Sunday, January 11, 2009

Australian Medical Association Wants More Sex Education for Victoria

Sex Education, Abstinence Education, AMA

The AMA is pressuring the Victorian State Government to spend $19.45 million over four years on a comprehensive sex education program. Its budget submission, obtained by The Sunday Age, claims that: sex education must be mandatory and well organised, it must start long before children are sexually active, it must be specific — no euphemisms — and it must be age appropriate. The AMA advocates beginning sex education at the age of 10. Parents could pull their children out of classes if they chose.

While I agree that education is a good thing, the important issue is what type of sex education the AMA is suggesting. Are they advocating an abstinence education type program where children learn about the purpose and meaning of sex and its place within marriage or is there a focus on contraceptives and the use of sex as a form of entertainment?

Due to the widespread use of birth control, more and more people are having sex without intending to have children. Sex out of wedlock has become far more common, and more sex means more babies. Some argue that teaching people how to use contraceptives will alleviate the problem. But research shows that programs emphasizing “safe sex” education and condom distribution have not reduced the out-of-wedlock birth rates among sexually experienced teens. Increased condom use by teens is associated with increased out-of-wedlock birth rates.”[1]

The disastrous sex education programs implemented in Britain is enough to put anyone off. A recent study by the government-sponsored Sex Education Forum in Britain, revealed that the school system is already saturated with sex education. This had lead to a "culture of promiscuity" and has led to 397,990 new cases of sexually transmitted diseases, the highest number since record-keeping began thirty years ago. At the same time, the government's obsession with sex education has not halted the abortion rate among young girls. A recent study revealed that Britain's abortion rate in 2007 rose a shocking 21 percent among young mothers under the age of 14. Abortions for those under the age of 16 also rose ten percent.

Dr. Philip G Ney, MD a retired professor of psychiatry says that the more sex education there is, the more sexual activity and all the problems that go with that. The introduction of sex education is well correlated with the increase in abortion, STDs and boy-girl interpersonal problems. Good education gives people the desire to try it out or learn more experientially.

The United States have taken on a different approach with regard to sexuality and education. For the past 12 to 13 years sexual activity rates have been going down among teenagers as well as abortion, pregnancies and out of wedlock births. This coincides with when abstinence education started. However, pregnancy, abortion and out of wedlock births have been rising for the older age group, between 19-25, a group that has not been targeted by abstinence programs.

The most successful abstinence education programs are those that emphasize the risk of pre-marital sexual activity. They show how abstinence fully protects a young person from STD’s, teen pregnancy and emotional trauma. They underline the importance of self-control and responsibility and give students the positive goal of a stable and committed marriage towards which to work in future. At the same time, however, researchers also found that it was crucial to re-educate adolescents about abstinence each successive year.

Well-designed and well-implemented abstinence education programs can reduce teen sexual activity by as much as one half for periods of one to two years, substantially increasing the number of adolescents who avoid the full range of problems related to teen sexual activity. Source

Lets hope that the Victorian Government implements an abstinence based education program for the sake of the children involved. The Brumby government has a poor track record with regard to life issues so I won't be holding my breath on this one.



[1]. The Consortium of State Physicians Resource Councils, “New Study Shows Higher Unwed Birthrates Among Sexually Experienced Teens Despite Increased Condom Use” (10 February 1999).

Links to similar articles.

Abstinence pledge no guarantee to avoid premarital sex

JHU Study Claims Abstinence Pledges Ineffective, Other Research Disagrees

The True Story Behind the "Virginity Pledges" Study and Its Implications for Abstinence Education

Like a Virgin: The Press Take On Teenage Sex


thejournalistachronicle said...

Great post!!!! What some sex-ed programs teach is so scary. I remember my parents "excusing" me from some sex-ed days, and I was taught at home by my parents according to our beliefs. More parents need to be concerned, involved and informed, and public schools need to back off the sex-education unless they are preaching abstinence.

Secular Heretic said...

I agree. Schools could teach some biology that's about it. If you teach sex education explicitly in a public setting then it becomes a public topic and the whole of society becomes obsessed with it. But sex is a private thing between spouses. It should be discussed privately within the family, parent and child. From what I understand abstinence programs rely heavily on input from parents.

Ben Trovato said...

