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Sarah Palin On Sex Education

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posted on Sep, 24 2008 @ 01:31 PM
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Sarah Palin's stance on in-school sexual education was made during Alasks's gubernatorial race on a questionnaire sent to all of the candidates.

The question was:


3. Will you support funding for abstinence-until-marriage education instead of for explicit sex-education programs, school-based clinics, and the distribution of contraceptives in schools?


Her answer was:


Yes, the explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support.


Click here to read the rest of the questionnaire, along with the answers (if given) from each candidate.

With teenage pregnancy statistics what they are, is supporting only abstinence-until-marriage education the right choice? Is it a responsible choice?

My Opinion

To refuse to teach a teenager, someone who will more likely than not have some form of sexual intercourse, about safe-sex practices is a giant jump in the wrong direction. Teens are having sex and not teaching them the necessary steps by which to avoid both STDs and accidental pregnancy is to willfully keep them ignorant and woefully unprepared for a healthy and realistic sex life.

My Experience

I am 21 now and, as a teenager, attended a catholic high school which taught abstinence-until-marriage as their sex-ed. The lesson on safe-sex was, and I quote, "The only safe sex is abstinence". Nothing else, that is it.

We were not taught about condoms, birth control, 'morning-after' pills, etc... In fact, these subjects were never touched upon and if you asked about any of it the answer was always the same: "The only safe sex is abstinence". This was the only message despite the obvious reality that teenagers will, in large numbers, have sex.

In my four years at the school, three girls left because they got pregnant.

And that is the real issue here for me: Every VP is looked at as being 'one heart-beat from the presidency', and rightfully so. It seems incredibly irresponsible to insist that simply saying, "Don't have sex until you are married", is a safe and responsible message.

You may not want to think that teens will have sex and are having sex. And you may not agree with sex-before-marriage on religious grounds. But that does not change the reality:

Many teens will have sex; it is not a new phenomenon. They should be taught safe sex practices regardless of any individual teen having or not having sex. To do otherwise shows of irresponsibility and an unrealistic view of certain realities.

edit to add:

Please do not attempt to bring her daughter into this conversation; it has no place here. Governor Palin's opinion on this subject was expressed years before her daughter's present situation. To bring it up is political bantering and off-topic.

I hope the strict T&C here will make this edit irrelevant.

[edit on 9/24/0808 by spines]

[edit on 9/24/0808 by spines]




posted on Sep, 24 2008 @ 01:50 PM
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Just an idea here, but perhaps if parents don't want their kids having sex, they should teach them about safe sex practices and the like.

Since when is it a schools responsibility to raise our children?

People need to start taking more responsibility for their own lives and blaming everything on someone else.



posted on Sep, 24 2008 @ 01:51 PM
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I think the key to understanding where she stands here is understanding what the meaning of an "explicit sex education program" opposed to a regular one.

Check out this NY Times article, in which a majority of parents polled also did not want "Explicit sex education programs" in their children's schools, either:


The survey found that while most parents approved of their children being taught about using condoms and contraceptives to avoid pregnancy and disease, they did not want them being taught about masturbation, sexual fantasies and homosexuality and did not want middle schools' teaching children how to unroll condoms, all subjects in the sex education guidelines.


Source: query.nytimes.com...

And something else important - Barack Obama also does not favor "explicit" sex education programs in schools, either:


When Obama's campaign was asked by ABC News to explain what kind of sex education Obama considers "age appropriate" for kindergarteners, the Obama campaign pointed to an Oct. 6, 2004 story from the Daily Herald in which Obama had "moved to clarify" in his Senate campaign that he "does not support teaching explicit sex education to children in kindergarten


Source: blogs.abcnews.com...

The difference in the two interviews is the media asked Obama to clarify his statement, whereas in Palin's case the media took her statement, didn't ask her to clarify it, and ran with it.

So according to the story, we are led to believe that Palin advocates abstinence only, which may totally not be the case, as is shown in the difference between the two interviews.



posted on Sep, 24 2008 @ 02:06 PM
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reply to post by nyk537
 


It isn't the schools responsibility to raise our children. But it is their responsibility to teach them. Sex is a large part of human life; perhaps teaching teenagers about it is a good idea.

