Sex educationàis the process of acquiring information and forming attitudes and beliefs about sex, sexual identity, relationships and intimacyö and is designed to protect young people ôagainst abuse, exploitation, unintended pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDSö (www.avert.org).
Who could be against this? The fact is, very few people oppose sex education in the schools, according to a recent National Public Radio survey, which found that only ô7% of Americans say sex education should not be taught in schoolsö (www.npr.org). But you wouldnÆt know this if you listen to the Bush administration. They want to increase funding of abstinence-only sex education programs by 33%, which would forbid teachers from discussing how contraception works and where to get.
Abstinence-only programs are championed by evangelical and fundamentalist Christian organizations, which the current administration in Washington claims to represent. These people believe sex should be only engaged in my married couples, and then primarily for procreation rather than pleasure. There are many problems with this approach, but the most fundamental one is that is an oxymoron: sex education without discussing contraception is not education, but misinformation. It keeps teens ignorant, it does nothing to reduce or delay sexual activity among young people, and it fails utterly to provide accurate information about preventing unwanted pregnancy and sexually-transmitted disease, which can be literally a matter of life or death for an individual. Therefore abstinence-only sex ôeducationö should be condemned in the strongest possible terms, since its practice leads potentially to easily preventable disease or death.
The United States has the highest rate of ôteen pregnancy, birth, and abortion rates in the Western worldö (www.planned parenthood.org). Following the ignorant and malignant philosophy of the Bush administration and its born-a...