Sunday, September 07, 2008

Palin and sex education, and the horrors of sex ed, one of the lamest parts of a lame period in my life

Since I've been reading a number of posts by other bloggers who take it for granted that Palin is opposed to any other sex education than abstinence only (or opposed to sex education completely), even I was surprised to read that she appears to believe in more comprehensive sex education. And that it's not clear that Bristol received abstinence-only education--no surprise considering Palin's only been governor of Alaska for a year and a half and probably hasn't had time to establish autocratic control of public schools, despite snarky comments like "How did that abstinence-only education work out for you, honey?"

See this article in the LA Times (which I gather is a sufficiently unbiased source, no?) and this article in the Detroit Free Press.

In the past week I've conceived the notion that there shouldn't be sex education in schools at all because either it will be taught without any sort of underlying philosophy about what sex means (which I would oppose, because I think sex means something) or it will be taught with some sort of underlying philosophy (which someone will inevitably oppose, possibly including me because I might disagree with what that philosophy of sex is). So I can't run for public office, because I put that out there and now I'm anathema to everyone.

(By the way, what did everyone learn in sex ed? My memories are mostly along the lines of how I was theoretically supposed to learn Washington state history in ninth grade social studies, which I did not. I remember two films: one with giggly teenagers asking questions like "What's an orgasm?" and one that was like Chlamydia: The Untold Story, and meanwhile I was probably the most unsexed ninth-grader ever and thinking, "Well, chlamydia's about eleven thousandth on my list of worries under present circumstances." So there you go.)


Christina (your cousin) said...

Dang, we are so sympatico you'd think we were related or something!!
I'm fully prepared to opt my kids out of ALL school sex ed, but the problem is the kids don't want to draw attention to themselves by walking out of the room so they beg me to just leave it alone... oh the fine lines we mothers have to walk!

Deanna said...

Well, in theory, you didn't know what Spin the Bottle was until you were in college.

Heidi put it in the soaps. So it must be true. ;)

Juliet said...

Dude, I SO knew what spin the bottle was. I got my sex ed from Judy Blume like everyone else.

Juliet said...

I was being kind of flip about my newfound beliefs on sex ed in schools (by the way "conceived the notion" = BAD BAD BAD pun), but, basically, yeah. Like a lot of other aspects of public education, at best it merely fills needs that shouldn't exist if things were being done right at home.

Here's a quote from the Freep article in my original post: "Sex education is absolutely necessary but it's also absolutely insufficient," he said. "Even if we as a nation could agree on a particular type of sex education program, do we think it is going to significantly change teen behavior?" If the person whose job it is to prevent teen pregnancy has such a pessimistic view, I don't know why anyone else thinks an army of gym teachers putting condoms on bananas could have kept Bristol from getting pregnant.