According to a Planned Parenthood publication, condom failure occurs up to 22.3% of the time for those under 20 years of age.

Sex Ed Misleads Youth

by Diane Dew

The twisted linguistics and perverted facts of some school sex educators mislead youth. Flowery phrases like "safe sex" and "responsible behavior" offer promises of pleasure with "protection."

However, if the Curriculum Guide for West Allis' "Human Growth and Development," published by the Educational Administration Center, School District of West Allis-West Milwaukee, is any indication of the instruction being provided our children, these promises are worse than void. They may be deadly.

Just how safe, for example, is "safe sex"?

West Allis' Curriculum Guide claims that condoms are 90-97% effective. According to a Planned Parenthood publication, however, condom failure occurs up to 22.3% of the time for those under 20 years of age.

Even the New England Journal of Medicine, Mar. 23, 1989, suggested possible "first-year failure rates for condom use ... between 10 and 33 percent when the woman was under 25."

Pill-pushers with a passion

And what about "the pill"? Is it "99%" effective, as West Allis sex-educators tell our kids?

According to the published statistics of Planned Parenthood, pill-pushers with a passion, failure rates for oral contraceptives vary from 9.3% to 18.1%. ("Contraceptive Failure in the U.S.," by William R. Grady, Mark D. Hayward and Junichi Yagi, Family Planning Perspectives, Vol. 21, No. 3, May/June 1989)

"Failure rate means that pregnancy will occur within the first year of use.

Further, when school sex-educators present "success rates" of contraception, rather than emphasizing degrees of failure, they send the wrong signal to students. What parent would instruct his or her child, "By the way, if you ever decide to kill yourself, there's an 80% chance the bullet will be in another chamber?


Omitted in West Allis' Curriculum Guide are other significant, though nonflattering, facts about contraceptives. For example, the guide fails to mention that:

* use of the pill can cause problems with conception later on;

* success rates vary with age and hormone production;

* vaginal spermicides may increase the risk of HIV infection (according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, July 22/29, 1992, Vol. 268, No. 4, p. 522, 523).

Usurping parental roles

Under the heading "Using Community Resources," West Allis' Curriculum Guide suggests that teachers "make copies of Wisconsin Statutes concerning confidentiality laws. Example: "Confidentiality for STD Testing and Pregnancy Testing." Teaching children that it's okay to deceive their parents, however, usurps parental roles and undermines the family unit.

In fact, when the Curriculum Guide answers "Where to go for help," it places a "?" after "parents" -- and then suggests the "school nurse" and "health clinics" as advisors.

If youths are fed faulty facts from sex-educators, how accurate is the information provided them by the clinics to which they are referred?

Health clinics

In "AIDS, Why take chances? Protect yourself," a pamphlet distributed by the West Allis Health Department and printed by the Wisconsin Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Health, we read: "how can you become infected with HIV? ... Having sex with an infected person, male or female, without using a condom."

"Without using a condom"? The implication is that using a condom insures one against transmission of the virus!

"If you decide to be sexually active," the pamphlet continues, "you may protect yourself and your partner by ... using condoms when having sexual intercourse."

Another pamphlet distributed by the West Allis Health Department, "STD Facts," simply instructs teens: "Before you have sex, look closely at your partner. Look for any signs of STD -- a rash, a sore, redness or discharge. If you see anything you are worried about, don't have sex!"

Again, the implication is that if you don't "see anything," all is fine. No mention is made of the fact that a carrier may have no symptoms at all, but still transmit an STD!

This is a prime example of how lack of information can be just as dangerous or deadly as information that is incorrect. If you don't think so, consider the whole reason we tach kids about sex in the first place!

The Solution

So ... is there any "safe" sex?

"To prevent heterosexual transmission of HIV infection to women," says Mary E. Guinan, MD, PhD, "our most difficult challenge is to change norms so that celibacy, having one lifetime sexual partner ... becomes the desired community standards ..." (Journal of the American Medical Association, July 22/29, 1992, Vol. 268, No. 4, p. 521)

© Diane Dew 1992 in "The Standard"

Teen pregnancies rise with sex ed costs


Sex education and publicly-funded birth control lead to increases in teen pregnancy, according to a study published in the Education Reporter.

The more a state spends on birth control and abortion, the higher the rate of teen pregnancy, a study by Prof. Jacqueline Kasun, PHD, of Humboldt State University, indicates.

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