So sex ed doesn't help, huh?
Last month Premier Dalton McGuinty found himself facing a firing squad of inflammatory and poorly-informed right wingers who screamed from rooftops that a proposed new sex education curriculum was an affront to morality and religious freedom.
These groups said that the new curriculum was "bordering on criminal" and tantamount to "indoctrination of a special-interest agenda."
In a turn of events terribly discouraging to thinking people, McGuinty ended up agreeing to delay the new curriculum to conduct broad consultations with the public.
I wrote my defense of sex education in this blog and there was a vigorous debate in the comments. Many were supportive, but some insisted that sex education does nothing to help delay sexual activity or prevent teen pregnancy. "Concerned Mom" said:
"I don't think that having this kind of sex education will prevent in any way teens from having babies as you mention or of having sex at all. They will do it or won't anyways mostly depending on the education they have had at home."
A commenter who went by "Upset Mom" said:
"Education does not prevent anything...if it were true then the rate of teen pregnancies would have dropped, and it has not."
Francine Kopun's story "Teen pregnancies plummet in Canada" outlines the details, including that Canada has the lowest teen pregnancy rate among the countries surveyed. The others were the United States, Sweden, England and Wales.
The researchers postulated that access to contraception and higher quality sexual education were the reason behind the drop in unwanted teenage pregnancy by more than one third.
Several commenters shared how lack of access to basic instruction on sexual health and human reproduction negatively impacted their lives:
As someone who grew up in a household where no straightforward information about sexuality was permitted... I can verify that nothing leads to experimentation with sex like absolute ignorance! I didn't want 'how to' information, I wanted 'about' information."
Kenn Chaplin shared this:
"Guess where I stand as a kid who only figured out I was gay when school kids said enough derogatory, descriptive things that bore some resemblance to my innocent feelings, bullied by a head teacher who broke his trust with me and made my first seven years of schooling hell, I was then abused by a much older sexual predator. If there had been more formal talk and less learning important words outside and in illogical order…who knows how much better even just a little sensitively-discussed information would have helped me and others."
Jillian Walker had this interesting perspective:
"I grew up in a household where sex was an open topic of discussion. My girlfriends grew up in households where sex was a taboo subject. Is it a coincidence that those same girlfriends were all having sex by aged 13, and I was almost 18? I don't think so. I believe that if my kids have all of the correct information (including what repercussions may follow, be it a disease, a broken heart, a soiled reputation, a teen pregnancy), they will make informed choices about what they will do, when they will do it, and who they will do it with. I'd rather them make informed choices than make blind choices that they have to pay for later.
"Bravo to you for writing this blog. Cheers to all of those people who support the proposed curriculum changes, and to those who don't...do your research, get informed, and don't come crying to me when you find out your 14-year-old is going to be a parent because you refused to keep a supply of condoms available for them just in case."