The Instigator
FreakyGothGirl6
Con (against)
Winning
42 Points
The Contender
albachteng
Pro (for)
Losing
9 Points

abstinence only education taught in public schools

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/15/2007 Category: Education
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,696 times Debate No: 464
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (17)

 

FreakyGothGirl6

Con

Today in America, we currently have a "abstinence only" policy in effect. By this, it means, teachers who have to educate the young minds of our society, are being censored to what they are allow to teach their students. They are being forced by this law to say us that sex is bad, and just cannot happen outside of marriage, because you'll reap incomprehensible consequences.

"What is I want to have sex before I get married?...Well, then I guess you have to just be prepared to die. And you'll probably take your spouse and one or more of your children with you." Quoted from "no Second Chance" an abstinence only sex ed video.

How does using scare tactics make people stop having sex? Yes, a few people are probably going to be afraid to have sex when they hear that....but that majority of American teens, aren't going to care, and will probably have sex. The problem with this picture now is, American teen doesn't believe this information and has sex UNPROTECTED. So now we are getting into unwanted pregnancies and STD's. Yea if you have marriage outside of wedlock, and uninformed about protection, then it makes sense that when they get and STD they won't know it, and it could possibly one day kill them.

Statistics are against abstinence only education as well.

"In a country where six in ten women and seven and ten have had sexual intercourse by t heir eighteenth birthday, most people don't get married until they are twenty-five,and the rate of unintended pregnancy is one of the highest in the Western world..."

The Netherlands has the lowest teen birthrate in the world, and guess what....They start teaching sex ed in PRESCHOOL, and throughout the children's academic lives. In a state that teaches nothing but abstinence only, their rate was 69.3 out of every 1000 girls, compared to our national average of 55 out of 1000.

I think they statistics are proof enough, that the Bush administration has screwed thing royally by imposing this abstinence only policy.
albachteng

Pro

Hello, freakygothgirl. I like your photo, and your argument. Although I firmly believe that you are correct, I will take up the negative position because I believe that abstinence only programs as set up in the united states do have some rewarding qualities.

I'll begin by discussing the resolution: since the topic of this debate is "abstinence only education taught in public high schools" I'm left with a bit of a question as to what I need to prove. arguing that abstinence only is "good" or "bad" would be pretty insufficient to reach any satisfying conclusion in this debate, so I will simply attempt to refute your points and push forward the theory that abstinence only is an acceptable means to prevent teen pregnancy, stds, etc. Note that I'm not going to try to prove that abstinence only teaching is "better," rather, I am simply saying that it is acceptable, which is sufficient to disprove your argument and warrant a vote for me.

as a general overview of my preconceptions/assumptions, most of my case buys into the reasoning that one will not get pregnant, one will not get AIDS, and one will not go to jail for statutory rape if one does not have sex. It's not really arguable, but it *does* rest on the assumption that abstinence only programs actually encourage abstinence. This is not an unreasonable assumption, especially in the face of my opponent's argument for comprehensive sex education - by teaching children about condoms and birth control, they are effectively encouraging students to have sex. My opponent will most likely argue that this is ok, since a comprehensive sex education will include with ways to prevent pregnancy, stds, etc., but it fails on two levels - first, by probability. There is virtually no way that a student will get pregnant, contract aids, or go to jail for statutory rape if s/he does not have sex, but even with condoms and birth control, the possibility is very real, and more common than you might think. because i dislike statistics, i will refrain from posting them here, but look up statistics on birthrates *with* condoms, and you will be surprised. Second, my opponent fails to address the issue of statutory rape and religious sensitivities, which I address below.

My first argument is that sex education is controversial in a religious context, and since we in America (i am of course, assuming that we are talking about sex education in America here) are guaranteed a right to freedom of religion, we ought not educate children about sex in any way that goes against religious doctrine. If, as an alternative to abstinence only, we were to teach children of birth control, we would (in the eyes of, say, a christian) be encouraging children to have sex out of wedlock which is offensive to their relgious beliefs. Since abstinence would in fact solve all the problems the government is concerned with (STDs, pregnancy, etc.) abstinence is an appropriate method to teach children about dealing with sex. By doing so, we are not infringing on anyone's right to teach his or her children a religious moral code, and we would be effectively dealing with the issues we are most concerned with. While i made this argument in a fairly U.S. specific manner, one could really apply this argument anywhere in the world where religion is an issue.

My second argument is that sex education proposing abstinence only prevents statutory rape. Statutory rape, for those of you unfamiliar, is when a person above a certain age has sex with a person below a certain age. For example, in Pennsylvania (i only know this because it's where I live) 18 year olds having sex with 14 year olds is considered rape, even if the sex was consensual, and the 18 year old can serve prison time. In one famous instance, a young black man accused of statutory rape was sentenced to ten years in prison - for sex that the court agreed was consensual. Statutory rape was set up in an effort to prevent teenage pregnancy and to stop adults from taking advantage of young teens. Obviously, this is a very sad situation, and if we truly wish to avoid these situations, abstinence only would certainly seem the better option.

