The Vanguard

Filed under News

Sex education: Abstinence is not the only way

Graphic+provided+by+the+Center+for+Disease+Control+and+Prevention.
Graphic provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Graphic provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Graphic provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Michigan began to fund the abstinence-only-until-marriage program in 2007. Eleven years have passed since this law was enacted, yet it has not been effective or efficient in teaching students all options of safe sex.

The Michigan Revised School Code (PA 451 of 1976) Section 380.1507b states that classes that teach sexual education must “emphasize that abstinence from sex is a positive lifestyle for unmarried young people because abstinence is the only protection that is 100% effective against unplanned pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease, and sexually transmitted human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.”

Due to this law, all school districts in Michigan are not allowed to have programs that teach students anything other than abstinence-only.

While abstinence may seem like the best way to convince minors not to have sex before they are ready, certain evidence suggests otherwise.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s article “Abstinence-Only Education” (2011), “Using the most recent national data (2005) from all U.S. states with information on sex education laws or policies (N = 48), we show that increasing emphasis on abstinence education is positively correlated with teenage pregnancy and birth rates. This trend remains significant after accounting for socioeconomic status, teen educational attainment, ethnic composition of the teen population, and availability of Medicaid waivers for family planning services in each state. This data show clearly that abstinence-only education as a state policy is ineffective in preventing teenage pregnancy and may actually be contributing to the high teenage pregnancy rates in the U.S.”

“Statistically speaking, abstinence-only programs do not work,” Susan Rawling, medical heath teacher, said. “They do not work because people are uninformed, and when they are uninformed, they tend to make the wrong choices. I believe that it is every adult’s responsibility, both educators and parents alike, to teach teenagers about safe sex. Some parents do not discuss those matters with their children at all, so to not allow schools to be able to teach students about safe sex is simply irresponsible and immoral.”

Some students believe that it should not be up to the states to decide whether districts teach abstinence-only or not.

“It is not as if abstinence-only will prevent every teenager from having sex,” Antonio Esho ‘19 said. “The programs will be different since not every place is the same. I think it should be required of every school to have programs that teach students about safe sex. It is not as if those programs would be encouraging students to have sex. It is not a good idea to have sex before you are ready, but if you are going to have sex, here is what you should do to protect yourself.”

Some students who have been in classes that teach abstinence-only believe that there is a better way to protect teenagers.
“I have been in life skills in the 7th and 8th grade and I am in parenting now,” Dezireah Bell ‘20 said. “They teach abstinence-only in all of those classes. It seems ironic, especially for parenting. Not everyone listens to abstinence-only teaching, so schools should make sure that if teenagers do make the choice to have intercourse, they know how to protect themselves. Not from just teen pregnancies, but also to prevent the spread of STDs.”

Students have asked for the curriculum to change nearly every year.

“Schools that have abstinence-only programs believe that they are protecting the kids they are teaching,” Annette Alexander, life skills teacher, said. “I do not agree with abstinence-only teaching. I believe that teachers and parents should work together to inform teens about safe sex. At the end of every year, I always ask my student, ‘Did we teacher this course well?’ and every year, students are more than happy to give their feedback. They always say that they want to learn about safe sex because they know that abstinence-only teaching does not usually work. I remember reading a while ago about what it would take to change the programs, and the number of requirements are ridiculous. The number of people that it needs to go through is enough to make it seem like there is no way of changing it, and that was when teachers used to meet up to discuss this. Now, we do not even meet up. I know there are many more programs that are more effective than abstinence-only.”

There are different methods on how to prevent pregnancies and the spread of STDs that students believe schools should teach, but do not.

“There are many effective ways to prevent pregnancies,” Ashley Knapp ‘18 said. “There are condoms, of course, which are probably the most known. There are different forms of birth control, like IUDs, which is for more long-term prevention. There is also the Plan B morning after pill, which prevents pregnancy before it starts, although some religious people may not want to take the pill because they believe it is just as bad as the abortion pill. Obviously, one of the best options for minors is to not have sex at all, since abstinence makes it so there is no chance you can get pregnant or catch an STD. Yet, it is important for schools to give us options, so if teenagers do decide to have sex prematurely, they can be ready and know what to do.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




*

Navigate Left
  • Sex education: Abstinence is not the only way

    News

    Faulty fire system fuels the flame of panic

  • Sex education: Abstinence is not the only way

    News

    Welcome back to the Vanguard online!

  • Sex education: Abstinence is not the only way

    News

    “A scathing editorial,” says WDIV on-air reporter Kimberly Gill

  • Sex education: Abstinence is not the only way

    News

    Blood drive saves lives

  • Sex education: Abstinence is not the only way

    News

    Minimum wage causes mixed opinions among students

  • Sex education: Abstinence is not the only way

    News

    Students, teachers work to abolish hate speak

  • Sex education: Abstinence is not the only way

    News

    Clickbait popularity leads to spread of fake news

  • Sex education: Abstinence is not the only way

    News

    Unwrap the online Vanguard

  • News

    Stevenson High School gains new associate principal

  • Sex education: Abstinence is not the only way

    News

    Faulty fire system fuels the flame of panic

Navigate Right

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The Student News Site of Stevenson High School
Sex education: Abstinence is not the only way