Friday, May 29, 2009

Sex Education in the Bible Belt

Blue Gal, who runs one of my favorite blogs has a wonderful post up on Abstinence Only Sex Education. The map alone is worth some time, but her description of the situation is priceless.

In a perfect world, citizens in states with higher birth-rates among the uninsured would pay a pro-abstinence and prophylactic ignorance tax, which would appear as a line item on page one of their 1040.

"Write the name of your state on line A"

"If your state is listed in Schedule IC (idiot Christianist) subtract $1,000 from your standard deduction."

States that enact medically accurate, age-appropriate comprehensive sex education programs (h/t NCSSE) would be exempt from such tax after three years of reduction in Medicaid birth rates. (I would also push for free roadside condom distribution and including state-funded advertising for Trojans during all sports programming and American Fucking Idol.)

She's a bit more direct than I would be in describing some of the nonsense the Christian Right gets up to. I often think the same thing about our friend Mud_Rake. But they make good points. Until I studied that map, I never realized the extent of the damage this Abstinence Only business can do.

It just happened to Bristol Palin, too. I try not to think about whether Levi is practicing safer sex these days. Bristol's parents are showing their selfish arrogance again by allowing her to be used for family propaganda.

Tabloid media saturation is actually an opportunity to get our national head out of our ass and grow up when it comes to sex. Teenagers need those of us who are adults to be adults. Those dependent, right or wrong, on the public dole can receive lots of information while they are seeking assistance from other agencies.

Bristol's mother needed to buy her condoms and tell her to use them, or watch her carefully enough and keep her busy enough that sex with Levi wasn't the only fun she could have.

What's your opinion? Do you think parents who want to teach their kids to abstain from sex until they're older or married but also want to educate them about birth control and its proper use are facing an impossible dilemma? Do you think kids who are old enough to discuss abstinence are old enough to learn about birth control options?

Aren't the highlighted states in Blue Girl's map the same ones which have lax gun control policies? Is there a correlation between the attitudes and educational policies that have led to high rates of welfare pregnancies and the heavy pro-gun position that we're so familiar with?

What's your opinion? What do you think about North Dakota? They've got lots of guns, very few murders and very few births financed by Medicaid. Man, I'm goin', that's all there is to it, I'm goin'.

Please feel free to leave a comment.


  1. Why is it so hard to sit down your kids and say, "I know you're going to have sex because when I was your age I was having sex. Just remember not to be a fool and cover your tool."

  2. "If your state is listed in Schedule IC (idiot Christianist) subtract $1,000 from your standard deduction."

    This must be an example of that post-partisan tolerance for differing opinions we've been hearing so much about.

  3. I think people should be taught abstinence. However abstinence only is a suckers bet. Teens are going to want to have sex, and are going to have sex.

    With that said, we should be teaching abstinence, as well as safe sex practices, and about birth control. We need well rounded sexual education, as well as age specific sexual education. No we should not be teaching children in elementary school about anal sex, but we should be teaching them about where adults are not supposed to be touching them. In early middle school we should be teaching students, separated by sex, about the changes going on within their body. By the end of middle school and early high school we should be teaching full blown sex education. Everything from abstinence to sexually transmitted diseases.

    I still remember that talk about the birds and the bees with my parents. It was short sweet and to the point. "Don't have sex unless you are willing to spend the rest of your life with said girl. If you do, and lets face it, you might, be smart, wear a rubber. Just remember they do not always work, just remember that."

  4. I feel it's a serious dilemma for parents. In the teen years most kids don't want to hear it, whatever it is. But, I think the difficulty in dealing with this situation and trying to have an open communication, is no excuse to take refuge in the "abstinence only" approach, which often ignores the reality of teen rebellion and experimentation and curiosity.

    Another problem about this "rightish" approach, isn't it mainly about girls and their virginity? In this regard isn't the whole business sexist? Some of the extremists even have ceremonies with the teen-aged girl and "daddy," who is the custodian of her chastity until she marries.

    I have daughters and I think that's sick shit, what about you?