Sunday, April 3, 2005

Sticking One's Head in the Sand

There's a new web site, funded with taxpayer dollars, called It seeks to serve as a resource for parents who need to talk to their children about s-e-x. It offers a cornucopia of strategies. Some of the most prominent are abstinence, abstinence, abstinence and abstinence. Oh, and I almost forgot, abstinence.

While I'm certainly not suggesting that parents grab their 12-year old and say, "Sex is really GREAT...Go forth and multiply with our blessings", I do find it a bit narrow-minded to focus solely on this one issue.

If one or more of your children is having sexual intercourse with one or more partners, you will be doing them a great disservice if the only thing you talk about is NOT having sex. For one thing, they'll probably tune you out and continue on with their behavior in an uninformed manner.

To give you an example of how this web site illustrates what sticking one's head in the sand is like, consider the following information under the heading "What If Your Teen Has Already Had Sex"
If you find out your son or daughter has already had sex, it's important for you to take them to a health care professional to be screened for pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted diseases. Be sure to tell your teen that having multiple partners in their lifetime can be one of the biggest threats to their physical and emotional health. Tell them it's not too late to stop having sex, that it's never too late to make healthy choices. They are worth it! If your teen decides to stop having sex, some tips you can give them for sticking to their decision to wait are shown below. These tips can also be useful if your teen has not had sex yet.
While nothing in the above suggestion is explicitly wrong, there are absolutely no suggestions offered if your child decides to CONTINUE engaging in sexual activity. Consequently, if your child doesn't proffer the answer anticipated, the conversation ends with a deafening silence...or maybe you can just yell at them for an hour or two. Ooh, I'm sure THAT will prove effective.

All this site proves is that it's yet another prong of the attack by the Religious Right. Try to make teens stop what you disapprove of and, if that doesn't work, leave them in the dark to deal with the possible ramifications later.

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