What she wore: jean capris, t-shirt, leather thongs.  It rained, so I didn’t even bother to put on something nice.

I’m just going to start out by saying that I know this entry is going to be controversial, but I saw something in TV last night and I just can’t keep my mouth (or fingers) shut. 
Last night the Hub was watching HBO and I try to ignore it, but this time I just couldn’t.  The special talked about abstinence education in American schools. 
Now, before I go completely psycho, I’d like to say that I think the best sexual experiences occur in context of monogamous relationships.  I think this mainly because nothing is sexier than confidence in yourself and in your partner, and that is usually not something that happens over night. 
But, in today’s public schools the governement is spending like a billion dollars to fund abstinence-only education.  This means that kids are only taught abstinence and nothing else.  I could probably deal with this news if it weren’t for one minor statement off-handedly mentioned during the broadcast: these programs often spread mis-information about other forms of birth control.
Now, we all know I’m an education fan.  I think it flies in the face of education to give teenagers mis-information.  I don’t care what the program, LYING is never appropriate–even if done with the best of intentions. 
Now, I went to private school and got taught sex ed in sixth grade by an aging hippie who never wore a bra, sat cross-legged on top of her desk, and put a condom on a flag pole.  I’m not saying that’s the only way to go, but at least I had information.  When I began working in public schools, I was surprised at how conservative the programs were.  Usually, a "specialist" would come in and regular teachers would be sent out of the room.   
I could go on and on about why I think kids need good info or no info, but I’ll just give you some snippets to help make my point.
I used to work in a district where student went to abstinence education every year they were in school.  It was also the STD and teen pregnancy capital of the state of Texas–literally; a study was done.  When I inquired as to why kids didn’t use condoms the answer was simple–they don’t work.  Huh?  Apparently that’s what they were being taught in school.  So, rather than waste time and money on something that doesn’t work, the kids just did it au natural which is probably why the girl who picked up the roll each morning was pregnant with her second child her senior year.  Just a thought.
Another student I worked with also knew that condoms didn’t work, so she went to a local clinic and asked for birth control.  They willingly gave her some type of shot which they assured her was effective.  It also made her sterile.  By the time she was seventeen, the doctors predicted she’d never have a child of her own.  I’m not saying that it was any one person’s fault, but the effectiveness of condoms is pretty close to the effectiveness of other forms of birth control.  Perhaps better information would have produced different results.
And finally, from a completely different district: a student recently told me she thought a friend of hers was pregnant.  I encouraged her to get the friend to tell her parents and seek medical attention soon.  I reminded her of the importance of seeing a doctor early in pregnancy.  A few days later the student came and talked to me again, and said that her friend still didn’t know if she was pregnant.  Then she asked me, "how do you know if you’re pregnant?"  I said, "well, one of the first signs is that you stop getting your period."  I’m hemming a little here because I’m not really sure how much information I’m allowed to give these kids.  The next day she came back and told me, "she’s not pregnant–she got her period."  I asked, "well, why did she think she was pregnant?"  
"Oh, well she had a dream about fishes."
What?  It’s like we live in the freakin’ dark ages–a dream about fishes?  Is this an old wives tale or something?  I couldn’t believe it.  
All of these kids are supposedly getting some kind of sex-ed.  I’m just not sure if it’s terribly effective and we, as a nation, are spending a billion dollars a year for this piss-poor product.  Maybe I’m in the wrong business.
I have been told that on Wednesday this blog’s address will change to
You may or may not be re-directed from the old address.

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About takedeux

In one summer I had a baby who was hospitalized for five weeks, quit my job, and moved back to my hometown. This blog is about starting over.
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23 Responses to Attention

  1. K says:

    That will be a real piss-off… having to update all my links… not impressive is it!
    I have but one question:  WHY?
    Hope you have a good day,
    Ciao bella,

  2. Gina says:

    hmmm…really?  why? 

  3. Unknown says:

    I haven\’t heard anything about changes???  Let\’s hope if MSN is planning on making more, that it goes smoother than last time!

  4. Unknown says:

    I meant to tell you I got a kick out the comment you left about the shoes!  I\’ve worn a couple of things to church and I\’m sure got some looks and people felt the need to pray for me after I left.  🙂 hee-hee!

  5. wendy says:

    Hi there, I just wanted to let you know that my latest blog is a reflection of your blog about friendships in case you want to check it out. Also, I wanted to tell you that I started a project at church…I am collecting items to send packages to soldiers through to be distributed to soldiers who may not be getting mail. Do you know how long it takes a soldier to receive their mail if they are overseas?

