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Archive for September, 2011

The mandated sex education program for NYC public school students emphasizes the “normalcy” of teen sexual activity in order to capitalize on the vulnerable middle and high school years when teenagers will do almost anything to achieve “normalcy” among their peers. These “comprehensive” sex education programs by means of mere suggestion and blatant validation of sexual “choices,” psychologically impact youth into succumbing to peer pressure in regard to their sexuality rather than giving the tools to resist peer pressure. 

The definitions of sexuality, sexual activity and “risk behavior” used in these programs are incomplete, inaccurate and very misleading according to Dr. Grossman.  Being taught that sexuality (defined in some dictionaries as involving sexual activity) is a “natural part of adolescence” in one program and that “increased sexual activity and experimentation” is normal to development in middle adolescence gives a very mixed message and contradicts any mention of abstinence in these programs.

The distinction between sexual behavior (which is seen as normal and healthy) and sexual appetite (which is healthy only if restrained) is not even addressed.  Only an abstinence program will teach the later and promote healthy sexual development.   Even the American Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry states that providing too much information can be harmful to development in the area of talking to your teens about sex. (p.5 of report)

Current scientific evidence that would deter teenagers from sexual activity is barely mentioned or neglected altogether.  Students are encouraged to shop for and choose birth control methods that would be good for them without consulting a doctor first and are not told any of the harmful side effects of these drugs and devices let alone typical use failure rates among teenagers.  One of the publishers of this curricula is Planned Parenthood whose own statistics (from the Alan Guttmacher Institute) reveal that 54% of women getting abortions were using contraception or birth control at the time they got pregnant and the other half had used contraception at some point before their pregnancy.

Students are led to believe that condoms provide complete protection from pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD’s).  The “typical” use failure rates (as opposed to the “correct” use failure rates) of condoms are one percentage lower than the withdrawal method (see the Centers for Disease Control website). Yet students are being taught the very detailed and extensive twelve steps to using a condom correctly when groups of medical professionals could not even get the steps in order (p.17 of the report).

Ignoring the medical evidence of epidemic rates of STD’s and that the most common STD which has increased the rates of various cancers, the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), can be contracted while using a condom, students are still being told that the use of a condom is the most responsible choice, appearing  just as responsible as abstinence.   These programs claim to be medically accurate despite contradicting the Centers for Disease Control which states: “The most reliable ways to avoid transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), are to abstain from sexual activity or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner.”

The later relationship of having a mutually monogamous partner is only one of “eight combinations or kinds of love” that are taught to students. (p.27) 

The hypothetical student scenarios are focused on students who choose sexual activity over abstinence.  Even the one scenario of an 8th grade girl being pressured by an older boyfriend to have sex is given the advice that “she should wait until she feels ready.”  It’s all about “feeling” ready.  In the words of Dr. Grossman:

 “The nature of adolescence is to feel ‘ready’ for just about anything.”

To read the complete New York City Sexuality Education Report by Miriam Grossman, M.D., go to the World Youth Alliance Foundation website:  www.wya.net/news/newsitem.html?newsid=466

For opt out information go to www.nycparentschoice.org

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