A T H O L I C
F A M I L Y
SERVICE OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CATHOLIC FAMILIES
Myths on Sex Education
education is a very delicate subject. Our experience
is that many parents are uncomfortable with the sex
education being offered by their children's schools.
But they have no back-up information with which to discuss
these issues with the teachers at school.
: Teenagers need to be taught about safe sex using condoms
The impression is given that condoms are effective
guards against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
and, in particular, against the AIDS virus. But an authoratative
report on condom failure shows that in a 3 month period
52% of users experienced condom bursting or slipping
off. The failures were not due to inexperienced users
or out of date condom stock.
other sort of failure comes from small pinholes. Whilst
these may not be big enough to allow sperm through,
an AIDS virus is 30 times smaller. Which makes it unsurprising
that a World Health Organisation study showed that condoms
users still had a 40% relative risk of catching an STD.
other words. If 100 people get AIDS without condoms,
40 people will get AIDS with condoms.
ask the teacher: "Given that AIDS is a fatal disease,
do you think that reducing the chance of catching it
to 40% could be called 'safe sex'?"
: It is not realistic to teach chastity as a viable
Of course not all teenagers (nor their parents!)
will regard chastity as a realistic option. But many
of them will - especially when presented with the facts.
It is grossly unfair to teenagers to deny them the chance
of discussing chastity as a positive option for their
future! Here are the facts:
* Teenage sex greatly increases the chance of cervical
cancer in later life
* Many STDs are becoming multi-drug resistant and one
of them (AIDS) is usually fatal
* Condoms do not provide sufficient protection to ensure
'safe sex' (see above)
ask the teacher: "Do you think it is right
to promote attitudes that are shown to be positively
harmful to the health of your pupils?"
: There's no point in promoting Natural Family Planning
in sex education classes
Most people reject it because they know nothing about
it. But how can you not give pride of place to a method
* Highly effective and scientifically validated, across
all social classes and in a wide variety of cultures.
* 'Green' (i.e. chemical free) and free from harmful
* Free! (Or, very low cost if you make a one-off purchase
of some of the modern aids to NFP).
* Highly feminine - it tunes the couple in to the natural
cycle of fertility
* For the long term. The divorce rate in marriages where
the couple uses NFP is much lower than the general divorce
ask the teacher: "Is it right that your pupils
should be denied knowledge of an effective, green and
low cost method."
: Sex education is proven to be effective
There are a wide variety of schemes and many are founded
more on hope than on analysis of their real effects.
The constant arrival of new schemes shows how dissatisfied
people are with the old ones - which, when introduced,
were said to be state of the art. We are told that sex
education reduces teenage pregnancy rates (they continue
to increase), reduces teenage STDs (they continue to
increase), promotes responsibility in sex (sex is ever
more casual). Faced with the continuing trends, one
response is 'More sex education', but it's time to ask
'What is the evidence that these schemes are doing more
good than harm?'
ask the teacher: "What evidence do you have
that the sex education course you are using does more
good than harm?"
always encourage response to our articles on modern
myths. We would be especially interested in any US data
relevant to the topic. Feel free to Send your views
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US, Father a spirit of wisdom and
insight, so that we may know the great
hope to which we have been called.
peace and harmony reign among all
the dwellers on the earth.
those who exercise the ministry of
authority in the service of their
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us, O God, to fill up in our own flesh
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ever mindful of your mercy, exalt
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the world from its slavery to corruption,
to share in the glorious freedom of
the children of God.