by Richard Mansel, assistant editor
Abstinence education is under daily attack. A recent news story began, “Programs teaching U.S. schoolchildren to abstain from sex have not cut teen pregnancies or sexually transmitted diseases or delayed the age at which sex begins, health groups told Congress.” /1
Representative Henry Waxman said, “We are showering funds on abstinence-only programs that don’t appear to work, while ignoring proven comprehensive sex education programs that can delay sex, protect teens from disease, and result in fewer teen pregnancies.” /2
Former Surgeon General under President Clinton, Joycelyn Elders says that abstinence education borders on child abuse. /3 Others say that abstinence education supporters hope that “ignorance will somehow lead to temperance.” /4
God does not look at things the way that man does (Proverbs 14:12; Isaiah 55:8-9). We must make a conscious effort to rise above man’s limited eyesight and look at the larger picture. We must try to see God’s perspective and place everything in the larger scheme of redemption and the spiritual war raging about us (Ephesians 6:10-17).
Abstinence education does not happen in a vacuum. It is part of a larger picture of positive parenting and a proper moral environment. Separated from this worldview, young people often do not possess the right decision-making tools for moral virtue to thrive.
We look at a teenage girl raised in a Christian home where her parents openly talk about healthy sexuality that includes contraception and risk factors. Her role models are women who dress modestly and are strong females with respect for their womanhood. Her parents engage her in conversation about the sexual challenges she faces. They monitor her friends, music, dates, computer content and allow her to date in safe environments.
We then look at a young girl whose female role models dress very immodestly and are open about their sleeping around. On several occasions, she comes into the kitchen for breakfast to find a stranger in his underwear making coffee. She is given free reign of the television and the porn channels, her internet time is never monitored and she is allowed to come and go as she pleases. She comes home in the afternoons and has hours of unmonitored time that she can spend with her boyfriend in her room.
The first girl has all the tools she needs to remain abstinent until marriage. The latter is at a terrific disadvantage because everything in her life is working against her doing so. Why, therefore, do people look at her and her home life and conclude that if she has sex before marriage that it is due to the failure of abstinence education? Even if she is taught comprehensive sex education, her home life will still lead her down a path to destruction. It is no different with a child raised in a home where drug abuse or physical or verbal abuse is the norm. They will be severely limited when their environment is so poisonous.
Comprehensive sex education claims that teens will have sex anyway. In other words, we are telling them that we have no faith in their self-control or maturity. Accordingly, we need to provide extensive information and contraception and the encouragement they need to engage in sex.
This is baffling. Why do we not treat rapists, pedophiles, drug addicts, alcoholics and murderers the same way? Since they are going to do these things anyway, why not give them the tools to rape, rob and destroy themselves and others?
The truth is, there is a larger agenda of sexual permissiveness behind the comprehensive sex education movement exemplified in the summer of love of the 1960’s. Social liberals desire complete sexual freedom as evidence of their progress in destroying societal mores.
Finally, we turn to God’s Word and learn that, “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4, NKJV). God’s plan for sex and marriage is beautiful and very fulfilling (Genesis 2:15-25). Marital sex rates higher in satisfaction in study after study, if people would just accept it, they would be much happier. /5
“The Case for Marriage” by Linda Waite and Maggie Gallagher is an amazing book on the subject.
by Richard Mansel, assistant editor