You are right to point to the UK as as how not to do it. Our sex-ed programmes are driven by abortion providers: ad guess what - they're 'good for business,' (the business of killing the unborn that is.

I wrote at length the the head of our kids' junior (!) school about a proposed programme there, ( and have of course withdrawn our kids from it.

Secular Heretic said...

There seems to be a lot of money in death. IVF companies make lots of money and in the process destroy many embryos. The abortion industry that you mentioned and soon the euthanasia industry which has been in the news recently.

Anonymous said...

This is clearly a biased post. Some of the comments are very ignorant as well. Sex ed is by NO MEANS driven by abortion providers. The whole point of sex ed is to advocate safe, protected sex where the outcome is no unwanted pregnancies at all! Teen pregnancies happen because people have sex because they're ignorant of what precautions to take, which is what sex ed is meant to address! If you talk to any doctor who performs abortions, you will learn that no one actively recommends abortion (unless the pregnancy is a serious danger to the mother) because it is definitely NOT a pleasant process for the woman.

As you mentioned in your related articles links, I have read contradictory studies citing that abstinence only sex education is detrimental. Just because you don't talk about it doesn't mean that kids won't find out about it. You might as well provide them some structure. Children/teenagers are naturally inquisitive creatures. They'll still have sex, just not safe sex. I agree that parents should be allowed to remove their children from sex ed programs if they feel uncomfortable. But let us remember that some parents will remove their kids and will fail to follow up with sex ed, simply relying on the fact that their kids will listen to them 100% and not have sex. That's just naive and NOT ENOUGH nowadays. Sex isn't a cold, calculated move you make. It's an act of passion/desire and people, especially teenagers, are not rational about it. Everyone wants to believe that their kids have the restraint to not have sex, but it's just not reasonable. If schools don't talk about it and all kids hear is "DON'T HAVE SEX," they're just going to find out over the internet or with magazines. Teen magazine editors unwittingly find themselves as sex advice givers because girls/boys can't or are afraid of asking adults in their lives.

Also not everyone believes in the same religion as you do or non-premarital sex. I feel that your opinions would resonate with atheist/agnostic parents as well if you stressed waiting for a monogamous, loving relationship rather than marriage. And note that even if you do wait until marriage, it does not mean your spouse has. If your child doesn't know about safe sex, then later, they may not know to get their partner tested either to protect him/herself. You can also get STDs through other types of sexual activity, not just intercourse, which teens will certainly try out since it's technically not "premarital sex." I don't know how many times I have been asked by people if anal sex counts as "premarital intercourse."

I personally had a very comprehensive sex education, starting from year 6 and all of high school. I have practiced abstinence. I know and have seen what STDs can do. I've learned about teen pregnancy and contraceptives. I understand the role of hormones and societal pressure, and because I am knowledgeable, I know exactly why I'm not ready to have sex and how to confidently say no. I don't necessarily believe in NOT having pre-marital sex, but I'm in no rush to have it either. Don't rob your kids of that. Some sex ed programs talk about dealing with pressures to have sex and your feelings and reactions--it's not just spewing hedonistic advice about how to have sex without consequences. Teach them sex ed along with your code of morals. Give them something realistic/tangible beyond it's wrong to have sex before marriage so they can more effectively battle the image of rap and hip hop where promiscuity is portrayed positively.

I apologize if you feel that I am attacking your beliefs, but I just felt that you should hear the opposing opinion from someone who benefited greatly from a good sex education in school. I didn't even get any guidance from my parents as they are very traditional and tight-lipped. Receiving sex ed is fine as long as the school's sex ed stresses respect for yourself and fighting against peer pressure. It has made me less afraid to look for answers to my questions about sex. I know to not to look to TV shows or music videos, but rather legitimate advisers like doctors or medical journals. Don't make your kids afraid to ask you questions because they think you'll immediately punish them for even thinking about sex. Seriously, sex ed doesn't turn us all into complete hussies.

Secular Heretic said...

Thanks for your comments anonymous. I don't feel attacked just because there is disagreement on some issues.

I think sex education should be available at school with a particular focus on biology. It seems though that governments are taking on more and more responsibility for parenting children. Or perhaps it is parents who are ignoring their responsibilities and the government attempts to address the problem.