I think that abstinence education is a crock-o-shit, in part because we’ve pushed off marriage to be something that you do in your mid-20s (or 30s). At the same time, sexual maturation is occurring earlier and earlier (in part due to nutrition and other hormone shifts). Not only is sex seen as a rite of passage to maturity, but it is sold through every form of media out there.
How on earth can we expect people to be virgins through their 20s? (Remember: a century ago, you may have lost your virginity when you got married… but that was at like age 16. Not 25.)
I’m constantly perturbed that we’re teaching abstinence instead of safe sex because we refuse to acknowledge that teens are having sex. Not only is it not working (well, it is resulting in the substitution of oral and anal sex for vaginal penetration), but it’s putting a lot of kids at risk.
Anyhow, amidst my reading this week, i ran across a hysterical quote concerning how to actually motivate abstinence. It had me laughing so hard i had to share:
There’s no evidence that information about contraception – or even distributing condoms in school – gives young people the idea of having sex. The entire culture and their own bodies seems to be doing that quite effectively. Indeed, if there is any one thing that can make sex dull for teenagers, it is to teach it in high school. — Thomas Hine