Do you remember when drunk driving was funny? Or if not funny, inevitable, especially for the young? When my parents were going through high school (they are now 42), only losers worried about the alcoholic consumption of the person behind the wheel. Now, as their kids (myself and my two other siblings) go through the same school they went through, designated drivers have become part of the norm and only losers swerve off into the night.
I was reminded of this significant evolution in attitude when our school system began to explore the idea that teaching abstinence to teenagers need not be the province of right-wing crazies. Could it be that teenage sex today is no more inevitable then we once thought of teenage drunk driving? Is it possible to make an open-minded, feminist argument for pushing abstinence in our schools? I believe it is. .
Sex education does not work. Sure there may be a few nice things to be said about sex education. For one, it makes the teens more familiar, more tolerant, and maybe even more skilled lovers. However, it does not do the one thing we all wished it would: make them more responsible. In a landmark study of ten exemplary programs published by the Center For Disease Control (CDC) in 1984, no evidence was found that knowledge significantly influenced the responsibility of sexually active teens. In fact studies have shown that educated teens are slightly more likely to have sex at an even younger age. .
"It's no mere coincidence that after over thirty years of so-called "safer-sex" education, our nation is suffering from an STD epidemic . . . Abstinence-only education is not damaging our youth. Condom Tossing is. We need to teach kids that saving sex is for marriage is not only the healthiest option, but the most sexually satisfying one as well" (Agape).
After all, abstinence is the only method proven to be 100% effective.
Supporters of sex education, on the other hand, point to studies that show that educated teens are slightly more likely to use birth control.