Tag Archives: STDs

Abstinence prevents STDs, but only if kids cooperate

Hey, wait a minute!

Abstaining from sexual activity is supposed to be the only fool-proof method of preventing sexually transmitted disease. Isn’t that right?

And when school systems place a heavy insistence on abstinence in their sex education curriculum, then the occurrence of STDs is supposed to decline, if not disappear. Isn’t that also correct?

What’s going on with the Crane Independent School District in West Texas, which — despite its heavy emphasis on abstinence — has seen a spike in cases of chlamydia at its high school campus?


Oh, I almost forgot. We’re dealing with teenagers, who — and I was one of them myself — quite often don’t heed their elders’ good advice.

You tell ’em not to do something and they, um, do it anyway.

Sex is an overpowering magnet for hormonally charged-up youngsters.

“Honestly this happens in any town,” said Diana Martinez, a Crane ISD parent. “Parents need to be aware of the situation and make sure they tell their kids to be safe and practice safe sex.”

Sure enough, it does.

And parents need to take responsibility for telling their children to behave and to teach them about the difficulties of coming of age at a time when certain unsafe practices can endanger their health.

However, parents also turn their children over to public school systems for many hours during the day. It’s also incumbent on educators to drive home the points about such things as safe sex in addition to abstaining from sex altogether.

Anyone who’s ever been a parent also has been a teenager. There should be little need to remind grownups all around the world that teens do things against the wishes of those who care for them — be they parents or teachers.

Let's abstain from this sex education idea

We all were teenagers once. Those who aren’t yet teenagers will get there in due course.

Those of you who are teenagers right now, well, you know everything there is to know, correct?

You know, for example, that abstaining from sex is the most fool-proof way to avoid (a) pregnancy or (b) sexually transmitted diseases.

Do you always follow the advice of your elders and abstain from sexual activity?

You can stop laughing now, and pay attention.


Texas state Rep. Stuart Spitzer, R-Kaufman, is arguing that you should abstain from sex. He wants Texas public schools to teach abstinence-only sex education. “My goal is for everyone to be abstinent until they are married,” Spitzer said during a Texas House committee hearing.

Well, Rep. Spitzer, good with that.

Here is where I should add that Rep. Spitzer also is a medical doctor. Also, as R.G. Ratliffe of Texas Monthly writes, he’s a deacon at a Baptist church in his hometown. He’s a man of deep religious faith — and I most certainly honor that commitment.

However …

Reality needs to take hold here as the state continues this debate over the best way to teach sex education in its public schools.

And the reality is that teenagers will have sex. No matter how many times you tell them not to engage in sex before they get married, they’re going to defy you. That’s what teenagers do. It’s in their DNA.

Believe it or not, teen rebellion against parental/school/legislative authority is all part of God’s plan. Honest. It is.

Dr. Spitzer persuaded his House colleagues to move $3 billion in AIDS prevention toward abstinence education in public schools.

I happen to agree with Ratliffe on a key point: Using religious faith to shape public policy constitutes a significant gamble. And when it involves the behavior of teenagers — those individuals who take pleasure in defying authority — then you’re asking for trouble.

Abstinence is one of those issues that needs to be taught at home and church. Parents shape their own children into who they hope they will become. I know from experience — both as a parent and as a former teenager — that as often as not you get mixed results.

It’s best to understand the inevitable. Teenagers are going to rebel and, by golly, they’re going to do things they shouldn’t do.

Having sex is one of them. How about teaching them about the risk of premarital sex — and then let them know how to avoid pregnancy and disease if they choose to ignore what they’re being taught?