For years, groups like SIECUS (the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States), Planned Parenthood and others have lobbied Congress and spread the word through national media that “safe sex” training and condom-based comprehensive sex education are best for all children and that these messages are parents’ most preferred ones for their children. Numerous public opinion surveys have been used to communicate the messages: comprehensive sex education is good; abstinence until marriage is unrealistic; parents want these messages taught to their children.
Today, the Coalition for Adolescent Sexual Health of which Concerned Women for America is a member released a new poll on parental attitudes concerning the two different approaches to sex education: condom based comprehensive sex education vs. abstinence until marriage sex education.
Previous survey “findings” were conveyed to the public as TRUTH based on scientific inquiry. Instead, the studies were based on deception and dishonest interpretation. Those disagreeing with or opposing the studies are characterized as “fanatics” or “extremists.”
Previous surveys mislead in another important dimension they don’t describe the actual content of comprehensive sex education programs. The examples used in these materials, when shown to parents, typically produce outrage. The following bullets are among the guidelines for sex education developed by SIECUS and others in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Children ages 5-8 are taught that it feels good to touch and rub body parts. Children ages 9-12 are taught that homosexuality is as satisfying as heterosexuality. Children 15-18 are taught that using erotic photographs, movies or literature will enhance sexual fantasies.
Even more egregious are the pictures and posters. In that regard, the latest example is a poster of two phallic-shaped blimps: a large one labeled “with” and a smaller one labeled “without.” The caption? “It looks bigger . . . when you wear a condom.” It is unconscionable that adults would feed into adolescent ignorance and fears with such blatant lies and in such an irresponsible manner, but the liberal standard operating procedures continue — use any means, including lying, because achieving their special interest “ends” is the only important thing.
The Zogby organization, with its history of exceptional accuracy and reliability, was asked to develop a poll designed to minimize bias and to produce as accurate a reflection of parental attitudes as possible. The Zogby organization found:
Parents approve or strongly approve of abstinence sex education (by a 4.6 to 1 margin). Parents disapprove or strongly disapprove of comprehensive sex education (by a 2.4 to 1 margin). Parents disapprove or strongly disapprove of the CDC sex education curriculum (by a 5.3 to 1 margin). All demographic groupings strongly disapprove of comprehensive sex education especially non-white minorities and born again Christians. Parents disapprove or strongly disapprove of teaching children that homosexual relationships are as satisfying as heterosexual relationships (by a 4.4 to 1 margin). Parental attitudes are mixed toward giving children factual/biological sex information, but they don’t want a connection between their children and sexual activity. Parents strongly disapprove (70%) of their teens getting contraception without their approval and disapprove (46%) of teens getting approval from “a parent.”
Why would there be such a discrepancy between what Zogby found and what previous surveys supposedly found? Because there is a LOT of money involved. Currently, condom-based programs aimed at adolescents are federally funded to the tune of $219 million. In contrast, condom-based advocates condemn President Bush’s recommendation of $135 million for the 2003 budget for character based abstinence education programs.
Let’s face some facts:
Currently there is a public health epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases among 12 to 18 year olds. It is not coincidental that, at the same time, among college students depression cases have doubled, the number of suicidal students has tripled and the number of sexual assault cases has quadrupled. One in five teens tests positive for genital herpes. Nearly half of girls who have even one episode of sexual intercourse contracts HPV (human papilloma virus) and 14 percent will develop cervical cancer which causes more deaths per year than HIV and AIDS. [New England Journal of Medicine] After more than 20 years of condom-based sex education to adolescents, we’ve added more than two dozen sexually transmitted diseases to two known STDs of 1960, syphilis and gonorrhea. The National Institutes for Health state that 100% consistency in condom usage produces only a 87% reduction in risk of HIV and even less protection for other STDs.
Abstinence promotes the health and well-being of teens and is their best choice until marriage. Young people are capable of developing the character, integrity, self-control and personal responsibility necessary for remaining abstinent before marriage. We do young people a disservice when we expect less. We endanger their health and well-being when we perpetuate the myths that “their hormones are uncontrollable; they are going to do it anyway” and “condoms provide protection so promiscuity won’t be harmful.” No responsible adult can, in good conscience, seriously want to encourage teenagers to jeopardize their future by short-circuiting their character development and endangering their health and well-being.
Dr. Crouse spoke today at the press conference on Capitol Hill where the Zogby poll was released. Other speakers included Representative Dave Weldon (R-Fla), Dr. Wade Horn, Assistant Secretary for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (invited), Dr. Bill Maier, Focus on the Family, Genevieve Wood, Family Research Council.