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Sex Education Bait and Switch

William Beckman

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The push by Planned Parenthood for "comprehensive sex education" in Illinois has generated recent media coverage. Their web site to promote this push (www.responsiblesexed.org) states, "Teaching a strong abstinence message in concert with information on contraception is considered a 'best practice' in teen pregnancy prevention."

Would Planned Parenthood be willing to teach a "strong abstinence message"? It becomes clear there is no chance that Planned Parenthood would teach any convincing abstinence message. To do so would represent a serious conflict of interest for them. Any teenager who accepts abstinence will not become a customer of Planned Parenthood. Such a teenager would not need birth control supplies, pregnancy testing, STD testing and treatment, emergency contraception, or abortion. These are the services that Planned Parenthood sells. What interest do they have in convincing teenagers about behavior that makes these services totally unnecessary?

On the contrary, Planned Parenthood's form of "comprehensive sex education" is structured to encourage teenagers to become sexually active. Then these teenagers will likely become Planned Parenthood's customers. Any mention of abstinence is intended to immediately write that option off as totally unrealistic.

Is that what parents want in "comprehensive sex education"? On the contrary, a poll conducted by Zogby International in 2004 shows strong support by parents for conveying the abstinence message to teens in an effective manner. This survey found:

  • 91 percent of parents want schools to teach that "adolescents should be expected to abstain from sexual activity during high school years."
  • 79 percent of parents want teens to be taught that they should not engage in sexual activity until they are married or at least in an adult relationship leading to marriage.
  • 93 percent believe teaching about abstinence should have more emphasis than teaching about contraception.
  • Only 7 percent of parents agree that teen sexual activity is okay as long as contraception is used.

It seems that Planned Parenthood is using terms (e.g. comprehensive sex education) that mean something totally different to them than these terms mean to parents. Therefore, Planned Parenthood's claims that parents support "comprehensive sex education" are quite misleading.

The true intent of Planned Parenthood's "comprehensive sex education" programs is reflected in the following quotes:

  • "Help young people obtain sexual satisfaction before marriage"
  • "Teach them to experience sexual pleasure rather than not to have sex"
  • "Sex without victims is always right; the only question is what's right for you?"

Planned Parenthood's "comprehensive sex education" is simply a sales pitch to generate new customers. This approach is certainly not what most parents want for their children. This deception amounts to sex education bait and switch.

Read the entire article on the Illinois Right to Life website (new window will open).

Posted: 13-May-06

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