Sex Education


I found several points to disagree with [Kay S.] Hymowitz in her column in the May issue (“Don’t Blame Abstinence Ed”), but the most egregious line was, “Because the average age of sexual initiation is 17, it’s a fair guess that these women knew how to use birth control.”

Really? And where, pray tell, are they to learn about birth control? From their ab-only classes, where they are told that condoms fail 30 percent of the time (which for most teens is the message that it won’t work, so don’t bother)? Or at home, where their parents are too uneasy about talking about sex to even have the “Talk,” let alone the series of conversations that teens need? Or perhaps from the Internet, where a search of condom usage turns up a lot of porn, but very little fact?

The only place where these children are going to reliably get sex education is school.

Let us stop sugarcoating the harm that ab-only has done to our children and start returning to reason and embrace good solid medical information and its dissemination. We would not stand in the way of getting information on how to prevent swine flu to our children. Why then do we stand in the way of getting [them] information on how to prevent herpes?

James Martin
Development and Communications Manager
Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention
Campaign of North Carolina
Durham, N.C.


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