will live up to, or down to what is expected of them. By setting our expectations for our children, to behave no better than mildly intelligent animals, we will give the enemy of what we believe is "right" victory over our children's future, and the future of religion in America.
The easy solution is to do away with public schools altogether, but those that are trying to destroy morality will fight that to the end, as it undermines their goal of bringing all mankind to the lowest common denominator. Until we win that battle, we must not allow them to further corrupt America's youth with hypocritical, confusing messages about sexuality and health, by providing easy access to a lifestyle that is most certain to end in tears.
see section "III. The Sanctity of Human Life"