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Comments about ‘Sex ed bill amended, impact unclear among Utah lawmakers’

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Published: Thursday, Feb. 9 2012 8:42 p.m. MST

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Utexmom
Flower Mound, TX

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 standards.

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

'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!

one old man
Ogden, UT

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.

Lagomorph
Salt Lake City, UT

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.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Lagomorph -- that is one great comment!

Thank you.

Kalindra
Salt Lake City, Utah

@ 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.

Cincinnatus
Kearns, UT

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.

Steven S Jarvis
Orem, UT

Why not teach contraception in the context of marriage? That should cover the sensitivities and needs of the community.

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