Is Public School Sex Education SAFE?

Some years back I was talking to one of my officemates, a middle-aged single mother with two twenty-something sons. At the time my son was fourteen or fifteen years old. I asked her how she approached her sons about the sensitive subject of “the birds and the bees.” She smiled and cheerily replied that she simply cautioned them to make sure they stayed safe! So she didn’t care if they had premature sex or not. What mattered to her was they did not get the girl pregnant or contract a sexually transmitted disease.

Considering I was at the point of discussing this sensitive subject with my young teenager, I was certainly not going to follow her advice. I did have conversations with my son about sexual matters and pornography which today on the web is over 30% of the internet traffic (Extreme Tech, 2012). I’ve read that it’s even higher in 2016.

We parents and grandparents today are quite aware that we are living in an overly sexualized society which assaults the senses whenever one immerses in the popular culture. I just had a visual image in my mind of the Amish community I used to visit outside Akron, Ohio and imagine how wonderful it would be to escape to that bygone era where language, dress, and normative social behavior in American society were less vulgar, coarse, and unrefined. I digress…

I joined Pastors Gerald Ripley and Charles Flowers and other parents and friends I’ve come to know and appreciate in the pro-life movement in San Antonio at the NEISD School Health Advisory Council meeting on March 29th.

While a few of us interested parents in attendance as observers were given an opportunity to voice our “brief” opinions, it became quite apparent that the committee members were ready to vote and they did, unanimously, for a comprehensive sex education program for 6th to 8th middle school students in the NEISD schools. The program is called “Draw the Line/Respect the Line. Setting Limits to Prevent HIV, STD and Pregnancy“.

The title of the now recommended program for thousands of eleven to fourteen year old’s is a dead giveaway for the objective of the selected sex ed program: “If you must have premature sex before you are ready for marriage and a family, then practice safe sex.” The obvious mixed message aptly conveyed in the program’s title is that our children will be cautioned to avoid sexual activity but considering the overpowering peer pressure and awakening impulses from suggestive and blatant sexual messages in popular music, TV, movies, fashions, games, and print media that bombard our kids’ senses today, well, what matters is you make sure you’re safe from unintended pregnancies and STDs!

There was a discussion among the committee members about the section in the program for 8th graders who would be treated to the proper use of the latex condom. The schools could adopt the condom demonstration segment or not. At least that was what was conveyed at the meeting. How the whole three year program will be implemented in each school is the question.

“Sex education programs from kindergarten through high school continuously downgrade the intimate, affectionate, monogamous nature of human sexuality. Whether the sex educators purposefully intend to do so or not, their sex teachings act, nevertheless, to desensitize students to the spiritual quality of human sexuality.”

Dr. Melvin Anchell, A Psychoanalytic Look at Today’s Sex Education

What’s wrong with this type of program? It will  take a couple of articles to explore the question. Consider this letter part one.

  • Most parents who are professed Christians would agree that they are the primary educators of their children. Outside the guidance and consent of parents, Planned Parenthood-type sex education programs often lead to the deformation of a child’s conscience.
  • Suggesting that intimate sexual relations for eleven to fourteen year old children can be tolerated as long as they take precautions against pregnancy and infection is morally bankrupt.
  • Promoting “Safe” Sex in school health programs is not so safe. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approx. 19 million new cases of sexually transmitted infections (STI) are reported while approx. 50,000 HIV infections are diagnosed in the US annually.1  

Some important references to consider regarding the use of latex condoms, the “recommended” contraceptive of NEISD’s new Sex Ed program:

“[C]ondom use cannot provide absolute protection against any STD. The most reliable ways to avoid transmission of STDs are to abstain from sexual activity, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner.

[Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) : Condom fact Sheet (Condom Effectiveness) Website updated March 2013]2

Do condoms break?   Yes
“Inconsistent or nonuse can lead to STD acquisition because transmission can occur with a single sex act with an infected partner. Incorrect use diminishes the protective effect of condoms by leading to condom breakage, slippage, or leakage. Incorrect use more commonly entails a failure to use condoms throughout the entire sex act, from start (of sexual contact) to finish (after ejaculation).”3

The National Center for Biotechnology Information reported that “(t)he consistent use of latex condoms continues to be advocated for primary prevention of HIV infection despite limited quantitative evidence regarding the effectiveness of condoms in blocking the sexual transmission of HIV.”4

“In 1993 the University of Texas analyzed the results of 11 different studies that had tracked the effectiveness of condoms to prevent transmission of the AIDS virus. The average condom failure rate in the 11 studies for preventing transmission of the AIDS virus was 31%.”5

“Saying that the use of condoms is ‘safe sex’ is in fact playing Russian roulette. A lot of people will die in this dangerous game.” Dr. Teresa Crenshaw, member of the U.S. Presidential AIDS Commission and past president of the American Association of Sex Educators.

Association of Sex Educators

NEISD and other school districts in our city need to dial back on their decision to use Planned Parenthood type sex education programs on our middle school students and seriously consider successful abstinence programs like Heritage Keepers and Sex Respect. More about these programs in part two.