Thursday, June 21, 2012

Abstinence Ed vs. Sexual-Expression Ed

We are entrenched in a vicious culture war, and the question of sexually seems to be at the front lines. While one side wants to retain traditional Judeo-Christian values, the other seems to want to sexualize the children. Therefore, everyone is training their cannons on sex-education. Should abstinence programs be promoted to reduce STDs and teen pregnancies or their opposite? However, a recent study has just added its voice to many others in favor of abstinence ed:

  • Researchers observed more than 1,100 ninth graders in Georgia who used the Choosing the Best (CTB) curriculum in 2009-10. The abstinence-based curriculum delayed the onset of sexual activity.
According to the study’s authors:

  • “Data demonstrated significant impact of CTB at the end of 9th grade on commitment to abstinence, pro-abstinence beliefs and attitudes, intentions to maintain abstinence, and lower onset of sexual intercourse, and at the beginning of 10th grade on pro-abstinence attitudes…abstinence from sexual activity until marriage is the best way to avoid teen pregnancy, disease, and possible negative emotional consequences, and is the best way to help students focus on academic and other future-oriented goals.”
  • The study’s success reassured Valerie Huber, executive director of the National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA). “This new study adds to 22 other peer reviewed studies showing SRA [Sexual Risk Avoidance] education has a positive impact on student sexual behavior,” she said. “This rigorous research design adds an important exclamation point to the efficacy of abstinence-centered education.”
The stakes are high for both sides of the conflict, and so politics often trumps truth and the welfare of the children:
  • Meanwhile, researchers say the Obama administration stonewalled releasing another report that showed abstinence attitudes positively impact teens…“Their anti-abstinence position is just as political, if not more so, than the pro-abstinence position of conservatives,” [Peter] Sprigg [FRC] told LifeSiteNews. “The liberals often claim it is conservatives who are anti-science, but when the research and the science goes against their ideological position, they are very eager to suppress the findings.”
The power to suppress findings means that science and scholarship have become tools to be manipulated by the powerful. However, the findings in favor of abstinence education seem to have escaped the censor’s scissor:

  • “Anyone who opposes SRA abstinence-centered education must be honest in their antagonism,” Huber stated. “They can no longer say that the approach ‘doesn’t work,’ but must admit that their opposition is simply an ideological distaste for programs that encourage teens to wait for sex.” 
However, will the elite now listen or will their “ideological distaste” lead them to “normalize” any form of child sexual expression, to their very obvious detriment?

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