  6. Sheryl-Ann says:

    Hope things go smoothly with the changeover (sigh).

  7. Sue says:

    They should teach all methods and give all information.  I wasn\’t sure of this when my girls were growing up, since I had girls and being Catholic, but I\’m a firm believer in being honest and giving information.  Kids nowadays are pretty much going to do \’it\’, so they need to have the info. 
    I remember in Catholic school in 8th grade our sex ed was a program on the T.V.  All I remember is the stupid tune they played and it was by C.O. Green.  Panel of kids and giving the info (but no birth control back in the day).  My parents went over the birds and the bees with me at home with an encyclopedia.  when done, they asked what I learned.  I replied "not to get pregnant before I get married".  I learned a lot. 
    You are right in your thinking and this comes from a Catholic gal.  Too bad for the poor kids who are lacking the info.  More babes raising babes.  *sigh*
    : ) Sue

  8. Dennis says:

    While everyone may or may not be focused on the subject of this post, I got stucked on a particular excerpt regarding the hippie teacher in your past.  She put a condom on a flag pole????  Didn\’t  that hurt???  I\’m just asking.

  9. Hollie says:

    why the change?
    I agree that education needs to be given especially in this area.

  10. K says:

    OK… growing up as a Jehovah\’s Witness where abstinence is a way of life – there was a major draw back to their preaching… Sex before marriage is a big NO NO which can lead to being disfellowshipped (you\’re \’looking\’ at a primary example of how seriously they take that rule) and kicked out of that religion.  The divorce rate is high but also a lot of very unhappy couples still together because of the rules for divorce makes that difficult to live with as well…. and that another topic for another day.
    The flip side of this… hormornal kids got married at a very young age simply to have sex.  Getting married at the age of 18-19 isn\’t going to make things any better.  Not all but a majority of those marriages end in divorce because they realise that their decision was based on hormones… not on a true heart\’s and souls desire.  Many of them were not educated sexually – the information that was taught in schools was extremely conservative.  In fact, my first sex ed class was preached by a nunn… what does she know about sex?  There were no conversations about birth control.  It was all about the sin of sex and how babies are made.  Nothing more.
    Although I was a late bloomer in comparison to the my schoolmates and many friends… I did indeed wait to have sex with someone I loved.  He was my first of many things… and we were together, monogamous for 4 yrs and then I chose to refrain for almost 1.5 yrs after that – my own decision.  Sex is NOT bad.  Sex is often misrepresented, misused and misunderstood.  To preach abstinence in schools is good certainly if you choose that as your way of life…. BUT… there needs to be balance in that there also needs to  education for those who want to practice sex… safely.  Empowering kids and adults alike, taking the tabboo away from the subject – frank and open discussions about the pros and cons of both choices is necessary.  Sex is indeed wonderful with someone where there is trust, love, understand and comfort.  Monogamy is not a bad thing… it can be rather beautiful and long lasting.  Will they teach that in their classrooms with their blinders on?
    We all knows kids rebel and if they are not educated properly… shown all the options and empowering them to make whatever decision they do make, responsibly…. there will be perhaps even more severe consequences than we have to deal with now.
    Apparently… I have a lot to say on this subject… and this is your blog… not mine… so I will stop now, at this.  Man.. your sex ed teacher must have scared the crap out of you kids in grade 5… but better than being taught by a nunn!!!  LOL… too funny… flag pole dressing… interesting!
    Ciao bella,

  11. Unknown says:

    I don\’t understand the "condoms don\’t work " deal.  WHAT???  I mean my gosh…. the U.S. gov\’t hands out condoms when the guys pull into a new port.  One thing the gov\’t isn\’t sitting by the wayside on.  I so agree about what you mentioned before you went "psycho" 🙂  Overall I think waiting until you are married is best.  But if the kids are gonna do it at least give the kids the correct/safe info so they are prepared.
    To answer your questions…  1.  I always said I didn\’t want children.  I was just fine with my horses and cats/dogs.  2.  We wanted N, L, and M  to be boy\’s  soooo bad.  We were thrilled.  3.  I\’m not very close to my Mom.  There just isn\’t much trust there.  I didn\’t want to repeat the same pattern with a girl.  The thought terrified me.  Plus with Hubby\’s family there is such a double standard for girls.  I love my boys  soooo much and wouldn\’t trade being their Mom for anything.  Hubby has 2 nieces so I get to see the girlie side.  Actually N. has several close firends who are girls and I love \’em to pieces.  They are a good mixture of tomboy/ girlie girl.  I don\’t really miss the pink stuff.  I always get a chance to buy girl gifts for b-days or showers, so that\’s my fix! 

