Category Archives: abstinence-only education

Kids Today, Sex Ed Edition


Once again, dear blog readers, I’ve neglected you. I’ve been meaning to write about this story since it first appeared in our Gannett fishwrap, but I’ve been way too swamped with other stuff. Since then Betsy at Pith and ThinkProgress have covered this, so hit those links if you want more info.

The bottom line is, some Fundiegelical conservative abstinence clowns somehow got approval to give a sex misinformation assembly at Nashville’s Hillsboro High, which happens to be the high school my kids would be attending had Mr. Beale and I not decided to stick a fork in Jesus’ eye and avoid breeding this lifetime. I know, how un-Christian of us.

The assembly was full of crackpot ideas, such as:

All medical textbooks say life begins at conception.

… and ….

Having sex with eight partners would be the equivalent of drinking a whole classroom’s spit…

… and ….

[…] “fetus” means the same thing as “baby” …

…. and ….

[…] a grim picture of the various types of abortion: dismembered fetuses, punctured uterine walls, bleeding for 8-9 weeks, death.

… and ….

As for adoption — never discourage it, she tells the class. Don’t even use the term “give up” the baby. If a girl says she’s pregnant, send her to the nurse, and she should start taking prenatal vitamins.

… and my absolute favorite:

If a girl becomes a single mom to a boy, she says: “Who’s going to do all those things that men like to do with men? Hunting, fishing, playing ball, all those things that teach them how to be a man and setting those boundaries?”

Got that fellas? So, if you don’t like to hunt, fish or play ball, you are not a man! You’re some kind of girly-man, sissified by your single mom. And Jesus hates you.

I’m trying to imagine how an assembly like this would have been greeted in my day. Back in the ’70s when I was in high school, these ladies would have left our classroom pulling spitwads and chewing gum from their hair, their model fetus baby reduced to shards and their Hope Center flyers transformed into origami 747s.

Of course, that was a more innocent age. Today kids record these assemblies on their cell phones and take it to the media. Bravo, unnamed student. My hat’s off to you.

I mean, I’m just trying to imagine what these kids thought when they heard this stuff about “who’s gonna teach your boy how to hunt and fish” and all. Did these ladies not think there might not be a few sons of single moms in the audience? What incredible idiots.

What’s really scary is that one of the presenters, Beth Cox, is a member of the Sumner County School Board. Cox is also on the board of directors for the organization which brought this nonsense to a Davidson County high school, Decisions, Choices and Options. Though the group claims everything they teach is “medical, fatual information,” the group has just one doctor on its board of directors: Dr. Bryan Bondurant, a veterinarian and failed conservative Republican candidate for Congress.

Hilarious. How did these Sumner County hayseeds get on the list of approved presenters in Metro Nashville schools in the first place? This stuff they’re selling isn’t medical, factual information! It’s an ideologically-driven misinformation campaign. In case y’all missed it, you lost the culture wars. Now fuck off.

My mom went to Catholic boarding school back in the 1940s. This is exactly the kind of “sex ed” kids of her generation were given. She told me the Jesuits taught that at the condom factory, one out of every 10 condoms is given a pin-prick. I asked her, “Did anyone ask the priests why a condom factory would do that?” No, she said. It didn’t occur to them.

That really was a more innocent age, when teenagers were a bit more gullible — though no less inclined to engage in sexual exploration. Kids today are a little savvier. And I’m glad at least one had the forethought to blow the lid off this ridiculous excuse for “education.” Now, let’s yank these clowns off the “approved” list for Nashville’s public schools. Because at the very least, our kids deserve factual information, not religious views and pseudo-science.


Filed under abstinence-only education, culture wars, Nashville, sex

Other Worrisome Gateways

Okay, a few folks are demanding I weigh in on our stupid Tennessee state senate, which passed a bill yesterday updating our abstinence-only curriculum to include “hand-holding” as a “gateway sexual activity.” I haven’t written about it because, well, for starters, it’s Tennessee and the collective stupid streaming out of the state capitol these days has been overwhelming. At this point I am throwing in the towel on every single one of our state legislators. They’re all morons who don’t seem to understand why they are in office. Hint: it’s not to try to return us to the mythical Good Ol’ Days Before Baggy Pants and MTV Ruined Everything.

But also, give me a break: “updating” an abstinence-only based sex education curriculum while keeping it abstinence-based is not an update. It’s a stupid exercise and you just know nothing sensible will come out of it.

I’d love to see how this thing works in practice, though. That wasn’t an earthquake you just felt, it was the collective eyeroll of every teenager in Tennessee upon being told hand-holding leads to sex. Considering the graphic sexual behavior kids see every time they turn on the TV, it’s just hard to take this shit seriously.

But also: The law now bans teachers from “demonstrating” gateway activity, to which I respond: teachers were “demonstrating” gateway activity in the classroom? Really? This happens? Boy, sex ed sure has changed from when I was in school. I’m quite sure watching my 8th grade health teacher “demonstrate” fellatio would have been a brain-searing trauma.

Anyway, as long as the Tennessee General Assembly is worried about gateways, I thought I’d mention a few other troubling ones. I’m sure they’ll want to get right on these (if they haven’t done so already):

• Dancing, the gateway to moral turpitude.

• Rock and roll music, the gateway to satanic rituals and human sacrifice.

• Budweiser, the gateway to heroin.

• Owning a cat: the gateway to owning more cats.

• Science, the gateway to thinking.

• Speaking French, the gateway to wearing jaunty hats.

• Having cable, a gateway to re-enacting scenes from Platoon with Charlie Sheen.

Leave your suggestions in comments ….


A commenter has reminded me of this.


Filed under abstinence-only education, Tennessee, Tennessee government, Tennessee politics

Your Tax Dollars At Work, Sex Ed Edition

When we said Washington was filled with a bunch of clowns, we weren’t kidding. The latest to feed at the abstinence-only gravy train is Derek Dye, “comedic juggler” who’s also a “certified abstinence educator,” which turns out to be as bogus as “life coaching.” (With all due respect to the life coaches out there, I just don’t get what you people do …)

Thanks to George W. Bush and a complicit Congress, we currently spend $1.5 billion a year to fund abstinence-only until marriage sex education in our public schools. And yes, that money goes to people like Derek Dye, as he is employed by the Elizabeth New Life Center that received a $800,000 CBAE grant in 2007 to promote abstinence until marriage. His qualifications? A “Bachelor of Fun Arts” from Barnum Bailey Clown College, and an abstinence educator certification that can be purchased for $50.

ThinkProgress has a YouTube clip of Dye’s act. His basic message seems to be, if you have sex before you’re married, smoke, drink or use drugs, your life will be ruined. And balancing a ladder on his chin and juggling machetes is supposed to illustrate that somehow.

I don’t get it. This message is supposed to be stronger than raging teenage hormones? Get real, people.

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Filed under abstinence-only education, sex, taxes