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Argument: Parents prefer more modest abstinence-only sex-ed

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Parent debate

Supporting quotations

Valerie Huber. "Opposing view: Abstinence works". USA Today. 30 July 2007 - a recent Zogby survey shows that when parents understand what abstinence vs. "comprehensive" sex education actually teaches, they prefer abstinence education by a 2-1 margin. The health and future of our teens depend on a common sense approach that works.


"'Comprehensive' Is Not Always Good". Zogby International. 16 Apr. 2003 - It’s true. Most parents, when polled, have generally reported that they want their children to receive "comprehensive" sex education. Why wouldn’t they? After all, comprehensive is good, right?

But, there was a problem with those polls. They didn’t specify what, exactly, is so comprehensive about "comprehensive" sex education. They didn’t tell parents what comprehensive sex education actually teaches their children.

Until now. A recent Zogby poll asked parents about various "comprehensive" sex education programs, but told parents what is taught in these programs. In fact, they used actual quotes from the program curricula, which were quite graphic.

In addition to graphic explanations of sexual intercourse, this particular program teaches children that homosexuality cannot be changed by therapy, that "coming out" means gaining pride as a gay or lesbian person, and that gay and lesbian people can adopt or have children of their own. And the program provides children with the phone number to their local gay and lesbian community center.

Guess what? Parents were overwhelmingly opposed to these programs. Seventy-five percent of parents objected to the Centers for Disease Control’s program, with only 14 percent approving. The SIECUS program quoted above didn’t do much better. More than six in ten parents disapproved. Meanwhile, 73 percent of parents approved of an abstinence-based curriculum.

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