Congressional Report - Christians Are Correct, Abstinence Education is Best Sex-Ed Approach

By: Tia Johnson 0 Comments   7/17/2012

My husband and I must be the exception. Then again, so must millions of other high-schoolers. In fact, maybe our choice is not so out-of-this-world: we were both virgins when we married.

He was 28 years old when we married and I was 23. Though we both had the opportunity to give up our virginity before marriage, to us it simply was not an option.

Because of our decision to abstain from sex until marriage, we currently reap a host of blessings: we do not carry the emotional baggage from casual sex nor sexually transmitted diseases.

Our kids were born after we had unified as a couple and they have no health complications (which can result from STDs). We and others are evidence that abstinence before marriage not only is possible; it's incredibly beneficial. 

Some in Congress agree. In the resently released report by the House Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee, abstinence education was compared with "sexual risk reduction" or "comprehensive" education, and the report concluded that abstinence education was much more deserving of "policy priority."

Valerie Huber was quoted in the article at that the policy changes in the report may be implemented in the Abstinence Education Reallocation Act, which would award grants for public and private groups who teach sexual abstinence until marriage as the best approach for teens today.

The AERA was referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions last March and has a long way to go before and if it becomes enacted.

Sadly, the cry against abstinence-only education in public schools is that "they're going to do it anyway."

A blaring red alarm sounds amid such reasoning. At the heart of it is a deadening expectation that teens don't have self-control. Such an expectation, coupled with compromising alternatives like condoms or birth control, discourages the flame of ambition to do what is right. What are we saying to these kids? "We know it's difficult out there..." You're weak and can't control yourself... "So take this with you, just in case..." Go ahead and do it, even though we know it's not best for you..."

On the other hand, encouraging a teen to take the higher and harder road not only leads to much more self-respect; it also sets the standard for "adult" decision making, which is what we should be preparing kids for, anyway. Teens need to be aware of how their decisions about sex now will navigate the course of their future.

The benefits of abstinence before marriage are innumerable. Saving sex for marriage results in stronger marriages and stronger families, fewer teen pregnancies and single-parent families, and lower cases of divorce (since sex ranks high in matters related to divorce). But there's more. Abstinence-only education empowers teens to take on a healthy challenge. It instills in them self-respect and a standard that will result in blessings through adulthood.

The legislation described above would not only reduce teen pregnancies and lay up a stronger path for marriage-- it would also avoid health complications in children born to parents who have had a sexually transmitted disease from other sexual engagements.

We are currently expecting our third child and are free from concern over complications from herpes, genital warts, etc. in our pregnancy.

But some are not so free.

One young man shared his story in the book Bringing Up Girls by James Dobson. He describes how his choice to have sex before marriage has resulted in a herpes virus that has threatened the life of his baby girl. She survived the initial onset. Though the virus had eaten through part of her liver, it had not attacked her brain. Still, her healthcare is permanently impacted, and the virus could attack again.

"It'll be a threat to my little girl's health for the rest of her life," this father, Steve, said. "And it all started with the lie of casual sex, the lie that casual sex feels great and hurts no one. It's the lie I was taught in high school sex-ed class. It's the lie that kids are now taught in middle school sex-ed class..."

He described that the herpes virus was passed on to his wife during pregnancy, even though they were very careful to have sex only when they thought it was safe. Yet herpes can be passed on even with condom use and without an apparent outbreak, he said.

"I'm reminded of the lie of casual sex by the blisters on my daughter's tiny fingers-- painful blisters that never seem to go away. And I'm reminded by her fight for life. Casual sex... see for yourself. Then ask, 'What can I do to help stop the lie?'"

Would abstinence-only education have helped him? Maybe. How about condoms? Obviously not.

I'm guessing that now he wishes he had been man enough to save sex for marriage.

"Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart." 2 Timothy 2:22

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