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Sex ed research
June 18, 2010 - Kylie Saari
To be honest, I don't really remember taking sex ed. I know we got the bird and the bees in fifth grade at my Twin Cities school. I seem to recall something in high school, but I am not certain if it was comprehensive or abstinence only.
That said, I was intrigued by my research while writing the story about sexual activity rates and sex ed practices in Martin County.
Talking to "both sides" of the abstinence only vs. comprehensive sex ed debate in Fairmont leads me to believe that neither side thinks kids having sex is healthy or advisable.
They are just going about the same goal from opposite sides.
I found the abstinence only camp was very open to giving all the information they had — some of it even made me blush — in order that kids would understand the gravity of their decision making. In the era of hooking up, that seems very smart.
But as one poster to my article noted, the kids are going to have sex sometime — even if it is within the bounds of marriage — and perhaps we should prepare them to understand how to plan their family when the time comes. No one expects a teenager to really need calculus in high school, but we teach it so they are prepared when they need it.
As a parent of young children, I was also struck by both sides opinion that what a child's parents teach them makes a difference, a heartening thing to hear when slamming doors and stomping are a part of my daily life. (the kids, not me)
I was disappointed by the number of kids engaging in sexual activity, but not surprised. Media says it is okay — hello, Gossip Girl — and with their brains not fully formed, these teens, and increasingly, pre-teens, are making decisions they aren't ready for.
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