Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Abstinence and America

In America, every high school student has to take a general set of courses to prepare them for something. What that something is? I'm not really so sure. I went to high school and learned about Byron, but that has yet to really help me out unless British Poetry comes up on Jeopardy! While some of the classes are very useless, one of the classes that is meant to be useful is sexual education/health. You learn about your own form and about sexuality. I also learned how to run a household, a skill that came in handy in college even though I was not married in any way.

But, this sanctuary of useful information and important knowledge has been damaged since the Bush Administration came into power. It had been subverted for a fairly long time, but the attack upon the system became solidified during the Bush administration. The Bushies have decided that there is not a need for high school students, the ones who are just beginning to understand themselves and aiming to gain a further understanding of their others, to learn about safe sex practices. Apparently, the administration believes that the teaching of sexual practices will launch people to have more sex. I'm just going to step out here and say that this is not true. But, I'm not the one who controls the purse strings.

So, in an effort to control what the kids learn, the Bush administration decided to only fund schools with national dollars if they committed themselves to teaching abstinence-only education. As if you haven't already noticed, I'm not a huge number person. Other people like numbers a lot and using them to make points; not so much for this guy. With that said, I can't be sure what the effectiveness of this program is, but its effectiveness, or lack thereof, is not my concern. This program raises my ire as someone who just came out of the raging bowl of hormones and sexuality that is college.

Sex abounds at college, and these students should be prepared for how to deal with sexual situations if they decide to enter one. Abstinence is a good idea in theory, but telling people to not have sex with someone even if they feel they are ready and want to is not going to work for everyone. People have sex; they should be taught how to approach it responsibly and sensibly.

Luckily, I'm not the only one who thinks this way, as the Democrats are trying to swing against the tide and cut funding for abstinence-only education. As can be expected, the Christian Conservative lobby is against the move and all conceivable logic. But, what else should I expect? I live in America, a place where we breed American Idol winners (Jordin Sparks, you're on notice).