Why Do They Have to Misrepresent Us? A Response to Valerie Turico’s “9 Sinister Things that the Christian Right Does…” Part 3

Continuing my response to Valerie Turico’s argument from salon.com, we look at point number 2:

2. Denying young people accurate information about their bodies is evil.The U.S. government just spent a decade and a billion dollars on failed abstinence-only education programs concocted by Bible believers who live in some delusional world where prohibition works and virginity is next to godliness. Thanks to their influence, straight-faced educators tell teens that a girl who has had sex is a licked lollipop. Instead of medically accurate information and thoughtful conversation about intimacy and childbearing, teens get promise rings and slut shame.

The result? Here in the U.S., more than one in four girls gets pregnant before she turns 20, often with heartbreaking multigenerational consequences for women, children and whole communities.More than half of girls who give birth during high school drop out, permanently. Only two percent ever graduate college.

I just have to pause, and go, “What is she talking about?” I went through one of those “failed” programs. As a result, I am disease-free, and am probably better informed about human sexuality, form and function, than she is. My guess is that she has never reviewed the materials actually related to those programs.

She links to articles reporting programs that contain inaccurate information. If a program does contain inaccurate information , it needs to be corrected. But let’s be clear, the issue is not the use of condoms, something I’ve noticed in “comprehensive sexual education” (CSE) it’s the view of sexual intercourse itself.

Sex, to me, having sat through both types of courses, in CSE, seems to be more recreationalized than in abstinence based education (ABE). Ultimately though, it doesn’t matter what you teach them, it is ultimately up to the person as to how they use the information. There is a false assumption in CSE that demystifying something so unique and special as the human sexual union, reducing to merely an act, is somehow better than elevating it. I personally believe that schools shouldn’t teach this, it should fall to the parents. But, if it is going to be taught, it should be taught describing the totality of consequences that follow from a sexual life that does not reflect the biblical model: a life-long, monogamous, heterosexual relationship. So, on one hand, I agree with her, and on another I repudiate her characterization.

Sex isn’t just something that humans do, it is something that we are, it is our very being that is at stake, something that this blog seems to capture in its spirit. Links in this report demonstrate that abstinence, postponing sex until marriage, results in higher sexual satisfaction for those involved as well as greatly reducing the risks of setting up the marriage to fail.

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