Parents are free to teach their children about safe sex practices, but do not do so in many cases. Whether they feel too awkward, don't know how or whatever makes no difference. An alarmingly large number of teenagers are taught nothing by their parents besides maybe "Don't do it".

If parents aren't teaching their children about safe-sex, and the schools aren't either...then who is left? Movies and television?



posted on Sep, 24 2008 @ 02:16 PM
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Originally posted by spines
perhaps teaching teenagers about it is a good idea.


Abstinence is a safe sex practice. Although I don't agree it's the schools job to do so.


Parents are free to teach their children about safe sex practices, but do not do so in many cases.


Then perhaps we should focus on teaching them about safe sex at work, so they can go home and teach their children.


If parents aren't teaching their children about safe-sex, and the schools aren't either...then who is left? Movies and television?


Absolutely not. I think the problem needs to be addressed at the parental level, not the child's level.

That's why I advocate more personal responsibility here. It's also why I'm a big proponent of home school.



[edit on 24-9-2008 by nyk537]



posted on Sep, 24 2008 @ 02:17 PM
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Originally posted by sos37
I think the key to understanding where she stands here is understanding what the meaning of an "explicit sex education program" opposed to a regular one.


There is a difference of opinion here so I am not going to attempt to argue. However, my opinion is that not teaching a child about masturbation or sexual fantasies is just as irresponsible.

Puberty is probably the scariest thing a kid has to deal with up to that point in their life. Masturbation and sexual fantasy are very real, very common parts of this process.

To simply not teach it is solving nothing and failing to adress confusion that many kids have and do not know how to explain or even how to ask about.

I am not even going to touch what is wrong with saying that teaching about homosexuality is 'explicit' (no, I am not saying you said it).


Originally posted by sos37
The difference in the two interviews is the media asked Obama to clarify his statement, whereas in Palin's case the media took her statement, didn't ask her to clarify it, and ran with it.


I am simply going off what I have to work with. I couldn't find any other sources for her stance on the issue and haven't seen it discussed at all in the news.

If her stance is not one of abstinence first I would be very surprised. And I don't think anyone would assume her stance is otherwise.



posted on Sep, 24 2008 @ 02:19 PM
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What needs to happen is to remove any trace of morality issues from school sex ed. Then, just like grammar, math or any other subject, the scientific reality of sexual activity, and the consequences, should be taught in school.

It seems clear that 'abstinance only' type education is not working. It is not effective, so should be modified to something that is effective.

Just as a btw, where I went to school, at one point 1/3 of Junior High girls were pregnant... they eventually quit making them leave school. This began to turn around when real sex ed came online, with no morality lessons involved.

It can be done.



posted on Sep, 24 2008 @ 02:21 PM
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reply to post by nyk537
 


You can advocate the parent teaching it all day long but it doesnt change the reality.

A large number of parents do not teach safe sex, let alone any type of sexual education, to their children

I would love for parents to teach their children safe-sex, but to assume that any type of majority does or even would is leaving large numbers of children confused, unprepared and ignorant to/for an important aspect of their lives.



posted on Sep, 24 2008 @ 02:24 PM
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Originally posted by spines

If her stance is not one of abstinence first I would be very surprised. And I don't think anyone would assume her stance is otherwise.


I'm a parent. My daughter is 2 now. I wholeheartedly believe in abstinence first, THEN sex education. I would much rather my daughter didn't have sex until she was married, though I do understand that's not how popular society operates nowadays. I certainly don't want her being taught explicit sex education in school, such as masturbation, use of condoms, gay sex or other crap like that. The school can teach her the medical side of sexual reproduction, but when she has questions about love and sexuality, I would prefer that my wife and I take the responsibility to tell her about those things. I sure as heck don't want her hearing about it from a stranger first.

[edit on 24-9-2008 by sos37]



posted on Sep, 24 2008 @ 02:28 PM
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Amen sos37. Amen.

Those are my feelings exactly. Let them teach the science of it, but nothing more.

The rest is up to parents.



posted on Sep, 24 2008 @ 02:30 PM
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reply to post by sos37
 


If your daughter was gay, do you honestly think she would come to you with her confusion? Or if she started to have sexual fantasies that are new to her, would she really tell you and your wife about them?

She might, but most kids won't/wouldn't.

This is no shot at your ability to parent.

I never had a sexual fantasy that confused me and thought, "Gee, I should ask my mom and dad about that".

