Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Wis. governor signs abstinence bill


Sex education teachers must present abstinence as the preferred behavior for unmarried people under a bill signed Tuesday by Gov. Jim Doyle. The legislation means teachers must emphasize that refraining from sex before marriage is the most effective way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
I'm waiting for the bill that requires education on sexual ethics including what is and is not legal sexual behavior. The closest I ever came to that type of talk was during a greek mythology class when the teacher let the discussion between students stray into who can have sex, when and with whom. Most boys believed they were under no obligation to wait, but their bride should be a virgin on their wedding night. One boy delighted in mocking that double standard.

Before that all I got was a gym teacher in junior high school breaking the rules to explain what the sex organs were and how they functioned.

Too often the traditional abstinence message turns teen sexuality into a hockey game where the girl is the goalie who is told she must protect her goal (virginity) at all times. The boys meanwhile are encouraged, either explicitly or implicitly, to try to get past the girl's defenses.

If you buy into that analogy, it makes perfect sense to ask, "What was she wearing?" and to blame the girl for failing to stop a boy from scoring. It also makes many acquaintance rapes just part of the game because the girl or woman let her defenses down. Rape charges are then like a bad call from a ref who wasn't anywhere near the game you were playing.

But healthy sexuality is not a competitive sport where you must have winners and losers.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 9:16 AM   0 comments links to this post


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