With Sex Education being a part of our public school system, each county or district has to decide how they will teach it. Some have abstinence education, while others teach “safe sex” and give out taxpayer-funded contraception.
In Union County where I reside we are abstinence only in our approach. The fact that as recently as three years ago we led South Carolina’s counties per capita in pregnancies among 15-19 year olds was a black eye on the abstinence approach.
Was it time to introduce “safer choices”? Is abstinence a failing system? Do desperate times call for desperate measures?
For starters, the real problem was our county’s approach; the only thing we were abstinent from was a curriculum. It was discovered that with budget cuts and busy days many teachers didn’t have time to get around to what they were supposed to teach, and there was little to no oversight from the county.
That led the county to form a Comprehensive Health Committee that was tasked with finding an abstinence-based curriculum, and to also find ways to address drug and alcohol abuse, bullying and violence, and other related issues.
The committee soon discovered that finding an abstinence-based curriculum was easier said than done. Some were purely about abstinence, but they gave no reason as to why students should not do what they already wanted to do (and were doing). Others claimed to be about abstinence, but a closer inspection found homework assignments about putting condoms on cucumbers and calling STD hotlines. Obviously, those are two things that an abstinent person need not worry about.
The committee eventually found a curriculum called Choosing the Best, which was also being used in one of our neighbor Spartanburg’s districts. There was eventually unanimous support from the committee, and after an initial balk from the school board, was unanimously approved for Union County’s 6th grade and up (high school students only take it once, so each student will go through four years of abstinence education).
One year after the curriculum was instituted there was only positive feedback from both teachers and students. Now two years later we see that Union County once again led the state, but this time in a different category. We led all counties with a 21% decrease in 15-19 year old pregnancies. Care to take a guess at who was #2? You guessed it: Spartanburg’s District 7, who has used the curriculum for three years.
Some told us that desperate times call for desperate measures, and that condoms would solve the pregnancy problem (I disagree; condoms increase sexual activity, and then the number of pregnancies increases proportionally). But in my opinion, the only reason we have “desperate times” is we have already instituted the “desperate measures.” Do you realize that teenage pregnancy was not a problem in our grandparents’ generation? It only became a problem once contraception was introduced into our schools and our children became the victims of the liberal agenda.
Contraception was what started the desperate times, so the desperate measure should be to return to abstinence until marriage.
I laugh when people tell me that abstinence doesn’t work. I say, “Have you ever met an abstinent person who was pregnant or had an STD?” I’ve met plenty of people who got pregnant while using birth control. Abstinence is not 100% effective, it is 1000% effective.
It’s funny to me how strongly I feel about this issue because I am actually opposed to sex education. But the government requires that it be taught in the public schools, so the important question is in deciding what will be taught. And what we have found is that when abstinence is taught the right way students can make the right choices.