It seems unrealistic to assume that any type of majority of parents will/can talk to their children about sexual education; it is blindness to assume that any majority of children will ask about things such as their desire to masturbate or that they are having fantasies or that they are gay.

Explicit sex ed accomplishes something which many parents/children are unwilling to even begin.

edits for clarification of point.

[edit on 9/24/0808 by spines]

[edit on 9/24/0808 by spines]



posted on Sep, 24 2008 @ 02:40 PM
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reply to post by Open_Minded Skeptic
 


Exactly my point.

Making it a scientific, "this is the egg, this is the sperm", does not help.

Sex, and the development which goes along with it, is extremely emotional and the kid could care less how the sperm finds the egg. They want answers to their questions: the types of things parents seem unwilling (or possibly afraid) to teach their kids.

I know that when I was a kid going through puberty all I wanted was for someone to be honest with me and adress those things which explicit sex ed adresses.

I shouldn't have had to learn about all this from my older sister.

[edit on 9/24/0808 by spines]



posted on Sep, 24 2008 @ 03:01 PM
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Originally posted by spines
I shouldn't have had to learn about all this from my older sister.


But you should have had to learn about it from some strange person teaching a class at school?

Forgive me if that doesn't make sense to me.



posted on Sep, 24 2008 @ 03:33 PM
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I also attended a Catholic High School. The Health Classes mainly focused on "Abstience is the only safe sex" as being the only message.

We also had a required class, CALM (Carreer and life Management) I dont know if anyone else had that, but in CALM Class - that is where we learned about STD's - being a result of HAVING SEX. Because, as the Catholic Cirriculum in our District stated: Abtinence was the ONLY form of Safe Sex.

We never learned about Condoms.
We never leared about Birth Control.
We never learned about Morning After Pills.

We learned about reproduction - sperm & eggs. We learned about Pregnancy - from the Scientific Point of View. The symantics of Reproduction. We watched a Pregnancy Video once, where it followed the woman around for 9 months, and showed the changes her body went through etc. (Watching the birth, was scary enough).

My parents, talked to me about Sex....and perhaps (if you knew my mother you would understand) some people would be uncomfortable. My mother is FAR from uncomfortable. It boarders on embarrassing sometimes, because she is just so OPEN about everything.

My parents taught me about Birth Control, Condoms, Pregnancy - from the emotional point of view. From the "Do you think you are ready for a baby?" Point of View. My parents talked to me about body parts, and hormones, and attraction, and "You might think you're ready but...."

The line my father used was "When you think your ready, you'll come and talk to me about it. And if you don't want to tell me - then you're not ready." And he was right. When I thought I was ready to start having sex, I went and I talked to him about it. The next week, i was on Birth Control. Not many people can talk to their parents like this. My friend Sharlotte was TERRIFIED to tell her parents she wanted to go on Birth Control.

I think, that Parents are ultimately responsible for teaching their children about sex, and the emotional ties that come with it. A parent, probably knows best too, when the child is ready to have the discussion. Better than the teacher, who doesn't KNOW the child in the same way that a parent knows their own child.

However, I concede that there are parents who simply are NOT comfortable in talking with their kids. I had friends who never "had the talk," because their parents simply wanted to avoid it and leave it in the hands of the school.

I know it is NOT the Schools responsibilty to raise children, however, I think it should be incorporated into Education, as a Back-up Method. I think that Schools should touch upon these issues: STD's, Condoms, Contraceptives, and Pregnancy. I know its not the school's responsibility, but too many children are misinformed. And in the event of a Parent not being comfortable having the discussion - shouldn't the information be available to the child anyway?

And, in the event of a child NOT being educated at home about Sex, do you think that child is going to go to the Health Nurse and ask questions? Probably not, well I don't think so. I know that I would be scared to go in and ask questions... So wouldn't it be easier to offer it to ALL students? As a required class, it doesn't have to be gorey. It doesn't have to be extreme. I'm not saying they should learn the KamaSutra. I am saying, that they should receive basic Education about sex, just in case they aren't being educated at home.

Just Thoughts..

- Carrot



posted on Sep, 24 2008 @ 04:42 PM
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Originally posted by nyk537
But you should have had to learn about it from some strange person teaching a class at school?


