Monday July 13, 2009 | Sex Education in North Carolina

July 9, 2009 at 1:49 pm | Posted in Coming Up | 7 Comments

The North Carolina legislature has recently passed a bill allowing for comprehensive sex education in our state’s schools. For over a decade, “abstinence until marriage” was the only form of sex-ed in our region. We’ll explore what exactly is taught in sex-ed and how this new legislation will change what is taught in our schools. We’ll try to understand how our kids learn about the birds and the bees.
Jere Royall – Director of Community Impact and Counsel, NC Family Policy Council
Deann Butler – Field Organizer, NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina
David Gardner – Section Chief for Healthy Schools, NC Dept. of Public Instruction

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  1. […] Read more here: Monday July 13, 2009 | Sex Education in North Carolina « Charlotte … […]

  2. I think that more is taught about contraceptives and STDs in public schools than one might think. From 1992-2003 I attended A.G. Middle school, a neighborhood public school in Charlotte, and we were taught how all the major contraceptives work and the probability that a pregnancy will result. It was always placed in the context of abstinence: “Only abstinence works 100% of the time.” We were also taught about the major STDs, and that if we did choose to have sex, a condom would prevent most of them. We were told that AIDS was not a “gay” disease; everyone is at risk. I now find it interesting that they were not supposed to teach this. I think it goes to show that principals, CMS, and the state of North Carolina can tell teachers what to teach and what not to teach in terms of content, but at the end of the day the individual teacher has the most leverage over what their students learn.

  3. “Abstinence only” instruction is obviously the General Motors of sex ed… nobody’s buying it. Since sexual behavior is a public health issue, I think it is incumbent upon society to provide young adults with a statewide, fact-based standardized sex ed curriculum with the goal of imparting knowledge on the risks of sexual activity and measures to mitigate those risks (including abstinence). It is incumbent upon parents to have the courage to talk to their children in the home about sexual behavior and conduct. “Abstinence only” advocates might be better-served by lobbying the entertainment industry to clean up shows like Gossip Girl and any number of reality shows that glamorize the sexual activity of teens.

  4. When we talk about sex ed, I also think it’s important to clarify the goal. I think it’s a bit unrealistic and idealistic to have the goal be abstinence until marriage. Studies show about 95% of people have premarital sex. The better goal(s), in my estimation, would be to educate people (sex ed should be life-long) on how to make wise decisions regarding sexuality and how to have healthy sexual relationships.

    Becky Knight MPH
    Twitter: @livingsexuality

  5. What I was taught in school:
    -There are two types of Herpes. Genital Herpes is bad, and oral Herpes are just cold sores.
    -Promiscuous people get STDs.
    -If you have sex, wear protection.

    What would have been nice to know:
    -You can get genital Herpes by having oral sex with someone who gets cold sores.
    -Since HPV and HSV are transmitted through skin to skin contact, condoms do not protect you 100%.
    -“Complete” STD tests don’t test for Herpes or HPV.
    -1 in 2 adults have HPV while 1 in 4 women have genital Herpes. We need to stress acceptance for those who have it while promoting awareness for how to decrease its spread.

    Charlotte H is a non-profit support/social group that caters specifically to individuals who have HSV or HPV. We have over 1000 members who struggle every day with the social stigma of having a chronic STD.

  6. I caught the end of your show in abstinence pledges. Our girls went through this process years ago at their own initiation.

    Please comment on the thesis that there is wide and widening “sexual gap” created by combination of physiological and social conditions. Earlier female puberty and later marriages creates a chasm of opportunity for premarital sex and renders abstinence more difficult and for some practically impossible. Perhaps this situation is the primary driver behind the high level of premarital sex and not necessarily media or other easier and more intuitively satisfying targets?

  7. NARAL’s NC Sex Ed poll (link on their site) for NC parents reveals that 90% & change approve of subjects such as ‘how to deal with being pressured into sex’ and ‘how to report abuse.’ Besides ‘abstinence only’ having the relative value of a 8 year old’s promise that he’ll stop hitting his little sister now, abstinence only ignores too many serious social ramifications like these-overridingly approved of, that sex introduces into young ladies’ lives. Do abstinence only proponents recongize the pressure young ladies are under in teen relationships?

    And finally, I’m sick to death of other people legally negating and so denying the types of school based social and Sex ED programs I raised my kids to handle with intelligence. More knowledge means better understanding and better decisions. Always. So if you’re a parent who disapproves of this new program, fine. YOU opt out. The rest of us are finally moving forward!

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