According to a study done by BYU years ago, abstinence education does work, but
only if the teacher believes in it. I have to emphasize this - only if the the
teacher believes in it. A teacher will not teach effectively anything that
he/she does not personally believe in. They will, regardless of the law, get
across their own personal biases. Years ago, a great teacher at
South Davis Junior High in Bountiful, Utah taught my children a wonderful
abstinence program called Sex Respect. This teacher did a great job. She used
positive peer influence to teach this class and she told me that their
statistics went clear down to only one pregnancy per year. Hurrah for this
teacher and for the students she helped.I think that parents are
going to have to keep on top of the teachers. They need to get to know the
teachers of their children to see if they are teaching what they are supposed
to. Principals need to hire teachers that reflect the communities personal
'SALT LAKE CITY A bill that would have banished all talk of contraception from
public schools was amended and passed by a House committee Thursday, leaving
some scratching their heads over what distinguishes the bill from law currently
on the books.' - artcle Nothing. Nothing at all has
changed. As exampled by: **'Bristol Palin has book
deal' - By Hillel Italie - AP - Published by DSnews - 03/01/11
'Bristol Palin, 20, has become a celebrity in her own right, through her broken
relationship with her child's father, Levi Johnston...' - article. **'Judge releases beaten teen, citing state's abortion law' - By Emiley
Morgan - Published by DSNews - 10/14/09 'A 17-year-old girl who paid
a man to beat her in the hopes of terminating her pregnancy has been...' -
article Utah lawmakers... why are you even there?? Stop voting on token legislation that factually changes NOTHING... and do the WORK, that my tax dollars pay you for!
As an elementary teacher a few years ago, I was shocked at the number of kids as
young as 9 who came trying to ask questions about things that troubled and
puzzled them -- but that they were afraid to ask their parents. Most of them
were rather benign, given their ages. But they were important, just the same.
When I could, I helped them get answers from their parents. But in a few cases,
I knew the parents well enough to know that the kid would be in big trouble if
they knew they were even thinking about that subject matter. In every case like
that, the parents were fellow church members whose strict observance of
"moral values" made them as myopic as Gayle. But because I knew that
Utah's laws would place me in great personal jeopardy if I answered the kids'
questions, I found ways to evade giving them anything like a straight answer.That kind of thing places caring teachers in a terrible predicament.
Like a young female colleague who told me about an eighth grade girl who asked
her if it would be okay if her boyfriend used a sandwich bag instead of a
condom. He was afraid to try to go buy one. After wrestling overnight with
what she would do to answer the question, the best solution she could find was
to tell the girl simply, "No, it will not work." But she didn't feel
she could go beyond that advice, and knowing the parents, was afraid to mention
it to them.About a year later, that little girl delivered another
little girl. Her parents, prominent conservative members of their community,
were enraged and tried to file criminal charges against the 15-year old father.
Who, by the way, was also from an well respected family of the same ward.
Article: "I think we are intellectually dishonest when we teach pregnancy
prevention in our classes and do not teach the only sure pregnancy
prevention," Wright said.Actually, the intellectual dishonesty
comes in perpetuating the trope that abstinence is 100% effective in preventing
pregnancy. Like all birth control methods, abstinence has a failure rate. It's
a convenient fiction of semantics to argue that couples who meant to abstain,
but got caught up in the moment, are not practicing the abstinence method of
birth control. Every "Ooops!" is a failure of the abstinence method.
It is intent, not execution, of the method that counts in calculating efficacy.
Couples that intended to use abstinence to avoid pregnancy but slipped up may
technically have "not abstained," but they were practicing the
abstinence method of birth control.Condoms fail when improperly
applied. The Pill fails when improperly applied. Abstinence fails when
improperly applied. And the failure rate for abstinence is remarkably high.What do you call teens who rely on the abstinence method? Parents.
Lagomorph -- that is one great comment!Thank you.
@ Utexmom: Too bad Sarah Palin didn't really believe in abstinence when she was
teaching it to her kids. Abstinence failed 100% for her oldest two kids. If
they had received comprehensive education they may have had sex anyway, but the
chances of them getting pregnant would have been decreased.
Frankly, I'm all for teen abstinence. I'm all for teaching abstinence as a
method of birth control. But, I'm not for using an abstinence ONLY
education.@Utexmom That's great that BYU's study found that
abstinence education does work, but let's ask a few questions about that study:
How many "years" ago was that? Society has become far more inundated
with sexuality and our teens are faced with many instances of sexuality each
day. Does abstinence education continue to work with ever increasing sexuality
on the daily landscape?What do we mean by abstinence education
"does work?" Does that mean we increase the percentage of teens who
practice abstinence by 10%? 20%? I find it extremely hard to believe that you
will ever reach 100% of teens who remain abstinent. What about those who don't?
What disservice are we doing to them by NOT teaching other methods of birth
control?If a teacher believes in abstinence only education? So now
we have to vet what our teachers think? Their own personal feelings and beliefs
must conform to community standards? To religious standards that they may not
share?Like I said, I don't have a problem with teaching abstinence.
I think we should- as ONE method (if you want to call it the preferred method,
fine), but we need to be realistic and realize that teens have been
experimenting with sex before marriage and adulthood, even though religious and
other groups have pressured those same teens with the abstinence only message.
Why not teach contraception in the context of marriage? That should cover the
sensitivities and needs of the community.