Sunday, October 28, 2007

Let's Talk About Sex... Education, Baby!

The New York City Department of Education wants to implement a new sex education curriculum that would discourage public school students from getting prematurely involved in sexual activity but would also provide them with important information about birth control and sexually transmitted diseases. This program, also known as Reducing the Risk, certainly seems to be a better fit for NYC public schools than Title V, an abstinence-only education program that offered the DoE $3.5 million to use it last month.

It is the job of health-education teachers in this city to inform students about their different options, not to force their opinions and moral standards on them. Teachers are not allowed to tell students what religion to practice or what political party to associate with, so why should they be able to tell them what their sexual choices should be? So many teenagers are going to get involved in one kind of sexual activity or another while they are still in high school or even middle school, that it would be foolish to not teach them about contraception and preventing STDs. Telling them that sex before marriage is wrong will not protect these kids at all. Even if they do decide to wait until they are married to have sex, use condoms and/or birth control every time, and get tested regularly for HIV and other STDs, there is always the chance they might be raped, in which case even the most responsible of teenagers need to know what action to take in order to protect their health.

So, unlike in many of my other posts, I am actually congratulating the NYC Department of Education on going with the more fair, less-biased sex-education program. Good job!


Seth said...

Another question on this issue. There is probably a fair number of gay students in NYC public schools. They could never get married. What good would "saving yourself for marraige" be then?

Louis said...

I am been trying to track the status of Title V now since you posted this and i haven't been actually able to catch up to it in its present state. However 12 states have rejected its funding and Waxman (D-Ca) who controls the House Committee it appears before actually allowed it to lapse in July before it was extended into September. That was where i lost the thread but i actually was talking to a Sex Ed advocate recently and he said that it most likely wont be dropped until after Nov. '08 because teh Dems dont want to be remembered by killing abstinence sex ed. Don't you hate politics!?
Sadly while opposition to Title V is growing, the Dems still increased funding in the Community-Based Abstinence Education program by $27.8 million to $141 million.
Seth as to your point- some authorized versions of Title V (oh yah, there are many for every kind of conservative)actually do not address homosexuality at all. This is actually a Clinton-era policy and one that is unlikely to change no matter the POTUS because of large midwestern delegations and contributors.

Seth said...

Interesting comment Louis. Are you a public school student?

Louis said...

I am indeed. I am a senior at Hunter