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Sex-Ed Minus the Morals

As reported yesterday in the L.A. Times, abstinence-only classes apparently work:

A new study shows for the first time that a sex education class emphasizing abstinence only — ignoring moral implications of sexual activity — can reduce sexual activity by nearly a third in 12- and 13-year-olds compared with students who received no sex education. (emphasis mine)

Detaching the “moral implications of sexual activity” from sex education has been a big priority for secularists. It’s okay to teach abstinence as ONE OPTION, they say. Just don’t try to frame it as morally superior. And DO NOT interject religion! But now that abstinence-only appears it might work, social liberals across the board are scrambling to downplay the results.

Other forms of sex education also worked…


The George W. Bush administration poured tens of millions of dollars into federal funding for abstinence-only programs, most of them religious-oriented, with little or no evidence that they worked.

Well I’ll be.

It “should not be interpreted as a signal that abstinence-only education works at all times and under all circumstances.”


…”no public policy should be based on the results of one study, nor should policymakers selectively use scientific literature to formulate a policy that meets preconceived ideologies.”


Let the two-step begin.

My question: On what grounds other than moral grounds would one abstain from sex? Choosing Coke over Pepsi is a matter of preference. Choosing not to have intercourse is infinitely more important. That is unless we want our kids reducing fornication to the level of a choice of soda.

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{ 5 comments… add one }
  • RJB February 3, 2010, 2:44 PM

    Great Post Mike. I can think of a few non-moral argument for abstinence.

    1) Disease
    2) Pregnancy
    3) Reputation (Being Labeled as Easy)
    4) Fear of Parental Reprecussions

    Admittedly they are all weak arguments. The first two can be prevented by using protection, the third the opposite might be true (your reputation might actually improve in some circles) and the fourth is probably just my wishful thinking.

  • Nicole February 3, 2010, 6:52 PM

    Aw, c'mon, Mike. Why morals? The secularists are more than satisfied at encouraging and reproducing more little heathens to parade around their self-seeking agendas. Oh wait. They want the little heathens aborting the results of their naturalist, animalistic pleasure trips.

    Good post, Mike.

  • xdpaul February 3, 2010, 10:09 PM

    RJB has good points, although I would argue that all sex education is ostensibly about the prevention of disease, so it is remarkable that would be the driver in an abstinence curriculum. In fact, lip service isn't even paid in the above finding to abstinence reducing disease risk, only reducing actual acts of fornication.

    Preventing pregnancy is an entirely moral argument. If morals were not included, why would pregnancy in unwed teens be seen as an undesirable thing?

    Reputation, again, is a moral argument. If it isn't immoral to have sex with another child, then there isn't a reputation to lose.

    Fear of parents has never driven cirriculum, and certainly doesn't in this case.

    Sex education, by definition, is moral instruction – i.e. a list of what one should/should not do to achieve a certain result and state of being.

  • Jay February 4, 2010, 2:53 AM

    Not that I'm necessarily against it, but why is there a need for formal abstinence education? Do we need instruction on how to not do something? Don't all you need to know…is to not do it? And if a student chooses not to abstain, why would it be the education or educator's fault? Is abstinence education supposed to FORCE a choice?

  • xdpaul February 4, 2010, 3:37 PM


    Because it is effective at limiting the measurable problems resulting from unrestrained, misinformed "free" fornication. Why are students taught (by parents and educators) NOT to use drugs, NOT to bring weapons to school, NOT to cut in line or bully?

    The Ten Commandments are, in large part, abstinence education. The first lesson in the garden was one of abstinence. A massive part of a person's lifelong education is an education of abstinence so that they may most fully enjoy the fruits of what is Good.

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