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The title is a memorable line from the movie Mean Girls, where the gym coach is teaching sex education (see the video below). Whether by design or not, it demonstrated the ineffectiveness of both extremes of teaching kids about an extremely important topic.
Don’t have sex, because you will get pregnant and die. Don’t have sex in the missionary position, don’t have sex standing up . . . Just don’t do it, promise? OK, everybody take some rubbers.
I like how it skewered both ends of the spectrum. Repeating the Nike hybrid of Just (Don’t) Do It won’t be effective without some guidelines on avoiding temptation and more, and passing out condoms like that is an implicit and explicit message that you expect kids to have sex outside of marriage (in addition to giving them a false sense of security).
Of course I endorse chastity and the abstinence of any sex acts outside of marriage as the ideal for everyone. It is the only proven way to avoid pregnancy, disease, and emotional damage (and, if you are one of those religious types, the only way to obey God).
Ephesians 5:3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.
They should also emphasize the most recent statistics demonstrating that those who finish high school and don’t have sex outside of marriage are extremely unlikely to end up poor, whereas if you do the opposite you are very likely to be poor.
They should teach girls the lines that guys often use and how to respond to them, for example:
- Male: If you loved me you’d have sex with me.
- Female: If you loved me you wouldn’t pressure me to have sex with you.
They should teach guys the lines girls use as well. I know of one young man whose girlfriend recently broke up with him because he wouldn’t have sex with her.
But the abstinence / chastity message should include simple but effective ways to avoid temptation. Too many people have good intentions but put themselves in situations that inevitably lead to compromise.
They should also coach you on how much your actions regarding sex are influenced by:
- What you view
- What you think about
- Who you spend alone time with
Contrary to stereotypes, I have no issue with schools teaching a balanced sex education program, provided it is thorough and fact-based. Birth control options are real and it is acceptable to discuss them, provided the whole story is told and the schools don’t distribute the condoms or other birth control themselves and don’t facilitate the abortion process.
For example, truly comprehensive sex education should teach the following regarding birth control pills:
- They are X% effective at preventing pregnancies (but the data must be given for different demographic groups, because discipline and effectiveness tends to be lower for younger and poorer women).
- They offer zero protection against STDs
- They offer zero protection against emotional issues
- There are possible side effects
More considerations and possible elements of a truly comprehensive sex education program:
- Surveys demonstrate that married couples have the most satisfying sex lives.
- It is absolutely ridiculous for schools to dispense birth control. It sends the implicit and explicit message that you expect kids to have sex and that the adults say you should use birth control. Guess which message they will listen to and which one they will ignore?
- Hey parents, how about supervising your kids? Giving kids unrestricted time alone with the opposite sex is virtually guaranteed to turn out badly.
- Teach the truth about the “hookup” culture, where kids barely know each other and have sex. Girls participating in “hookups” are basically acting like free prostitutes. They have all the risks of pregnancy, disease, crushed self esteem, etc., but they aren’t making any money! Somehow they convinced themselves that they are proving their equality by acting like guys do. And of course there is the associated drug and alcohol abuse required to numb their minds to what they are doing. Sad.
- How Sex is Like Duct Tape (great illustration about chemicals, bonding and the pain of out-of-wedlock sex)
And of course, Christians can teach their children about God’s plan for sex and how great it is when used as designed.
The primary problem isn’t what one class teaches in one part of its curriculum in high school. Whether you use the falsely titled “comprehensive” Planned Parenthood type curriculum or that of the abstinence groups, the whole thing is doomed to fail if kids aren’t supervised, aren’t equipped to say no, aren’t given support by parents and just wallow in the sewer of our sex-obsessed culture.
When I pointed out problems of sex ed on one post I got this answer in reply:
The problem is that people screw.
My reply to him:
How Zen-like ;-).
Yes, and people steal. And lie. And don’t study in school. And do drugs. And drink alcohol and drive.
So do we give up educating them that abstaining from these and other behaviors would be wise?
Do we let them escape from consequences when they do the behaviors?
Do we just focus on making is safer to do these things? “If you are going to drink and drive, be sure to have an air bag in the car.”
Fortunately, one commenter saw the light:
I think Neil’s point was that no matter the sex ed, the rest of culture undoes it.
That sums it up nicely.