Moving on to my opponent's case.

First, while not necessarily important to this debate, my opponent makes a false claim - that America has an abstinence only "policy" in effect. This is not true. according to the Kaiser Foundation (involved primarily in sex education in the U.S.) in their report on sex education in the U.S., 58% of schools report that they teach a comprehensive program. Note that comprehensive could mean that their overall message is "abstinence only works," while still teaching about other methods so that students are fully educated. Abstinence-only does not necessarily mean that schools give no information on birth-control, condoms, etc. Since my opponent's argument is that teachers are being "forced by law" to not teach about other methods, my opponent's false claim is important.

to be frank, my opponent's quote was a little ridiculous. obviously whoever made that sex-ed video wasn't very intelligent, and scare tactics are wrong. However, since abstinence only programs do not necessarily advocate such radical positions (as that quote does) it's really not necessary for me to prove that scare tactics are good. However, if we are honest, scaring children might be a little bit inevitable - the truth is that having sex carries a risk with it, and children need to know that so that they can make informed decisions. In terms of education, we really have a moral obligation to inform children about the risks of sex, and discourage them from having sex until they are older, and possibly married. (where there is no risk of contractin viruses, etc.)

my opponent does not warrant her claim that "majority of American teens, aren't going to care, and will probably have sex. The problem with this picture now is, American teen doesn't believe this information and has sex UNPROTECTED." Even if you believe what she is saying, however, it doesn't matter. obviously, some teens aren't going to "care about it", and have unprotected sex, but then again, this is true of comprehensive as well as abstinence only programs of sex-ed. If my opponent cannot show how comprehensive sex-ed policies encourage *more* unprotected sex, then this argument really has no merit.

Finally, your netherlands example was a little confusing to me. Read it over - it seems to imply that netherlands teaches abstinence only and has a hither pregnancy rate, but then before that it says that the netherlands has a very low pregnancy rate. Did you perhaps mistype?

already, I am enjoying this debate. thank you so much for the opportunity, and i hope to hear from you soon!
Debate Round No. 1
FreakyGothGirl6

Con

My first point against my opponent will be about religion. Now I'm going to go on the assumption that a majority of America is Christian (even if that means 50.000000001% or 100%) and I like statistics in debates, because it shows some research was done, and its not just an assumption (like I am doing above) but back to the point.

"Only 1 to 5 percent of parents remove their children from class that provide comprehensive sexual education"

Now take caution because that about statistic doesn't only deal with religious reasons, that 1 - 5 percent could be for any reason. So,

"Almost eight in ten conservative Christians support sexuality education...",

and this is where I use my assumption at. By no means should a school make a student learn something if the parents does not want it. It looks to me that the parents of America WANT their children to learn about sexuality in school. Now I know a lot of parents aren't comfortable in teaching their children in depth sexuality information, so it makes it so much easier to make it someone else's responsibility.

My second argument has to do with the comments you made about statutory rape. Abstinence only education and statutory rape overall are independent of each other. Adults can probably talk stupid teenagers into having sex with them if the teenager doesn't know what they are doing really is sex. In states where abstinence only education is taught, a vast amount believe that oral sex isn't sex....and anal sex isn't sex....only vaginal sex is sex. Now because of this, STD's are still being transferred. So now we have a teen that doesn't realize they are performing some sexual act, possibly has an STD...AND is doing something illegal by doing said acts with an adult.

"Abstinence-only does not necessarily mean that schools give no information on birth-control, condoms, etc. Since my opponent's argument is that teachers are being "forced by law" to not teach about other methods, my opponent's false claim is important."

Oh you are very correct here. They DO give information about birth control, condoms, etc. (I will speak later about the teacher statement.

"Not only do abstinence programs suggest that condoms won't protect students from unintended pregnancies or sexually transmitted infections, they convey the message that using them is extraordinarily difficult...Choosing Best says that for condoms to be used properly, over ten specific steps must be followed every time."

You and I both should know it is pretty easy to put a condom on. Man gets erection...open package without puncturing contents inside (duh, holes let semen through) make sure the right side is sliding down penis....and you are good to go. Now that doesn't sound like ten steps to me.

This leads me into my next argument. Teens in America have sex, its only fair for them to have correct unbiased information. Yes I believe that a person should abstain from a sexual relationship until they are prepared for the possible consequences (i.e. pregnancy, STD's, relationship issues, etc.) however we know that just isn't the norm in America. Now is it fair for teachers to be censored.

