Abstinence-only education on TV
August 26, 2005
Ack, it's every liberal's nightmare: BBC meets Christian Coalition:
A BBC show has challenged 12 teenagers to stay celibate for five months. In No Sex Please, We're Teenagers, two Christian youth workers tried to get participants to swap "casual sex for old-fashioned courting rituals". They said the young people would be happier if they were in long-term, serious relationships.
"This is not a reality show in the Big Brother sense," a BBC spokeswoman said. "It is a three-part observational documentary series."
The teenagers, aged between 15 and 17 and from Harrow, north-west London, attended weekly "Romance Academy" sessions with the youth workers. They also spent a weekend sharing a house with two rules - girls and boys were not allowed in each other's bedrooms and no alcohol. The youngest participant was Wesley, 15, who lost his virginity at the age of 12.Okay, it's not quite that bad. I'm not in favor of 15-year olds having casual sex, but the knee-jerk liberal in me still flinches at the idea of religious abstinence-only education on television. I would have been much more comfortable if there weren't any Christian youth workers involved. Can't we have a responsible message about sex for kids that doesn't involve religion?