GOP Bill to Ban Sex Education Passes Utah House

Republicans in Utah's House of Representatives passed a bill that, if approved in Senate, would ban contraception from public school sex education. 

Under this bill, public schools could either accept funding for abstinence-only "sex education" that we know doesn't work, or skip sex education altogether, effectively ensuring that Utah's students cannot easily access information crucial to protect themselves and control their sex lives. 

"We’ve been culturally watered down to think we have to teach about sex, about having sex and how to get away with it, which is intellectually dishonest," said bill sponsor Rep. Bill Wright, R-Holden. "Why don’t we just be honest with them upfront that sex outside marriage is devastating?"

 Apparently, Wright does  not consider withholding information to be "intellectually dishonest." What's more, if Wright's concern is the "devastation" associated with premarital sex, he might attempt to reduce unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, decreasing the harms that can be associated with sex, instead of claiming to be "honest" and lying to students, telling them (many of whom have probably had sex, and are not devastated) that sex will destroy them. 

The Salt Lake City Tribune reported:


Wright said the version of the bill that passed Wednesday would prohibit instruction in contraception, although teachers could respond to student questions about the matter.

It would be a big shift from current law, which prohibits only the advocacy of contraceptive use. Current law requires high schools to teach sex education, allowing them to choose whether to simply stress abstinence or teach abstinence-only.

Of course, sex education that does not discuss sex, but tells kids not to have it, is not sex education at all. It is an inefficient scare tactic that wreaks the very consequences about which it warns, condemning teens to dangerous ignorance real compassion would aim to prevent. 


AlterNet / By Kristen Gwynne

Posted at February 24, 2012, 5:57am

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