Update: A couple links from Luke with helpful statistics. Leave more in the comments section if you’ve got ’em.
0 thoughts on ““Don’t have sex, because you will get pregnant and die.””
Believe it or not, my school does go over the lines the opposite sex uses and shows them how to avoid it. And they show pictures of the effects of STDs and all sorts of stuff… they may actually be successful in keeping some kids from having sex with their methods.
Good for them! CareNet had a great pamphlet they’d hand out which had about 20 lines guys use and how girls can respond to them. I need to get a copy of that . . .
While on a long drive a few weeks ago, I was surfing the radio stations and came upon a preacher who was going over the life of Joseph (Old Testament). (I wish I’d caught his name, this was GOOD, and it seemed to be a multi-multi-party study).
He came to the temptation of Joseph by his master’s wife. Joseph fled. He then surveyed Scripture and pointed out Scripture gives advice on how to deal with all sorts of sin. Most the time it’s “stand strong, resist, man up”.
But in every location, similar to Ephesians, it gives VERY different advice for the temptation to lust. FLEE. RUN. JUST GET OUT OF DODGE. GET UP. LEAVE.
I was chatting with a friend about this, and he told me a story about Billy Graham, that he has a strict policy of never being alone with a woman. He won’t even enter an elevator alone with a woman.
He loves his wife and the Lord too much to even be in a situation where he could be accused of a hint of something improper.
I heard this story before from one of our pastors at church. He said that it was not becuase he had a problem with lust as much as he didn’t want anything to mess up his image and people to think he had had an affair. He said he even had a personal bodyguard go into hotel rooms and such before him to make sure there wasn’t a woman in there that could tarnish his image and make him look like he had had an affair.
I think your pastors and Billy Graham had the right idea. I don’t have a problem getting on an elevator, but with extremely few exceptions (e.g., Administrative Coordinator’s day lunch with a woman who was 10 yrs. my senior and a grandmother and which I told my wife about) I don’t go to lunch with just one woman. I make sure the door is open if I talk with a woman in my office. And so on. You just want to eliminate the possibility of people drawing the wrong conclusion and hurting your reputation / ministry.
Two associate pastors (a male and a female) just got disciplined (and will probably get fired) in a Kansas church for inappropriate conduct. They are both married. Sad.
The comment below about fleeing temptation was right on. As they say in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, “Run away!”
Yes, god forbid a woman breathe on you.
Are you people really that immature to believe that you cannot have a platonic relationship with a woman, without being suspected of adultery? Furthermore, if you need to ‘talk’ to your wives about you meeting with other women, I think there’s some really deep trust issues going on there. Seriously kids, this is real life — not Highschool.
Thank you for the post. I must say it made me think and evaluate my own actions. I would like to know where you got the research from about the poor women and teenagers. I do believe it it true, I just would like to read it for myself. I know being poor, could cause a woman to neglect birth control. It seems to me that indirectly this information could cause people to come to the conclusion that poverty causes immorality.
I’ll drop in links when I come across them again. As I recall the figure was over 90%. As you can see I didn’t have time to research all the precise %’s (if I got paid for this I’d be glad to!).
Good point about poverty not causing immorality. It actually goes the other direction.
Obviously I’m not Neil, but this might help:
And for a bit more precise of a read:
With a bit more google-fu you should be able to turn up some other good pieces. If my memory is correct, being a single unwed mother is the #1 predictor of a person being under the poverty line.
Thanks, Luke! I added those to the bottom of the post. I feel like Tom Sawyer . . . “Anybody want to help me do research for this post? It’s lots of fun . . .”
“Male: If you loved me you’d have sex with me.
Female: If you loved me you wouldn’t pressure me to have sex with you.”
This is exactly what I tell my girl friends when they tell me their boy friends are pressing for sex. Strangely I am the one they all come to when am not even in a relationship. But I do think their boy friends will have a definite dislike for me. Like I care! 🙂
I endorse chastity, and try explaining to my friends who have ideas of just giving up, why it is important to be trustworthy. I mean, our parents trust us so much, just like God, why cant we just live up to it. Besides it actually feels really good to do the thing God what wants us to do, ’cause He’ll feel proud about us then. Imagine that! God feeling proud about us!!! Sounds sorta kiddish but it actually works most times you know!
