The Teen Talk curriculum includes a session on Abstinence; it even mentions that abstinence is the only sure way to avoid pregnancy and disease. But, that's where the helpful instruction on abstinence begins and ends. The focus of this session is on three specific types of sex, complete with instructions on how to perform them. As if this wasn't unfortunate enough, our youth also get a very clear message about what they CAN do to avoid pregnancy -- engage in oral sex instead.
Comprehensive Sex Ed (CSE) is now a requirement in California's middle and high schools, so there's not much districts can do about it. The law requires that certain subjects be taught, but fortunately does not specify how these subjects must be taught or how to balance each of the required subjects. But this isn't all bad. School districts now have an opportunity to create a curriculum that is even better than what was previously being taught in their schools, if they will take the time to create it.
For example, abstinence is one of the subjects required by the California Healthy Youth Act, and yet most CSE curricula available off-the-shelf barely even mention it, let alone fully explain the myriad emotional and physical benefits of it. If school districts are really interested in the best health outcomes for their students, they will take this mandate (given to us in the California Healthy Youth Act) and dedicate a sizable percentage of class time to this most important topic which many youth don't even realize is a viable option.
An assessment of all current research on the effectiveness of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (called Re-examining the Evidence by Stan E. Weed and Irene H. Ericksen) reveals that this Risk Avoidance approach has done more harm than good. It also reveals that curricula that place greater emphasis on abstinence show the most promise for producing positive outcomes.
This is a page from an actual Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) curriculum, designed for 13-year old students. Age appropriate? You decide.
A short article with a satirical title gives an insight into what is being taught in some California schools to our very young children, without their parents' permission or knowledge. The author, Ben Shapiro, writes on behalf of conservatives in his characteristically sarcastic tone... but we would add that parents from all political persuasions are uncomfortable with the almost secretive way by which children are being taught these philosophies.
By the way, in sharing this article we are not supporting the comments that follow it.