I just had to respond to the letter to the editor titled “Just say no to sex education in schools” in the Feb. 12 issue of the South Whidbey Record with a resounding “wow!”
The writer spends a full third of her letter equating too much sugar in a child’s diet to “diabetes, obesity and other health issues.” I assume the “reasoning” is that children will “enjoy the pleasure of sugar.” Which, it seems in the writer’s mind anyway, will lead to children having sex.
The writer claims sex education would be “stealing the innocence of children and sexualizing them,” causing a litany of problems like “the increase of abortions, divorce, STDs, suicides, nihilism, violence, poverty, homelessness, drug use, objectification of women and other destructive behaviors. Such instruction is the same as handing out drugs and alcohol in the classroom.” Wow! Again.
Research published by the Public Library of Science shows that, “when sex education is comprehensive, students feel more informed, make safer choices and have healthier outcomes —- resulting in fewer unplanned pregnancies and more protection against sexually transmitted diseases and infection.”
According to the World Population Review “the U.S. continues to have the highest teen pregnancy rate of all developed nations.” For example, the top three states for teen pregnancies according to this same study are Arkansas, Mississippi, and Oklahoma. All real good “Bible Belt” states.
Ironically these three states also have some of the highest “sexually transmitted disease” rates. So much for the effectiveness of “just say no.”
The biggest issue I have with this line of “just say no” reasoning is that it simply doesn’t work. To equate educating children with the truth about biology and human sexuality being the same as “handing out drugs and alcohol in the classroom” is, in my opinion, a stunning failure to do your due diligence on behalf of the children and says to children that “willful ignorance” is acceptable.
Sex education based on facts is not dangerous to children, but willful ignorance is.