While we are sympathetic to Ms. Barrica’s experience, and don’t doubt there are some very poor sex education courses, the “abstinence only” education she describes doesn’t do what she claims. There are no serious and reputable programs which fail to acknowledge birth control and same-sex attractions exists.
Ms. Barrica makes absurd charges that abstinence programs are responsible for
- The one in four American women who will become pregnant by the time they turn 20.
- The one quarter of all new cases of sexually transmitted infections which occur in teenagers
- That 41% of American women have described their first sexual experience as wanted.
The GOAL of CSE is to reduce the number of “unprotected” sexual acts. In other words, if your child was NOT sexually active before receiving CSE, but IS sexually active and using “protection,” that is a positive result. Even though from a parent’s prospective, having their child initiate sexual activity (even with “protection”) is MORE risky.
The GOAL of abstinence programs is to AVOID RISKY BEHAVIOR. Therefore if your child answer “No,” when asked, “Did you use a condom during the last 3 months?” that is considered a NEGATIVE result. Even if the answer is NO, because they did not participate in any sexual activity.
Ms. Barrica objects to parents being allowed to have their child opt out of CSE programs in states such as California where CSE is mandatory. She, like many others, believes theirs is only one acceptable view of sexual behavior: which is, as long as a child (of any age) gets consent, gets tested and uses protection, they should be allowed to explore any sexual behavior that appeals to them.
Far from “inflicting a lifetime of physical and psychological harm” developing sexual self-control not only avoids risk, but is significantly more likely to lead to healthy and emotionally stable relationships in the future.
Sadly, because parents rarely make their voices heard, people who make money off adolescent sexual activity are making decisions for your children. School districts pay huge sums of money for instructional materials such as Ms. Barrica’s that promote “safer” sexual behavior. Local clinics and abortion providers present CSE programs in classrooms. Pharmaceutical companies provide “prom kits” with emergency contraception and condoms.
Unlike Positively Waiting. We provide our service free of charge to public schools. As one of the "social conservatives teaching sex ed" Ms. Barrica has so much contempt for, I am sympathetic that her religious instruction in this arena was negative. But, I can say our message is far from negative. We are happy to proclaim that sex is great. We are also willing to make the case that a great sex life is worth the effort and skill it takes to enjoy it within the healthiest possible context (one uninfected faithful partner).
We make the argument that sexual self-control keeps the ones you love 100% safe from risk and is a much higher standard of behavior than using others for sexual gratification.
But perhaps, the reason Ms. Barrica thinks teens can't do it, is because she couldn't do it. I know I didn't, and I live with the consequences of my decisions. By presenting the benefits of sexual self-control to teens in our community, we give them a chance to choose a much higher standard than my generation (and Ms. Barricaa’s) ever imagined.