A classroom full of peers is one of the more comfortable settings I would assume. I honestly wouldn't know, I wasn't given the opputunity to have a decent sex ed class.



posted on Sep, 25 2008 @ 12:30 PM
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reply to post by spines
 


I talked to my sons about sex all the time. I thought it was MY responsibility and not the schools. I had no problem telling the boys about condoms and other methods of birth control. I would even go to the drugstore with them and help them decide on which brand they would prefer when they were thinking about going all the way. I tried to discourage it (and they did not do it in my house), but they were still human and I can not be with them 24/7.
If students have questions that parents don't want to ask, that is what PE teachers and coaches are for.



posted on Sep, 25 2008 @ 04:35 PM
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Just an observation from teaching and counseling young women: Those who are taught abstince-only sex education are somewhat more likely to get pregnant than those taught more explicitly.

The reason they get pregnant is because they don't use birth control. They don't use birth control (even when their parents have "the discussion" with them) because they think "good girls" don't have sex before marriage. Birth control implies the woman has thought about sex ahead of time and may even have planned it, and is therefore not a "good girl". When the inevitable temptation happens they are unprepared. You can't always count on the young man to have the necessary foresight.

Similarly, young men who are taught abstinence-only are also likely to see a sexually active young woman as a "bad girl" and shun her except when she is the object of desire and nothing else.

The double standard--which my generation thought we got rid of-- is alive and well, as early as elementary school. Abstinence-only classes tend to reinforce it.



posted on Sep, 26 2008 @ 04:38 PM
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Originally posted by spines
reply to post by sos37
 


If your daughter was gay, do you honestly think she would come to you with her confusion? Or if she started to have sexual fantasies that are new to her, would she really tell you and your wife about them?

She might, but most kids won't/wouldn't.

This is no shot at your ability to parent.

I never had a sexual fantasy that confused me and thought, "Gee, I should ask my mom and dad about that".

It seems unrealistic to assume that any type of majority of parents will/can talk to their children about sexual education; it is blindness to assume that any majority of children will ask about things such as their desire to masturbate or that they are having fantasies or that they are gay.

Explicit sex ed accomplishes something which many parents/children are unwilling to even begin.

edits for clarification of point.

[edit on 9/24/0808 by spines]

[edit on 9/24/0808 by spines]


I understand where you're coming from. As parents, the wife and I will make it a point to talk to her during her pre-teen years and tell her that we do hope that she can come to us with anything. All we can do is tell her that yes, as parents we may get angry but that we'll always love her no matter what.

But I also understand that it's not "cool" to bring questions or realizations like these to your parents. Geez, I wanted to believe I was hatched from an egg before I could admit that yes, my parents had sex. *cringe*



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 08:03 AM
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Originally posted by nyk537
Just an idea here, but perhaps if parents don't want their kids having sex, they should teach them about safe sex practices and the like.

Since when is it a schools responsibility to raise our children?

People need to start taking more responsibility for their own lives and blaming everything on someone else.


I have to agree with nyk here in regards to parents teaching their children. However, if the school is contradicting the parent stating the only way to have safe sex is to not have sex at all. This will confuse a kid, and make things even harder for them. However, again, the parents are the first teacher a kid has.



posted on Oct, 2 2008 @ 03:56 PM
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Originally posted by kidflash2008
reply to post by spines
 


If students have questions that parents don't want to ask, that is what PE teachers and coaches are for.


What?! You'd rather they go to a phys.ed teacher or coach to ask about, say, masturbation, than a biology teacher?

I went to a school that was in the process of deciding when sex ed should be taught, so I had it in 4th, 6th, 8th, and 9th grade (it was a K-9 school), and then took "Behavior" in high school, which included sex, drugs, and rock and roll (more or less). As far as I know, none of my classmates got pregnant before graduating from high school. None of the classes was abstinence-only, but all of them told us that we probably weren't ready to have sex, and they were giving us the information so we'd have it when we were. And all of them talked about love and intimacy as well as the biology of sex. In the early years there was a lot of focus on what we could expect from our bodies during puberty, and debunking rumors. In the later years there was a lot of talk about waiting until you're ready, why no means no, and that boys won't actually be permanently harmed if you do say no.

I agree with everyone who has said that it's primarily the parents' responsibility to make sure their kids are educated. But I think there was also real value in having to learn about sex along with all my classmates, under the instruction of a responsible and responsive teacher.





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