Several schools in Georgia have been telling students to save sex for marriage, ignoring all the research in support of comprehensive sex education.
(This a good time to mention that southern states, which are the most religious in America, tend to have the highest rates of teen pregnancy.)
Georgia does not have a single sex ed curriculum. Instead, schools choose yearly if they want to use a comprehensive sex ed program, an abstinence-only program, or no sex education at all.
More than one-third of the state’s 450 high schools use a curriculum called Choosing the Best, in which “the best” is considered sexual abstinence.
The program “encourages sexually active students to make a choice to stop having sex from this point forward, as the best and healthiest choice for their future,” according to the Choosing the Best website.
If students choose to be abstinent, that’s perfectly fine. But we know that’s not how life works for many of them. They have sex before marriage — can you believe it?! — and many of them are unaware of the potential consequences, not to mention how to use condoms, birth control, or other forms of contraception.
Promoting abstinence without discussing the other options isn’t just ineffective. It’s dangerous.
Besides the bad information, there are also possible church/state separation violations in play here, since some of the people brought in to teach the curriculum are affiliated with Christian ministries.
Then there’s this:
Jaime Winfree leads a coalition of parents who are trying to change the curriculum there. One student described to her an activity that included having the students suck on a hard candy and then spit it out. The used candies were compared to a woman who has had sex and was therefore considered “dirty,” Winfree said.
Because women, like lollipops, are disgusting after they’ve been “used” by someone else. That’s the sort of misogynistic lesson these kids are being taught. Those lessons have their roots in (toxic) religion and should never appear in public schools.
Yet somehow, the committee in charge of selecting a sex ed curriculum renewed the contract with Choosing the Best this past March. The vote was 19-2. Only three of the 27 committee members work in a healthcare field.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Brian for the link)