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 littlerockbarnyard.spaces.msn.com
You may or may not be re-directed from the old address.