We didn't mean to turn our son into The Outcast.
Last year, he was the only ninth-grader in his school whose parents opted him out of the county sex-education classes. We opted out our two other children also (one in middle school, the other in grammar school) and we've done so again this year for all three.
First, we shouldn't have to opt out of sexual education. We should have to opt in.
Second, the state should focus on teaching our children history, literature, science, mathematics, etc. Providing kids with information on sex -- beyond a few rudimentary facts that could be taught in biology class -- is our job as parents.
Third, sex ed, as most school districts implement it today, doesn't work. Programs that focus on "how-to" information do nothing to reduce teen sexual activity, cut sexually transmitted diseases or provide the moral underpinnings our kids need.
You hear otherwise -- that we need to "get real" with young people who are bombarded with sexual images, that our only hope is to teach them how to curb disease and pregnancy through condom use, that they need to embrace, rather than control, these new feelings that come with puberty. Malarkey.
What schools should be telling our children in health or biology classes is that sex outside of marriage is harmful, and just plain wrong. They should also be equipped with ways on how to say "no." This approach works. The growth of true abstinence-only curricula, spurred by demands from parents, is credited with reducing the overall rate of sex among teens from 56 percent to 46 percent in the last 10 years. My colleague Robert Rector notes the best abstinence-only programs reduce teen sexual activity by up to 60 percent.
Why? Girls tell researchers the main thing they want to know from sex-education is how to say "no" without hurting boys' feelings. Not how condoms work. Not how to practice "outercourse." Not a primer in the use of body oils. They want a way out, and they want adults to affirm that getting out is right.
Read the entire article on the Heritage Foundation website.