Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Teens, adults: Sex ed needed

In response to the article in the Fitchburg Sentinel and Enterprise
Teens, adults: Sex ed needed, I submitted the following letter to the editor:
Thank you for your recent article on Sex Ed in FHS.

I support women’s health. After all, I love my wife and my daughters and I want them to be healthy. I wanted to thank you for your recent article on Sex Ed in FHS and respond to a few things in the article.

Abstinence based education is the best thing for the health of our teenagers. It is the best way to reduce teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. I believe there at it would take a miracle to get pregnant without engaging in sexual activity. Studies both here in the US (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/01/AR2010020102628.html) and in Uganda (http://www.usaid.gov/our_work/global_health/aids/Countries/africa/uganda_report.pdf) show that abstinence based education is effective at reducing teenage pregnancy and STDs.

Sexual education that focuses on artificial means of birth control is an unhealthy message for our teenagers. It sends several messages. First, it’s okay to have sex, we expect you to, so go ahead and do it anyway. Saying that teens are going to have sex anyway so let’s teach them how to use a condom is like saying kids are going to play with guns anyway so let’s teach them how to play with them safely. In the end, someone gets hurt. Condoms are not 98% effective at preventing pregnancy like the box says. That is based on responsible adult couples under the careful scrutiny of scientists. It does not take into account the untrained teenagers in the heat of the moment. Condoms are not as effective at preventing STDs/AIDs. The pill does nothing to protect young people from STDs. How can you say that you support women’s health and then hand them the pill. Third, birth control based education sends the wrong message about fertility. It sends the message that there is something wrong with fertility and that it needs to be blocked, fixed, or medicated. In reality, fertility is a blessing, and so is the family. Healthy sex ed programs are based on the idea that sex should wait, and encourages teens to wait until they are ready for sex.

I support women’s health, and I support abstinence based education.
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