Friday, May 8, 2009

"The GOP Doesn't Understand Sex" -No Shit...

Meghan McCain has just posted an article about Republican Party’s obsession with abstinence and its overall abhorrence to sex (at least for women).

As usual, Meghan shows her ability to see things logically and continues to take the more liberal stance I’ve come to expect from her.

Even though her views are neither shocking nor hugely informative, I have to admit it’s still a bit refreshing after all the Bristol Palin as a “abstinence advocate” brouhaha.


You can follow the link to read the whole article, but here are the two paragraphs I found most interesting:

Here’s what I’ve never understood about the party: its resistance to discussing better access to birth control. As a Republican, I am pro-life. But using birth control and having an abortion are not the same at all. Actually, the best way to prevent abortions is to educate people about birth control and make it widely and easily accessible. True, abstinence is the only way to fully prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Still, the problem with abstinence-only education is that it does not make teenagers and young adults more knowledgeable about all the issues they face if or when they have sex—physically and emotionally.

The key, honestly, is communication between parents and children. At the end of the day, the worst thing parents can do is raise children who are not prepared for the situations they may encounter, especially when they’re not planned. (For anyone who remembers their teen years, you know what I mean.) Unfortunately, Republicans typically don’t like to discuss or deal with things they think are wrong or immoral. And that’s a huge mistake. If we can’t discuss birth control in addition to abstinence, and in a nonjudgmental way, kids will continue to make bad choices for lack of having access to informed, safe options. Not everyone shares the same beliefs, and more importantly, people don’t always react the same way to their circumstances. Which is why it is so important to encourage honest, open communication about the realities of sex within the party at large, and more specifically, between parents and their children.

This push for abstinence only sex education is an issue I’ve never fully understood. Not only because it just seems silly to uphold something when there is so much empirical evidence that it doesn’t work, but also because it relies on the assumption that education is dangerous or somehow promotes “immorality.”

As a free society I find that idea completely absurd.

And a little frightening.

The Republican Party has also turned sex education into a moral and parenting issue while completely ignoring the public health aspect of it. They fail to realize that poor sexual health knowledge is a public health threat. And ignoring the problem is not likely to make it go away.

It is a little disheartening to know that we still have to talk about such glaringly obvious situations, like the merits of comprehensive sex education and better access to birth control, but at least this is a sign that we’re finally moving in the right direction.

And the first step is always communication.

The sooner we can have an honest discussion about this, the faster we’ll be able to give teenagers the resources they need (and maybe eventually without shame attached).



Side note:

This is kind of out of nowhere, but Meghan’s comment about, “the worst thing parents can do is raise children who are not prepared for the situations they may encounter, especially when they’re not planned,” has brought a very specific memory to mind.

It’s about a boy I met when I was in eighth grade named Keith (actually his first name was Stacy and I remember thinking it was the oddest thing).

Isn’t it weird how some memories are so clear in your mind no matter how many years go by? It’s like some memories are all fuzzy around the edges, while others are imprinted perfectly on tiny shards of glass (at least that’s how most of my memories feel to me: sharp edged).

Anyways, Keith is as vivid a memory as they come.

I remember thinking he was the most outrageously “different” person I had ever known. And when I met him, I was in a time in my life when I desperately needed something different. (Though now that I’m older I can see his goth Marylyn Manson shtick was nothing to write home about.)

As time progressed, we eventually started to fool around and experiment with one another as many friends tend to do. It was all mostly harmless, but I remember the first time I realized how freggin amazing my body could feel (I’m sure most people have a memory like this - probably involving masturbation lol). Suddenly, I thought loosing my virginity would be a great idea. But, being the young inexperienced teenagers we were, we didn’t have a condom.

That was the only thing that stopped me that day and it was solely because of the comprehensive sex education I was given in the sixth grade.

I don’t know why I felt that need to share this, but there you have it.

3 comments:

  1. Sex education works, i could not imagine going into the world not knowing about sex.

    Here in the UK we have a Sex Education, and some would hold us up and say well look they have sex education but they have the highest teen pregnancy rate in Europe. To that i would say, that is not because of sex education. I think that if we didnt have sex education that would be alot higher.

    Aswell as sex education i also had the 'talk' or the 'Birds and the Bee's' from my father lol. So i fully went into this world knowing what to expect (well as much as you can know with actually having any experience). Do you really want to send people out into a world where sex is a major figure in the societies in wich we live, not knowing about condoms or the pill or STD's?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don’t understand it either. Luckily President Obama has cut most of the funding for abstinence only sex education and put it into comprehensive sex education.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for giving me renewed confidence in sex ed. I would never support abstinence only ed as anyone who knows anything about biology would know that sex drive would always win over abstinence.

    ReplyDelete

What's on your mind?