Saturday, February 15, 2003


More than a year ago, there was a hubbub in the State Board of Education over the way Nebraska teachers were going to teach sex education in health class.

The head of the State Education Department, Doug Christensen, commissioner of education, in alignment with national teachers' union positions on this topic, wanted "comprehensive" sex ed taught, the kind that includes a lot of information on how you prevent pregnancy and sexually-transmitted diseases. The philosophy is, "the kids are going to do it anyway, so they might as well know how to have safe sex."

Others, though, including former State Ed Board member Kathy Wilmot, pointed out that the wave of the nation was toward "abstinence only" sex ed because that is the approach that most parents want schools to take, and it works much better to preserve children's health. With that approach, students are given the kind of health information and skills that help them avoid sexual contact, with the clear expectation that they should not be engaging in sexuality at all -- the common-sense way to be "safe."

The compromise was that teachers were supposed to be free to teach "abstinence plus," meaning they were supposed to concentrate on teaching kids the consequences of risky sexual behavior, but if a child asked questions about condoms and so forth, the teacher was free to respond.

Now there's a report issued by the Coalition for Adolescent Sexual Health that appears to show that most parents side with Wilmot and "abstinence" sex ed, not with pro-"comprehensive" sex ed advocates.

According to the poll, 74 percent of parents want abstinence-only, character-based sex ed for their children, and not the "comprehensive" type that seeks to "normalize" unwed adolescent sexual activity.

The report contends that the data used by sex education groups such as Planned Parenthood, that are often cited by those with Christensen's pro-comprehensive sex ed views, are mostly propaganda intended to sway public opinion toward the "enabling" of adolescent promiscuity and all the diseases and expenses that come from that. The report contends that many of the statistics on which liberal education leaders and teachers' unions rely are fraudulent because they are "cooked" to drive more contraceptive and "family planning" business to Planned Parenthood and the like. It also shows that parents do not want explicit sex messages taught to their children, in contrast to the claims of the pro-comprehensive sex ed advocates.

CASH commissioned the Zogby International polling firm to survey of parental opinions about sex education -- using the explicit language of the sex educators themselves -- to find out what kind of sex education parents really want for their children.

The results of the Zogby study show just the opposite of what the sex education industry has claimed in the past. The sex educators have claimed that a majority of American parents want “comprehensive sex education” in the public schools. Just the opposite is true. When confronted with exactly what kind of sex education is to be taught their children, most parents are overwhelmingly against the kind of explicit sex messages promoted by Planned Parenthood and others.

Parents objected, for example, to sex education guidelines paid for with tax funds that teach children ages 5-8 that it feels good to touch and rub body parts; teaching children ages 9-12 that homosexuality is as satisfying as heterosexuality; and teaching children ages 15-18 that using erotic photos, movies, or literature is a good way to enhance sexual fantasies.

The Zogby study showed that by a 4.4 to 1 margin, parents disapprove or strongly disapprove of teaching young people that homosexual relationships can be as satisfying as heterosexual relationships.

By a 4.6 to 1 margin, parents approve or strongly approve of abstinence sex education.

By a 2.4 to 1 margin, parents disapprove or strongly disapprove of comprehensive sex education.

CASH noted in the introduction to this Zogby study that the “safe-sex cartel’s” own public opinion surveys have been deeply flawed. They have been based on biased sample selection, leading questions, deceptive questions, and a biased interpretation of the results.

It also noted that before "comprehensive" sex ed, including condom use, began being taught in schools, there were basically two sexually-transmitted diseases, syphilis and gonorreha. Now there are more than 30, and most of them are not prevented to any significant degree by condoms.

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