Don’t Do the Dew-Doo: Just Say No to Abstinence-Only Education
What do marijuana, a capful of bleach and a bottle of Mountain Dew have in common? Although one correct answer is that they are all handy tools for Angus MacGyver to build a jet rocket, perhaps the more troubling answer is that according to some Florida teens, they also all prevent the unwanted results of sexual intercourse, such as pregnancies and HIV/AIDS.
Although not all Florida residents, let alone all Americans, believe these myths, the fact that abstinence-only education is on the rise while teenagers are remaining uninformed about sex is highly disturbing. While not having sex is the only 100-percent-guaranteed way to prevent individuals from contracting sexually-transmitted diseases, comprehensive sex education beats out abstinence-only education for three primary reasons.
First, thanks to human sexual urges and support for pre-marital sex throughout much of the country, a 100-percent abstinence rate is next to impossible, if not completely impossible, to achieve. Second, by portraying pre-martial sex as inherently evil, abstinence-only education creates a forbidden-fruit scenario in which teens and young adults are only more enticed to engage in pre-marital sex. Third, even if people never have sex willingly, they may still be at risk of contracting sexually-transmitted diseases through rape and botched blood transfusions.
Although it will likely never be proven that an individual will die if he or she does not engage in pre-marital sex, it is difficult to argue that sexual urges are not an inherent part of the human condition. While most college students may have an embarrassing anecdote or two of their own already, one can also see how these urges are either targeted or lampooned just by turning on a television or going to see a movie.
For instance, the recently-released movie “Teeth” focuses on a young, pro-abstinence woman who discovers that she has a unique defense mechanism. After a (kind of, sort of) attempted rape, she discovers that when an unwanted item enters her body, her vagina sprouts teeth and bites it off. Does this prevent her from having sex with a penis she likes? Of course not. While “Teeth” is just one example of a movie that reinforces the inherent urge for sexual intercourse, statistics also show that Americans are in support of pre-martial sex. According to a 2005 survey by the Review of General Psychology, 70 percent of young women and 80 percent of young men approve of pre-marital sex.
Knowing the difficulties in preventing pre-marital sex, it is surprising that many state governments continue to support abstinence-only education. In a measure passed on April 1, the Senate Committee of Florida State