The Instigator
Miserlou
Pro (for)
Losing
12 Points
The Contender
rrapert
Con (against)
Winning
16 Points

Abstinence-Only Education is Ineffective

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/21/2007 Category: Education
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,259 times Debate No: 762
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (8)

 

Miserlou

Pro

This is my first debate on this site. Hurrah!

Abstinence-Only education is ineffective, and could quite possibly do more harm than good. I leave you to start the argument.
rrapert

Con

"Abstinence-Only education is ineffective, and could quite possibly do more harm than good."

That's your only argument? While I can agree with you that certain methods of abstinence-only education are ineffective, it depends on what you a) consider ineffective and b) how ineffective they are.

If that is your sole argument, I see no reason to debate this. If, however, you can provide an actual argument (as to why OR how or both they're ineffective), then I can debate you. But to debate such an overgeneralization is a waste of anyone's time, including yours.
Debate Round No. 1
Miserlou

Pro

That is my sole argument, it just isn't an elaborated argument. For that, I answer your two points:

A) It is ineffective in that it doesn't do what it was designed to do; protect teenagers from STDs and unwanted pregnancies. It is true that abstinence is the only 100% sure way to protect against these things, but teaching only abstinence is not going to stop teens from having sex, and if they don't know about birth control methods they will be at a much higher risk for pregnancies and STDs

B) I would argue that they're very ineffective. Before birth control existed, back when something like sex before marriage was a huge taboo and there were no treatments for STDs, teenagers (and adults too) still had sex, so I don't see why they would be any more deterred now that sex is so much more socially acceptable. So it will not stop teens from having sex. And again, because those teens don't know about birth control methods, they will be at a higher risk for for diseases and unwanted pregnancies than those who are given that information. In that I believe it can do more harm than good. I would rather my child have sex often and ultimately be safe than have sex once and get a disease.

In response to it being a generalization, the fault is my phrasing. Of course it isn't completely ineffective- I'm sure a few teens took it to heart- but the majority of the time it is.
rrapert

Con

First, let me respond to something you said. We both agree that abstinence is the only way to protect yourself from pregnancy or STDs (because, let's face it, birth control CAN be ineffective...there's no fool-proof or error-free method, no matter what some people may claim).

However, to argue that "people will do it anyway" is similar to the argument of let's teach people junk food is fine and guns (no matter how responsible or irresponsible the owner may be)- everyone should own one because people will own it anyway.

In other words, enabling something that's illegal or unsafe or immoral just because everyone does it makes as much sense as telling a person with diabetes "everyone else is eating this pie, come on, you're gonna die anyway, so why not enjoy yourself".

I agree the method may be ineffective, but the principle isn't.
Debate Round No. 2
Miserlou

Pro

I see your point but teaching birth control method isn't saying "sex is fine, don't worry about the consequences". To use your junk food example, we tell people that junk food is bad for them, and educate them on the risks. But still, people eat it; I don't know anyone except those with diabetes or other severe health problems who completely abstain from eating bad snacks. So in light of that, there are pushed to make healthier snacks, think of all the "low fat" stickers you see on labels. As for sex, even if we give people all the information on potential risks, and we should, not everyone is going to listen. It would ideal if humans could act more logically; if it's bad for you, don't do it. But the situational evidence says that they don't. To use history again, unwanted pregnancies and STDs were a problem a hundred years ago when unmarried sex was a much bigger taboo, and birth control hardly even existed. If teenagers were having sex under those circumstances, why would they stop now that our culture accepts it so much more?

I'm not telling people to have sex because everyone is doing it, I'm saying "It's risky and you probably shouldn't, but if you're going to here's how to protect yourself." It may be stupid or immoral (and that's another debate), but the bottom line is that I wouldn't want my child to get and STD or get pregnant early under any circumstances. If they came home with syphilis I wouldn't say "Well, you knew the risks so suck it up". Sex ed is supposed to preventative; we shouldn't want those things happening to anyone.
rrapert

Con

I think the bigger problem here isn't the rise in teenage sex, but rather, the lack of health insurance covering "wellness exams" and other preventative measures that come long before the age of sex. What I mean by that is if insurance was what it was designed to be (and I'm not for health insurance like they have in Canada- it has major flaws, to say the least, or why would they be coming here for surgeries- I'm not talking about the DRUG program, I'm talking about the doctor visits/hospitalization/surgery part), then teens would have access to resources should they choose or find themselves in a sexual position (no pun intended) rather than relying on public schools to do it.

You may be right, abstinence-only ed. isn't effective (or not nearly the way it should be), but maybe your argument would be strengthened by other alternatives than teaching everyone (even those who choose to abstain till their wedding day- which I'm not naive enough to think is the majority of teens, especially those whose parents either aren't around to nurture them OR they had sex at that age too) how to have sex. It's kind of like teaching everyone that evolution is the only way, or that the Bible has no merit as a moralistic book or that President Bush is the devil or something like that.

In other words, it shouldn't be a black and white issue where the two sides are either abstinence-only (which may not work) OR safe sex education - there may be somewhere in the "middle" to embrace.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Miserlou 9 years ago
Miserlou
I think the middle is teaching safe sex while saying emphasizing that abstinence is the only way to really guard against problems. Anyway, good debate.
Posted by Nonce_Love 9 years ago
Nonce_Love
Umm...then why did she use basically the same argument?
I'm not quite sure what you mean either....
Posted by NSG 9 years ago
NSG
Nonce Love, you are getting wrong signals from the debate!
They will do it anyway! That's just what you believe, sex before marriage is morally wrong!
Posted by Nonce_Love 9 years ago
Nonce_Love
So...you think that people just...shouldn't have sex?
Alright. Goodbye human race.
And secondly, it isn't that we should teach people how to do it, because they will do it anyway. It's that we should teach people how to do it SAFELY because they will do it anyway.
So, if we taught diabetics how to eat sweets by using more insulin, then sure, they can have some pie. We aren't telling them, go ahead and do it, but we won't help you figure out how to do it safely. We're telling them, try not to do it, but if you are going to do it anyway, let me help you figure out the safest possible way TO do it.
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by pcmbrown 7 years ago
pcmbrown
MiserlourrapertTied
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Vote Placed by aaeap2 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by Miserlou 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by aaltobartok 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by megan91509 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by thelistman 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by BadBoi 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by rrapert 9 years ago
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