Saturday, September 6, 2008

Abstinence Only

If there is a shame here, it’s a national shame — a failure of our puritanical society to accept and deal with the facts. Teenagers have sex. How often and how safely depends on how much knowledge and support they have. Crossing our fingers that they won’t cross the line is not an intelligent strategy.
To wit, our ridiculous experiment in abstinence-only education seems to be winding down with a study finding that it didn’t work.

Regardless of whether abstinence only education works, it is not domain of the government to undermine a message that parents want to convey to their children. If some parents want to teach their children that they should not have sex, the state should not intervene and undermine this message.

We have had sex education in public schools for several decades, and I have not seen any evidence that it has some great benefit to society. Certainly, not enough to force parents to surrender their own personal convictions regarding sex education to the dictates of the state.