Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Effective Sex Education Means Character Education

Kathryn Jean Lopez weighs in on the latest flapping of liberal sociologists against abstinence-based sex education. There's good stuff here (there always is with Lopez) but here's a couple of my favorite paragraphs:

...It's no shock to anyone who understands human nature, never mind kids, that any virginity pledge that fixates on brute carnal relations is not going to work. Repeating the mantra "Don't do it," even when you've got a teen doing the repeating, isn't enough. How could it work? Popular culture is obsessed with sex. We can't even manage a family dog movie ("Marley & Me") without Jennifer Aniston taking off her clothes. And until that changes, of course, a hormone-mad teenager will be sorely tempted to join in the seemingly ubiquitous fornication, pledge or no pledge.

Does that mean we pass out condoms at school because we're not going to change the culture anytime soon? No. It means kids need support and reasons engage in activities other than sex. Abstinence has to be about saying "yes" to something in order to work. We need to focus on the idea that kids can actually think, and should want more from a relationship than sex. We need to be open to programs that aren't all about copulation, but about character education...