As a 20 year old virgin in college, I think the problem with sex in my generation is that people feel since everybody does it, then they should do it too. I feel no shame in telling people that I am a virgin but many people feel that having sex ONLY after marriage is somewhat unattainable. This is sad and shows that standards and morality have truly plummeted but I have faith. Besides, it feels good to save money on condoms and birth control, not having to worry about STDs, not have to wake up to a screaming child and not having money for diapers, food, clothes …… wait, that kind of sounds like an ideal lifestyle, lol. If we do things God’s way, good things tend to happen.
Mercedes & Shalini (above), it is such an encouragement to know that there are young people like you out there. I have prayed for many years for godly husbands for my daughters, and I like knowing that there are like minded ladies who will support and encourage them in the truth as well. Blessings to you both!
It’s a shame that we’re left with such bare tools with which to do this task. “Tell them not to do it. Tell them the lines the other gender will use. Tell them it’s better if they abstain.” Even Christians have lost the depth of the argument and the problem.
In the Bible, sex is intended for specific purposes and has a corresponding morality. It is the union of two people for life. It is intended for FAMILY-MAKING, both in the union of husband and wife and in procreation. It is HIGHLY valued and, as such, highly protected. The fact that it is pleasurable is a byproduct, a wonderful gift from God, but even at that we’re to be concerned about the pleasure of the spouse, not our own. We have this whole thing so far awry that even we don’t see it anymore.
Today we’re left with meager tools and end up sounding like Victorian moralistic kill joys. “Don’t do that! Sure, everyone does it, but … just don’t!” WE don’t even know what we’re defending or why anymore. Such a shame!
Good points, Stan. It is part of the upside-down-Romans 1-world where we have to state the obvious: “See that hammer? If you hit yourself in the head with it you’ll feel pain. Next lesson . . .”
What we teach at home and church will be much different than what we can convey in public schools. It is a matter of making the best of a bad situation.
Yes, what we teach in public schools and what we teach in church SHOULD be different. Unfortunately, very few CHRISTIANS are getting the true story on sex.
Great post! I agree with you. I think it is acceptable that schools properly educate the realities but they should be wary on verbiage so that they do not mix their own message
“It is absolutely ridiculous for schools to dispense birth control. It sends the implicit and explicit message that you expect kids to have sex and that the adults say you should use birth control. Guess which message they will listen to and which one they will ignore? ”
I also liked your reply to the first comment left. Addressing the alcohol and drug issues provided a very clear message that we don’t stop trying to educate our youth to make better choices.
Great blog too!
Thanks for visiting and commenting! Hope you come back.
I like your point about teaching how to avoid temptation…it’s pretty common sense. Like I say to my students: “if you are on a no donut diet…don’t study in a a donut shop.”
Thanks, Rich. That is such a simple yet profound thing and we forget to tell kids that. I think that is where abstinence pledges go wrong. The kids make a commitment and know what they should do and want to do, but if they have a false sense of security and think they can spend lots of alone time with the opposite sex then guess what happens? As old-fashioned as it sounds, I would coach them to be alone in crowds (e.g., public dates) and not be completely alone.
Great post Neil. Very thoughtful and balanced. You hit all the important points.
You made great rhetorical statements, but I can’t resist adding another one along similar lines: “The kids are going to play with guns anyway, so let’s just make sure they have a bullet proof vest.”
Can’t trust your kid with a loaded gun? Then maybe you should have second thoughts about giving them the “yellow light” to have sex.
P.S. How many kids (or parents for that matter) are aware of the fact that many pharmaceuticals (including antibiotics and anti-seizure medications) interfere with the effectiveness of oral contraceptives. Birth control is serious business.
Thanks, RightKlik. I wasn’t aware of the antibiotic / anti-seizure medication issues!
I have always despised the “They’re going to have sex anyway, so why not make it safe?” argument. My daughter picked that one up as a teen from a TV show she was watching. “You put a fence around a pool even though you try to teach kids to swim, don’t you?”
“Okay,” I said, “let’s take your view and think it through. We think that sex outside of marriage is immoral (and unwise), but they’re going to do it anyway, so we should teach them how to have ‘safe sex’.” “Right.” “We think that heroin is immoral and unwise, but they’re going to do it anyway, so we should give them clean needles.” “Umm … right.” We think that gang members shouldn’t drive by and shoot people, but they’re going to do it anyway, so we should teach them more accurate skills of shooting from a moving vehicle so they won’t hit innocent bystanders.” “Ummm … okay, I get the point.”
