Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

February 27, 2009


Salon - A whopping 94 percent of school districts in the lone star state teach only abstinence, according to a new report. Worse yet, the review by two professors at Texas State University found that "sexuality education materials" used in the state "regularly contain factual errors and perpetuate lies and distortions about condoms and STDs." . . .

Disturbing as they may be, those top-line summaries of the findings are nothing compared to excerpts included in the report from actual teaching materials. . . One program predicts non-virginal students' miserable future, "You know people talk about you behind your back because you've had sex with so many people . . . Finally you get sick of it all and attempt suicide."

There are fun skits about suicide, too. In one, titled "Jumping Off the Bridge," the moral of the story is put like so: "Giving a condom to a teen is just like saying, 'Well if you insist on killing yourself by jumping off the bridge, at least wear these elbow pads -- they may protect you some?'" . . .

In response to a question about having pre-marital sex, an abstinence-only education video warns: "Well, I guess you'll have to be prepared to die. And you'll probably take with you your spouse and one or more of your children." . . . Boys are warned that they might kill their girlfriend by having sex: If you give her HPV, she'll "probably end up with a radical hysterectomy, cervical cancer, and possibly death." . . . A curriculum for wee little sixth-graders exclaims: "WARNING! Going on this ride could change your life forever, result in poverty, heartache, disease, and even DEATH." Another cautions in all-caps: "FOR OUR YOUNG PEOPLE TO ENGAGE IN SEX NOW IS LIKE PLAYING RUSSIAN ROULETTE WITH ALL BUT ONE CHAMBER FULL!"


Anonymous Mairead said...

When I was in high school, over 50 years ago, they had someone come in and do broadly the same panto about alcohol use.

I suppose that tells us how far behind the time Texas is.

February 28, 2009 5:32 PM  
Anonymous Justice said...

"If our children knew what we're really doing to them, they would rise up and murder us in our sleep." - Frank Zappa

The man who stands up and says "This is stupid", is either asked to behave or is greeted with a chorus of "Yes! We know! Isn't it great!" - also Frank

I was just HONEST with my own daughter about the pros and cons of having sex, and she always knew I would see she had birth control available whenever she made the decision to become sexually active. She chose abstinence until she was 19 - completely of her own volition. And she has shown sincere respect for her own body and feelings, and for those of others.

When long-term "boyfriend" came along, she came to me for the birth control before she decided she was ready for her first experience of sex.

Parenting isn't always easy, but man am I glad I got that one right! My daughter and I enjoy a really close and honest relationship, and we are some of each other's favorite people.

I don't understand adults who think fear is better than accurate information and straight-up rational discourse. We're getting it wrong to think our job is to create compliant kids - kids who just submit to the will of others and never learn obedience to their own best thinking - which is the only thing anyone should obey.

March 1, 2009 8:38 AM  

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