Monday, February 13, 2012
Utah's Sex Education: Abstinence, Advocacy, and Abomination
The House Education Standing Committee heard a recent bill proposed by one of my colleagues that would change Utah's sex education curriculum by presenting an abstinence only message without the discussion of contraceptives.
This bill provides the opportunity for an interesting discussion about the role schools play in the sexual awareness and attitudes of our rising generation. Certainly, schools play an important part in the dissemination of this information which is central to the perpetuation of our society. Without reproduction, our civilization would collapse in 40 years. Thus, this issue is of paramount importance for the future existence and prosperity of Utah and our nation.
So, with that in mind, why are children taught about sex in our schools? Who ultimately bears responsibility for this kind of education? One thing is certain, children only know what they are told. Yet, there are many competing voices for children to listen to on this subject. Parents provide the best and most influential instruction, schools provide another voice in providing information, and the media provides a third very sensationalized and misinformed voice.
Indeed, today with many parents unable or unwilling to engage their children on the topic, children are often left to the schools and the media to learn about sexual behavior. Unfortunately, the media provides a powerful and transfixing medium to learn from. Just like freshly cut potatoes that are dipped in hot grease and changed into french fries, our children today are immersed in a media awash in the corrosive and transformative influences of pornography. This extra-curricular menace provides nothing of meaningful value to children but instead lays the insidious foundation of serious anti-social behavior, inhibits the formation of long lasting relationships, and deteriorates the bonds of trust in future existing relationships. This is the great foe that schools and parents have to face in our day.
The concern that seems to be raised at the Legislature regards balancing the roles of parents and the schools in providing good information. Many parents are missing-in-action when it comes to educating their children on the powerful consequences that come from engaging in sexual activity. So, is there a policy position that can be taken regarding sex education at schools that will act as the surest and best safe guard of information for our children?
I believe there is and that answer is advocating abstinence while teaching awareness of contraception. Advocacy of any behavior other than abstinence simply opens the door to heart ache, public health problems, and societal ills.
Abstinence is a concept that environmental conservationists should understand very well. The concept of preserving and maintaining pristine virgin wilderness without despoiling it is something of great value. If a landscape is worthy of such a noble effort, then certainly the the virtue of our children commands even greater treatment. The teaching of Abstinence is an Innocence Conservancy Initiative.
The negative consequences of early sexual activity are broad and poignant. Single mothers are thrust into poverty; unwanted children grow up on welfare roles; the fragmentation of the nuclear family places ever heavier burdens on schools, police, and corrections facilities.
The individual liberty we each enjoy becomes a burden to all when it is abused to licentiousness. The consequences are heaped on all our shoulders in the form of larger government, greater taxes, and pervading human sorrow.
Therefore, it is my hope that greater emphasis is placed on abstinence in our schools. While children need to know of contraception, the details of how they are used should be left to the parents and guardians of the children. The existential basis of our society is the power to reproduce ourselves. May we treat this power with the reverence it deserves.