This mom is not buying Planned Parenthood's B.S. for one minute.
Homeschool Mom: Planned Parenthood has decreed that 10-year-olds have a fundamental right to be taught about contraception, to have comprehensive sex education, and also to be treated as sexual beings. It's their right, right? Now, I'm sure I'm not alone here in thinking that this is the most ridiculous thing I have read in a long time. But the scary thing is, some of you will absolutely agree with Planned Parenthood -- and those of you who do are probably not all pedophiles (who right now are rubbing their sweaty palms together in glee). Some of you just are misguided enough to think, "Kids are 'doing it' younger anyway, so why not prepare them for it?" I'll tell you why: Because it's not safe -- emotionally, physically or morally. It is not acceptable or beneficial in any way, shape or form for 10-year-olds -- or 14-year-olds, for that matter -- to be having sex.
I hear all the time that abstinence-only sex education doesn't work. People say there's been a rise in teen pregnancies, etc., and that abstinence-only sex ed is the reason why. "Look," they say, "Bristol Palin got pregnant, and she says abstinence-only sex education doesn't work." Well, I just want to point you all to a little study that says abstinence-only sex ed is not the complete failure that people paint it to be. The study appears in the current issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, and on Feb. 2, 2010, Ashley Hayes wrote about it on CNN.com. Hayes' piece reports that the study was conducted over a two-year period with African-American girls who averaged about 12 years in age. Two thirds of the girls who received abstinence-only sex education delayed having sexual intercourse within the two year period, while almost half the girls who received either abstinence-and-condom education or just condom education had intercourse in that same two-year span. So: Can you delay first-time sexual intercourse? It appears that you can. Can you make teen sex obsolete? Probably not -- but you can't make a lot of social problems obsolete. You can definitely make them less prevalent, though.
I believe that parents actively telling their kids "Don't have sex" goes a long way. It's the same with drug use: What's the biggest deterrent? Parents saying, "Don't do drugs." But telling a kid, "Well, having sex is normal when you're 14 or 12 or even 10 -- so use this and be safe" doesn't strike me as a way to curtail the unwanted behavior. Teen pregnancy is on the rise, along with sexually transmitted diseases -- and so is drug use, teen violence and teen suicide. So where does all that leave us? Do we say, "Well, let's teach them to use drugs safely," or "Let's teach them to kill themselves less lethally," or "Let's teach them to beat the snot out of each other in a safer way"? No. We say, "That is unacceptable and we don't want you to use drugs or kill yourself or hurt someone else."
So why is it so bad to say, "Don't have sex until you are in a committed, adult, legally binding relationship -- or at the very least, older"? I have a 14-year-old son who recently entered a private full-time high school, and I have told him, "You may not date until you are older." I informed him that while I cannot control his liking a girl or spending time in school with a girl he feels romantically attached to, I will not aid and abet any kind of romantic relationship. She is not coming over, he's not going to her house, there will be no movies, etc. I'm just not going there.
To a 14-year-old boy, girls are only a source of distraction and trouble -- so my son's pretty cool with my rule. His friends who do date have proven to him that I'm not talking smack. In fact, he has advised them, "You're better off waiting" -- because he has seen the drama that accompanies young teen romantic relationships. Maybe he won't wait until he's married to have sex. (I'd like him to, because I have seen couples in my church who did wait, and who now have extremely fulfilling and wonderful marriages.) But at the very least, I'd like to keep him safe while he's 14. I am not ready to give up the battle, as Planned Parenthood would like me to. We may not be able to eliminate teen sex, but maybe we can delay it -- and that is an improvement.
|Homeschool Mom: Pam Heilman is a California Credentialed Teacher who once won some body lotion in a raffle at the Y. She is currently residing in Southern California with her husband Eric, and homeschools their three children.|