"Sexuality education teachers are disciplined for doing their jobs. In Belton, Missouri, a seventh grade health teacher was suspended when a parent complained that she had discussed "inappropriate" sexual matters in class. The teacher had answered a student's query about oral sex. In Orlando, Florida, a teacher was suspended when he showed a student-made videotape called Condom Man and his K-Y Commandos, about preventing AIDS transmission ("Belton Teacher...," 1998; Berry, 1999; Pulley & Carroll, 1998)." (http://www.plannedparenthood.org...)

That is a pretty ridiculous thing to have happened. Anyone has the right to information, and America has freedom of speech. Yes, we can't go around ranting and raving like a lunatic dropping F-bombs, but talking about oral sex doesn't seem like such an issue to me. Another teacher getting in trouble for showing a movie about prevention of AIDS through the use of condoms...yes the movie was produced by an amateur, but if the teacher felt the information was correct, and worthy of being show in class, it probably had some merit. One day people will have to learn this information, why wait until its too late and they have an unintended pregnancy and/or STD's?

Now onto the statement of "we have an abstinence only policy in effect" I'm not false on this information. The federal government provide funding to schools that teach abstinence only. If said school teaches about anything but abstinence, they will not receive funding. This causes a big problem for some schools, because that funding can be very important.

"The only federal program for sex education is abstinence-only until-marriage. It's really accelerated since 2000-1. That's about the time the Bush administration came into office. They really have seen abstinence as the answer to teen pregnancy and teen birth and also to STD rates among teens. They would say that abstinence—if practiced perfectly, of course—is 100 percent effective in preventing teen birth such as this. We know that abstinence until marriage is not the norm in the United States … Very few young people are sexually active by age 15, but by age 20, 70 percent of young people are sexually active." (http://www.newsweek.com...)

Obviously I'm not false about this information. I may have said policy, and meant program, and for that I apologize if it made a HUGE difference.

As for the Netherlands comment, I missed some words in that...sorry about that it should have said

"The Netherlands has the lowest teen birth rate in the world, and guess what....They start teaching sex ed in PRESCHOOL, and throughout the children's academic lives.[NOW IN AMERICA THERE IS] a state that teaches nothing but abstinence only, their rate was 69.3 out of every 1000 girls, compared to our national average of 55 out of 1000."

My closing statement for now is, teaching abstinence is not wrong. I believe wholeheartedly that teens should be taught to wait. Sex isn't bad, but it can be very destructive, especially to bodies and minds that are not prepared to handle it. The problem we face in America is, teens have sex whether they are prepared or not and by only teaching abstinence we are depriving the American teenager of something that could save a life. Yes abstinence in every case will protect one from getting pregnant and STDs...but for the people that don't abstain, they have the right to learn correct unbiased information.

(You definitely did well for this debate not agreeing with the subject you are debating. This is my first debate on here, so I'm not exactly great at it yet, but here's to trying)
albachteng

Pro

albachteng forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
FreakyGothGirl6

Con

FreakyGothGirl6 forfeited this round.
albachteng

Pro

albachteng forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by HoosierPapi 9 years ago
HoosierPapi
Freakygoth is not only correct in this debate, she made excellent points. And she is easy on the eyes. :)
Posted by bluejoewho 9 years ago
bluejoewho
personally, I don't think it should be taught period. This should be taught by parents not schools.
Posted by FreakyGothGirl6 9 years ago
FreakyGothGirl6
wow that is absolutely awesome....when I go to college...I'm gonna do that.....

thanks for the great idea

*props to the sis*
Posted by Stashu18 9 years ago
Stashu18
i felt that albachteng didnt really believe in what he was saying because alot of the stuff he said was just rubbish such as the whole part on religion it shows support for religions who view abstinence only and no others and i agree full heartedly with freakygothgirl because if it is not taught and taught properly we will end up with more pregnancies and std's
which is and will continue to be a problem until the schools start promoting safe sex methods. My sister who is an Room assistant at Adrian college knows that many of the kids in her dorm have not been taught safe sex methods so she actually help a meeting for all the girls in the dorm to inform those who wanted to know and now tapes condoms to her door to promotes safe sex
Posted by transpicuous 9 years ago
transpicuous
Albachteng must realize that religious liberty and seperation of church and state go hand in hand. I believe that the government should not interfere with religion by persecution or by promotion. And by actively trying to teach in public schools ideas that are non-offensive to a particular religion is a form of support that must be avoided. Our founders worked hard to find a secular nation that is based upon reason and liberty. To base policy on whether or not it is offensive to christians is an offensive idea in itself.
Posted by FreakyGothGirl6 9 years ago
FreakyGothGirl6
I'm sad to see that this account was shut down, this could have been a better first debate for myself
Posted by FreakyGothGirl6 9 years ago
FreakyGothGirl6
When you say the other side....do you mean the side I'm debating?
Posted by albachteng 9 years ago
albachteng
this is a good topic. I'd really like to debate the other side though.
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Vote Placed by HoosierPapi 9 years ago
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