  12. Unknown says:

    Hot topic for sure, you\’d think by now we would have it down, ya know?
    loved yer blog about Michael : )
    And yes I definitley think theres a time a season for relationships and when they serve their purpose its time to move on : ) hugs Kat

  13. Sheryl-Ann says:

    It seems like a waste to spend billions on something that is not achieving the desired result, doesn\’t it?  Did the student really think that she was pregnant because she dreamt about fishes?  That is almost funny!
    We didn\’t have any official sex education classes at our school. I went to a private, catholic school which was run entirely by nuns so sex was a taboo subject. However, most of us thought that you got pregnant any time you had sex so you know we stayed far away from that until we got a little wiser and we were out of school.

  14. tassietoo says:

    I agree with you too!  Are you and the Hub getting used to each other again?

  15. Karen says:

    LMAO @ EZ\’s comment!
    Seriously, though, I\’m with you on this one.  Because I love my child, I won\’t just leave it to the school to educate her on this, but I don\’t want what she learns at school to contradict what I tell her, and I plan to be totally honest  when the time comes.
    Have a great week, KM!

  16. Tracy says:

    Hey there!  I totally agree with you — I think sometimes it\’s better to accept that kids will probably do it even if you tell them to obstain so it\’s better to just give them info on how to do it safely instead of just how to abstain.  Because while that\’s a great idea, the fact is everyone knows all those kids will not follow that advice!!  I remember giggling in sex ed class in junior high as we probably all did but hey it gave us the info — my parents did not talk to me about it at all so that\’s the only place I heard the spiel!!  Hope you have a good Wednesday and that MSN isn\’t gonna cause a big pain with their changes!

  17. Unknown says:

    My daughter is 6 and seems to know more about sex ed then some of those kids! How freaky! She asks things and I\’m just honest….no stork for my kids…but the tooth fairy, that\’s another story!

  18. Nadine says:

    I missed it…the HBO thing….but that is just wrong. What happened to safe sex?? That is a plus ontop of the fact that it keeps you from getting preggers!! Good Lord what are people thinkin\’???
     The local High School….several……I don\’t know the numbers….have some sort of STD!!
     One the "cute" stories I like….My sister dated a few boys in school….she developled warts…..and had to have surgery…….16 or 17 years old……She had a baby when she was 18. The mother of one of the boys she dated, always greeted her like the child was her grandchild…….always lookin\’ her over for any kind of resemblance to their family. This behavior ticked My sister off……I told her to tell that lady, "The only thing your son ever gave me was warts! So back off Hazel!!" The woman left her alone from then on……….USE A CONDOM!!!!!!

  19. Gina says:

    Schools are just turning a blind eye to reality.  Kids need to be informed of what works and what doesn\’t; they need to know what is fact and what is  fiction.  Being one sided and just saying "don\’t do it" is not going to do a damn thing.  Kids need to be better informed so they can make better choices.  That seems so obvious, too.

  20. WINDOW LIVE says:

    Well, I don\’t know about the whole abstinence thing being taught.  I don\’t care what my kids learn at school I gave them the low down at home.  I told them babies I can live with…you get AIDS you die, that I cannot live with so use a condom.  They have a day care in my children\’s high school so if they are teaching abstinence then they better quit allowing my tax dollars to fund day care.

  21. Alicia says:

    Hmmm…deep topic.  Think I\’ll leave it at that since you said everything I probably would\’ve!
    I\’m pretty sure MSN will re-direct us…that\’s what I heard anyway..
    HUGS!!  🙂

  22. Laura says:

    My middle/high school had a \’True Love Waits\’ rally and encouraged the students to sign a promise or whatever it was to wait until marriage to have sex.
    I think it is ashame that we are keeping important information from kids. I can\’t believe they would say condoms don\’t work! That is one of the easiest forms of BC for someone to get, and they went out and ruined that!
    I am also confused about the fish dream. Too much superstition. Another high school I went to had a sex health class where we basically studied STD\’s and viruses and such (including mind-searing photos) and studying the parts of the male and female reproductive system. On the last day of class the teacher had one word of advice about sex (this was the only time she talked about it) she said, "Your anus is a one way street, don\’t mess with the laws of mother nature" Whew… I don\’t think that was in the cirriculum

  23. Unknown says:

    hey there….interesting blog.
    bridal fashion on my blog today. have a good one

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