The Instigator
swellness
Pro (for)
Losing
21 Points
The Contender
schoolglutton
Con (against)
Winning
51 Points

Safe sex should be taught in public schools instead of abstinence.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/13/2007 Category: Education
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,986 times Debate No: 403
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (25)

 

swellness

Pro

The number of growing teen pregnancies and STD rates across the United States proves: abstinence education simply is not doing the job. Teens are just too impulsive to not have sex, especially in this day and age, where sex is everywhere one turns. The media teaches teens to have sex. There is not enough education on how to be safe. While one might think "we all know how to use a condom", there is not enough education. Especially common is the myth that using two or three condoms is better than using one. Teens frequently use condoms wrong, although this may seem like an unproven argument, the statistics are only getting higher, friends, and it is important that teens know their options so that they can be safe.

Even if safe sex goes against some parents' values, it is the right of an American public school system to do all that it can to protect students from STDs and unwanted pregnancies. It is in the best interests of teens across the United States that we teach not only abstinence, but safe sex and contraceptives to all public high school students.
schoolglutton

Con

~~~ Highlighting Fallacies Within the Claim ~~~
The argument you're defending is: "Safe sex should be taught in public schools instead of abstinence."
There are some flaws with this:

Either-or Fallacy
It commits an either-or fallacy. It makes the assumption that there are only two types of education to be taught: safe sex and abstinence. In fact you are ignoring abstinence plus/comprehensive sex education/safer sex education. Your "safe sex" is none of the above and I know of no supporting evidence of any program that only teaches "safe sex."

Safe Sex Does Not Exist
Technically there is no such thing as "safe sex." The term researchers use is "safer sex," which you are not using. Condoms are slightly fallible against protecting against HIV for instance (1). There are also issues with STIs such as herpes and HPV which transmit through skin contact not covered by a barrier method. No one wants a cold sore on their genitals and HPV strains 16 and 18 are associated with cervical cancer (2).

~~~ References ~~~
1. http://www.cdc.gov...
2. http://www.cdc.gov...
Debate Round No. 1
swellness

Pro

swellness forfeited this round.
schoolglutton

Con

I'll continue to clarify my reply from round 1.

Having "safe sex" taught in public schools is impossible because there is no such thing as "safe sex," which I've established in round 1. Instead, I would suggest looking at options which are technically possible such as: abstinence-plus/comprehensive sex education, abstinence-only sex education, nothing at all, or possibly another type of program.

Abstinence-plus/ comprehensive sex education is generally defined in literature as teaching about condoms in addition to the choice of abstinence. Abstinence-only education in literature is generally defined as teaching that abstinence is the only way to go. If the abstinence-only curriculum talks about condoms it's in terms of failure rates. According to the Waxman Report (1), in abstinence-only education there's also a lot of misleading information such as anatomy and physiology errors, errors concerning contraception, and gender stereotypes taught within popular curricula.

Researchers such as Douglas Kirby and DeClemente would suggest comprehensive sex education since, compared to abstinence-only sex education, it reduces high risk sexual behavior and increases the likelihood of condom use with first intercourse. The studies they refer to normally have abstinence only as a comparison group since it acts as a better control group than no form of sex education at all. We're left to infer that comprehensive sex education is better than no sex education.

If there is a conflict with whether sex education belongs in the public school system there is the option for no sex education. This is also an option. However, we're left with questions such as who will provide this information if the school won't? If information is provided elsewhere, can we be confident students will get information from accurate sources? Can we be confident parents are always willing and are competent to teach sex education? Is it not the student's right to have knowledge in order to make better informed decisions, especially when it concerns their own well being?

In summary here, in a choice between "safe sex" education and abstinence-only it's clear we don't have a choice because technically there is no such thing as "safe sex" education. If we recognize that there are more choices than "safe sex" education (which technically is impossible and therefore not really a choice) and abstinence only (which doesn't sound too wonderful), we can look at other options such as comprehensive sex education or no sex education at all. My argument is that we technically cannot choose the option given. Therefore, we must choose an option we technically can choose; so, we must choose something else. Also, as the band Rush so wisely states: "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice."

References:

1. http://oversight.house.gov...
Debate Round No. 2
swellness

Pro

swellness forfeited this round.
schoolglutton

Con

My response in round two sums up my argument for this debate. To meet the character requirements, I'll give online resources for further information:

Guttmacher: http://www.guttmacher.org...
Centers for Disease Control: http://www.cdc.gov...
Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S.: http://www.siecus.org...
Planned Parenthood: http://www.plannedparenthood.org...
Kaiser Family Foundation: http://www.kff.org...
Continuum Complete International Encyclopedia of Human Sexuality: http://www2.hu-berlin.de...
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by spencetheguy 9 years ago
spencetheguy
so swellness says we should listen to the media and have sex? wrong.
Posted by raissaguldam_cassiopeia 9 years ago
raissaguldam_cassiopeia
congratulations school glutton...!!

nice presentation of arguments...and nice points!...

YOU'LL WIN THIS!
25 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by U.n 1 year ago
U.n
swellnessschoolgluttonTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeited turns.
Vote Placed by schoolglutton 8 years ago
schoolglutton
swellnessschoolgluttonTied
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Vote Placed by lastronin 8 years ago
lastronin
swellnessschoolgluttonTied
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Vote Placed by spencetheguy 9 years ago
spencetheguy
swellnessschoolgluttonTied
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Vote Placed by mors202 9 years ago
mors202
swellnessschoolgluttonTied
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Vote Placed by BadBoi 9 years ago
BadBoi
swellnessschoolgluttonTied
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Vote Placed by aaltobartok 9 years ago
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swellnessschoolgluttonTied
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Vote Placed by phunkyboy123 9 years ago
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swellnessschoolgluttonTied
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Vote Placed by PoeJoe 9 years ago
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swellnessschoolgluttonTied
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Vote Placed by Rousseau 9 years ago
Rousseau
swellnessschoolgluttonTied
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