Texas Sex Ed: No Laughing Matter

This week the Huffington Post featured 14 posters from bygone days apparently aimed at deterring young folks from premarital sex. While the rather peculiar messaging on these old-time posters might provoke a brief smile, that approach to sex education is about as effective as the so-called abstinence-only programs used in most Texas public schools today — and that is no laughing matter.

In 2009 the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund’s groundbreaking study, Just Say Don’t Know: Sexuality Education in Texas Public Schools, provided conclusive, research-based evidence that Texas is failing families and students when it comes to providing the complete and reliable information young people need to make responsible life decisions. Currently, the Education Works! campaign with our coalition partners is providing a vehicle for concerned Texans to support comprehensive sex education in public schools. This approach, which encourages abstinence while also providing evidence-based information on contraception and disease prevention, is urgently needed in a state with one of the highest teen birthrates — and the highest rate of multiple births to teens — in the nation.

During the Bush Administration, federal funding for abstinence education increased dramatically. Texas received the most federal dollars, including more than $10 million in 2009. Our subsequent study demonstrated not only that the majority of Texas students were not getting basic information about contraception, but many were also receiving inaccurate and misleading information promoted by deeply flawed abstinence-only programs and their advocates.

Here are a few of the harsh truths that should lead to comprehensive sex education in Texas without further delay:

• Every ten minutes a teenager in Texas becomes pregnant

• 60% of teenage mothers do not graduate from high school

• Over a recent 13-year period, teen births in Texas are estimated to cost taxpayers $15.1 billion

Students, parents and, in some instances, whole communities are the unwitting victims of the  “conspiracy of silence” and the ignorance promoted by abstinence-only-until-marriage advocates. The social, financial and emotional costs are simply too great. For our students to succeed and our state is to be healthy, our elected officials, educators and local opinion leaders must insist that students receive evidence-based, factual information and insight on all subjects, including sex education. The Texas Freedom Network will be working with our coalition partners to promote that responsible agenda during the 2011 legislative session in Austin. If you haven’t already, please show your support for those efforts by signing on to the Education Works! petition here.

3 thoughts on “Texas Sex Ed: No Laughing Matter

  1. I am a virgin and if you don’t believe me, ask my children.

    The people who preach abstinence only probably had pre-marital sex. When Shrub did what he did unwanted pregnancies SKYROCKETED world wide because that was the only “sex education” permitted by any country, including the USA, was abstinence.

    Evolution (GASP!) designed us so that hormones start too early in today’s world. When the life span was less than 40 you had to work fast to bring in the next generation. That meant that girls hit menarche around 11 or 12 and began creating new life nine months later. Our clocks are set at puberty for both genders.

    I know that each and every person reading this has felt the power of pubertal hormones. Apparently, the people who want to preach and teach abstinence only either had no sex drive when they hit puberty or masturbated, which is also condemned by religious nuts. BTW, their non-thinking understanding of a fella named Onan who refused to impregnate Ruth, the grand mother of King David. So when he knew he was ready to ejaculate, he pulled out an “allowed his seed to spill on the ground.” It hasn’t the foggiest relationship between what Onan did and masturbation.

    It’s a shame that our children do not get educated about what is going on in their bodies unless their parents have enough confidence to explain sex with them.

  2. You peeples at TFN is ignernt and blonde. That all round sex edgicashun in skules. Hit is a wrong cuz hit learns the chilern on how to half sex. Ignernce is thuh ainser. Hiffin you never learn how ta half the sex, then you cain’t doo the sex cuzin you don’t no how. Atun air’ll stop them knock up jobs kold.

  3. Happy 4th of July to everyone except the Texas SBOE and Religious Right, who are working hard to unravel it. Here are some choice words from John Adams that they would do well to heed:

    “Tis impossible to judge with much Præcision of the true Motives and Qualities of human Actions, or of the Propriety of Rules contrived to govern them, without considering with like Attention, all the Passions, Appetites, Affections in Nature from which they flow.”

    “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”

    “There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.” [Religious Right: “Why little old us?” ESPECIALLY LITTLE OLD YOU.

    “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”

    “I pray Heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this house and all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof.” FDR had this John Adams quote engraved on the fireplace mantle in the State Dining Room at The White House.

    “I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved — the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced! With the rational respect that is due to it, knavish priests have added prostitutions of it, that fill or might fill the blackest and bloodiest pages of human history.” John Adams had very much of a Christian heart but a fundamental distrust of priests like Dave Welch. So should we all!!!

    Abuse of words has been the great instrument of sophistry and chicanery, of party, faction, and division of society.” Anyone remember “capitalism” vs. “free enterprise” at the Texas SBOE?

    “The substance and essence of Christianity, as I understand it, is eternal and unchangeable, and will bear examination forever, but it has been mixed with extraneous ingredients, which I think will not bear examination, and they ought to be separated.” He’s talking about the candied cherries, pineapple, raisins, dates, and other fruits in…well…you know by now.

    “I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will triumph in that Days Transaction, even although We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.” AND SO HE WAS RIGHT: