Abstinence-Only Sex Education: Knife at the Throat of the Enlightenment

Driftglass, in a post about Janice Shaw Crouse of the Beverly LaHaye Institute (yes, of the “Left Behind” tract series):

Regardless of motive (and we have long since moved past the point where I care much about why the lunatics have a knife to the throat of the Enlightenment, and on to the part where we have to get the knife away from these people and make sure they are never, ever allowed to play with sharp objects again), denying people honest and accurate information about disease and pregnancy prevention because Jebus said they shouldna oughtna is the moral equivalent of….
…designing schools without sprinklers, smoke detectors, fireproofing or fire escapes because schools shouldna oughtna burn in the first place.
…designing cars without seat belts, air bags or windshields because automobiles shouldna oughtna crash into stuff in the first place.
…stripping all the life boats, life jackets, GPS and radio equipment and flare guns off of ocean liners and replacing them with Bibles because Jebus should be everywhere, and ships shouldna oughtna sink in the first place.

Abstinence-only sex education is about as effective as faith-based neurology.
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8 Responses to Abstinence-Only Sex Education: Knife at the Throat of the Enlightenment

  1. Sickle Cell says:

    I would if I could, but I can’t, so I won’t.

  2. PalMD says:

    I really wish I had come up with that phrase

  3. agnostic says:

    Oh c’mon, so they’re retarded, big deal. The analogy doesn’t work because the magnitudes don’t match, even if the directions do. How many would die from cars with no seatbelts, airbags, or windshields? And how many would die from Bible-thumpers preaching abstinence only? (Note an assumption of the “lots of deaths” answer: that teenagers follow the sex advice of dopey adults. Remember when you were that age.)
    Taking this example of a “knife at the throat of the Enlightenment” kinda cheapens the force behind that phrase. Even if I were taught abstinence only, I’d figure out (one way or another) that protection is a good idea. By contrast, there are areas of academic research that are just forbidden, due to taboos fashionable among academics, that prevent us from knowing — there aren’t any other ways to figure it out if we can’t study it.
    These sorts of examples are more of a direct threat to the credo “Dare to know.”

  4. jeffk says:

    agnostic, I think what makes shit like this so incredibly frustrating for people is that it does harm, and it’s SO EASY to fix. Fixing it costs nothing. If I’m arguing for a typical progressive viewpoint, it usually costs something, and I have to justify the cost. Real sex ed is free, because we’re already paying for the stone-age stuff.

  5. Dunc says:

    Even if I were taught abstinence only, I’d figure out (one way or another) that protection is a good idea.
    Sure. ‘Cos you’re so smart.
    You do realise that there are significant numbers of kids out there who genuinely believe that you can’t get pregnant if you do it standing up?

  6. Talk to a group of biology TAs some time. You’ll be surprised at how many of us have had to answer questions like:
    “What does the uterus do?”
    “How does the sperm get in?”
    We’ve heard these questions from students in their late teens and early twenties, and I’m talking about U.S.-born students, not kids who grew up in much more sexually repressive cultures. Would you feel safe making the assumption that these kids are not having sex, and wouldn’t have sex without “figuring out” more of this on their own?
    BTW, as a thirtysomething grad student, I also helped talk a twentysomething undergrad out of jumping off the porch to induce a miscarriage. This was in 1992, fer Zarquon’s sake. As it turned out, she wasn’t actually even pregnant.

  7. Clarissa says:

    This openness about sex stuff is really just because men want women to make themselves available whenever the man wants it.
    Who ya kiddin?

  8. PhysioProf says:

    “Taking this example of a ‘knife at the throat of the Enlightenment’ kinda cheapens the force behind that phrase.”
    Nah. Driftglass is one of the most brilliant metaphorists (if that is a word) out there. Read some more of his writing and you’ll get where he’s coming from.

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