Makes no sense.
got news for you. even leaving your kids along w/kids of the same sex isn’t really the solution if your kid is gay. sorry. guess that means your twisted sense of the world being just fine living in some isolated bubble should account for one more “evil” twist.
gay marriage has been something that has been sweeping across the nation…so your precious bonds of straight marriage are also not safe.
sex is for everyone. everyone does it. everyone will do it. so why teach children to fear their bodies by giving them fire and brimstone…how’s about giving an open atmosphere for kids to express their fears and questions in a safe manner rather than just forcing them to go underground to do what they want and in ways that are DEFINITELY unsafe. let’s be open and honest about what parts they have and teach them how to protect themselves and be better advocates for control over their own bodies in any situation whether that be sex, in a doctor’s office, or otherwise?
So if you can only address 98% of the risks you shouldn’t bother addressing them at all? And do you seriously think that supervision of children counts as putting them in a bubble? Do you have children, and if so, do you monitor their whereabouts?
“Sweeping across the nation?” I hadn’t noticed. I am aware that nearly every time it is put to a vote that 70% or more of the citizens vote against that oxymoronic “gay marraige” (even California passes Prop 8). I do concede that activist judges have perverted the legal system to thwart the will of the people.
That is a little open ended for my tastes. Do you not favor any restrictions for sex at any time?
so why teach children to fear their bodies by giving them fire and brimstone…how’s about giving an open atmosphere for kids to express their fears and questions in a safe manner rather than just forcing them to go underground to do what they want and in ways that are DEFINITELY unsafe. let’s be open and honest about what parts they have and teach them how to protect themselves and be better advocates for control over their own bodies in any situation whether that be sex, in a doctor’s office, or otherwise?
You are arguing against a point I did not make, so I can’t respond to that. Who says we don’t teach kids or let them ask questions?
Actually, more than half of the country’s population (53-54%) supports gay marriage, according to most recent polls. And that number is rising every day.
Ive spent the last 3 hours researching “the god particle” or higgs boson and my mind is completely blown. Now around the 15th or so webpage Im reading through I get a link to this…All I can do is laugh my ass off…GF.
And this is the reason I am no longer catholic yet Christians still try to force their beliefs on you. Honestly, I’m a 21 year old female who is getting married next month. Yes I sleep with my partner. He is the only man I’ve ever slept with and I did wait till after we were engaged. However, even of I wanted to sleep around with every guy I met I don’t think it is your job to judge me. Yes I do think high school is too young to have sex but to condem people who have sex out of wedlock is absurd. Oh and hope you do not mind there brewing gay marriages now that it is legal in new York. As far as that bein an oxymoron, yes it is if you are a religious close minded person who thinks that anyone who does something that is against your religion is immoral.
If that is the reason you were or weren’t Catholic or Christian then I’m afraid you missed the point. The reason to be Christian is that you are a sinner and Jesus really lived and died for your sins. If you didn’t know that or trust in it then you weren’t a Christian.
If judging is always bad then why are you judging me now? Seriously.
Kudos to you for not sleeping around, but I still think you would have been better off waiting. I don’t say that in a condemning way because I’m probably a much worse sinner than you. I just know that defying God’s commandments never works for the best.
But you think that condemning people for pointing out the consequences of extra-marital sex is ok?
Yes, I’m aware. I also know that it is legal to crush and dismember innocent but unwanted human beings as long as the mom wants to. That doesn’t make either one right.
Do you realize that many [fake] churches speak in favor of abortion and “same-sex marriage?” Do you consider them to be close minded and do you criticize them? They think I’m immoral for pointing out that by nature and design one man/one woman unions produce the next generation.
I Think Sex Is Bad. Prego Girls Are Sad And Have Kids. They Drop Out Of School And Be Stupid. True Story Bro.
It is bad out of wedlock. Inside a marriage it is “God’s wedding present.”
is it true that if you have sex you will die?My sister has been preggo 2 times,she hasn’t died wich is lucky for her.But blive it or not im still not having no kids no matter what