Articles From the January 1993 Unification News


Education in the West: The Lunacy Spreads

By Richard A. Panzer

Many of us around the country have looked with astonishment and bafflement at the "Free Condom" programs in NYC high schools and more recently, the "Rainbow Curriculum" teaching elementary school students that homosexual relations are perfectly normal arrangements. But many of us living outside the Big Apple may wake up one morning to find the same "lunacy" being promoted in our own local schools as urgently required "emergency" solutions to the AIDS crisis.

For instance, in New Jersey a press conference at the statehouse in December promoted a "new" sex education curriculum for kindergarten to third grade. The "new" curriculum, "Learning about Family Life", is published by Rutgers University Press and is "designed to help children to begin to form attitudes toward sexuality that will allow them to enjoy and express sexuality in value-enhanced' behavior" and includes discussions of homosexuality "in the context of family and what is family" according to the author, Barbara Sprung, co-director of Educational Equity Concepts, Inc. of New York.

Concerned parents and adults may want to ask - do we really want to have our 5-8 year olds learn "how to enjoy and express sexuality?" Given the incredible bias of TV and films towards the pleasure of sex without any showing of the real costs of sex (AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases that cause 1 million woman to be sterile each year, congenital deformities of babies caused by these diseases, unwanted pregnancies, etc.) it would seem that school time on sex would be better spent on communicating these real costs, not on reinforcing the joy of sex. In any case why 5-8 year olds?

"Value Free" sex education advocates Peggy Brick of Planned Parenthood and Patti Britton of the Sex Information and Exchange Council of the U.S. (SIECUS) have expressed support for this kindergarten through first grade sex education and express disdain for programs that present a positive view of the institutions of marriage and of pre-marital abstinence, even though an overwhelming majority of parents (70%) and teens want sex education to include precisely the values (Louis Harris poll).

Studies sponsored by Planned Parenthood itself show that comprehensive "value free" sexuality programs have had no impact in reducing teen sexual involvement. In fact, we may be able to learn from the painful experience of another state: the average increase of teen pregnancies in school districts in Virginia that taught value free comprehensive sex education was 17.3%. Those areas that did not teach value free comprehensive sex education saw a 15.8% average decrease in teen pregnancies. A 33% gap in results. Is value free sex education really progress we want to emulate?

Now these elitists want to expand their record of failure to younger and younger grades. Their argument? Our programs are not working, so let's start teaching them to elementary schools students. This recommendation from groups like SIECUS whose executive director, Debra Hafner, advocated in 1988 that "we should teach teens about oral order to delay the onset of sexual intercourse."

Parents, do you want your teenagers to be taught about oral sex in the classroom as a supposed alternative to sexual intercourse? This despite clear evidence that HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, has been shown to be transmitted through oral sex?

Parents should be aware that many psychologists believe that exposing pre-adolescents in the latency stage to graphic sex education can be psychologically damaging. Do these "experts" have any research proving that the wonderful results they promise will in fact happen? Of course not. But they do want to experiment on your children. And can anyone tell me what "value enhanced" means?

Parents should demand that sex and AIDS education clearly teach use failure rates for latex condoms (18.4% failure rate in preventing pregnancy among teenage girls). A nearly one in five failure in preventing pregnancy might be tolerable for some, but is a nearly one in five failure rate for latex condoms tolerable when it is transmission of the AIDS virus we are talking about? Parents should also look into abstinence-based programs like TEENAID and SEX-RESPECT which really work in reducing teen pregnancies and infection with sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS.

We as parents should also share our own values about sexuality and martial fidelity with our teenage children. Studies show that the greatest impact in reducing teen sexual involvement occurs when teens talk with their own parents about the value of saving sexual experience for the "right time". Groups like SIECUS, Planned Parenthood, and Educational Equity Concepts, Inc. may sneer at such "old fashioned, traditional values", but the life you could save might be your own child's.

For more information about abstinence-based programs, call Richard A. Panzer at (201) 358-9013


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