More Nonsense from Abstinence-Only Fanatics: ‘Drug-Based Sex Ed’

by Dan Quinn

Abstinence-only activists are increasingly concerned that more and more school districts in Texas are moving to sex education policies that include medically accurate information on condoms and other forms of contraception and STD prevention. Their latest worry: Round Rock Independent School District just north of Austin.

The lawyer/lobbyist for Free Market Foundation Liberty Institute Texas Values, the Texas affiliate of Focus on the Family, posted to his Twitter account this morning:

Round Rock ISD meet 2night 2 discuss using drug-based sex ed, teach middle school kids bout implants, morn after pill.

What’s this all about? Round Rock’s school board is scheduled today to discuss a recommendation from the district’s School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) to include instruction on contraception beginning in eighth grade. Under the recommendation, sex education would include discussion of contraceptive methods such as condoms, spermicides, IUDs, natural family planning (rhythm method) and the withdrawal method. The classes would also include information on birth control pills, implants and emergency contraception.

The latter group of methods, apparently, is what religious-righters now call “drug-based sex education.” Of course, they probably hope the phrase will have parents imagining teens learning about sex in opium dens and crack houses. This isn’t the first time abstinence-only groups have used this “drug-based” nonsense.

But here’s some irony: Round Rock schools currently use a sex education program that abstinence-only activists have loved. A TFN Education Fund report in 2009 identified that program, Worth the Wait, as one of a number of problematic abstinence-only curricula used in Texas public schools. A follow-up TFNEF report in 2011, however, noted that Worth the Wait had added a section on contraception for school districts that want it. Round Rock is considering using that section along with its other Worth the Wait materials.

But now abstinence-only groups like Free Market Foundation Liberty Institute Texas Values are attacking the Worth the Wait program for promoting “drug-based sex ed.” They want Worth the Wait — and Round Rock — to stick to keeping students ignorant about responsible pregnancy and disease prevention in a state with one of the highest teen birthrates in the nation.