I would like to respond to Drew Haugen’s column about abstinence education on Feb. 12. As an abstinence educator, I would first like to apologize for your negative experiences with this education. I too have grown up in the Poudre School District and went through their classes.
When I participated in the class I was a 16-year-old sophomore. I remember it in detail. At that time almost ten years ago, the “Abstinence Education” classes you refer to were what we now call “Safe Sex Education” courses. They did an entire week on educating the students about sex. They began with the abstinence pitch for one day, stating it was the only sure way not to get an STD/STI. The following four days were dedicated to the safe sex practices, if you just couldn’t wait until you get married. They covered the different birth control drugs, and the ways they affect the woman’s body. They then went on to talk about using condoms for both men and women and the rate at which STD/STI infection was growing.
I find it interesting that you referenced three of the six aspects of sex: emotional, spiritual, and intellectual aspects of sex during intercourse. I would like to inform you of the other three: physical, social, and financial. Now if you were to protect yourself with the “Safe Sex” practices you are only protecting your physical aspect, leaving the other five unprotected. There are consequences to all of the actions we participate in.
Abstinence education is not telling you that sexual activity is a disgusting physical act, pervaded by infectious disease, errant pregnancy, immorality, impulsiveness, and irresponsibility, according to my abstinence-only education. In my opinion it is about as beautiful and special of an act that two human beings can participate in. The studies have shown after interviewing people, the ones who are having the best sex are married couples. This statistic was looking at married couples, co-habiting couples, single people, and divorced people. The hormones released during sex cause the image you are looking at to be “burned” into your mind, thus what you are comparing to satisfies you. If you were to get married and you saw your wife for the first time and there was some sagging in the mid-section, some dimpled buns, and maybe an acne problem on her back, you would be comparing all these “imperfections” to those images that have been “burned” into your mind; thus leading to a greater degree of dissatisfaction from sex (and marriage problems).
I too had a bad experience with the “safe sex” education which I received years ago. I was under the belief that it was OK to have sex as long as you were safe. You know, I was wrong. I had my daughter just around a year later when I was 17 years old and a junior in high school. What happened when you stayed abstinent, were you involved in an unplanned pregnancy? Were you given one or any of the 28 different STD/STIs? All abstinence education is doing is providing the students the ability to stay out of life threatening and life changing situations. We are trying to delay the onset of sexual activity, not eradicate it.
If any school district should be modeled, it should be our own Weld County School District. After introducing WAIT Training as their Abstinence Education program the teen pregnancy rate dropped 18 percent. The statistics speak the truth, wait until you get married if possible, it’s worth it.
If it means no one will have to endure the trials I have gone through, I would be more than happy to sit down and talk about abstinence with anyone who is interested.
Director of Youth & Men’s Ministry
921 East Prospect Road