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Let's Talk About Sex

Teen girls comfort "simulated baby" dolls at the Child Support Agency in Appleton, Wis., in a program that teaches youth about the responsibilities of pregnancy. - Photo: AP/WideWorld Photos

Why aren't we telling kids the full story?

Half of all teens in the United States are sexually active. There is clear evidence that comprehensive sex education prevents pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. But the Bush administration and its conservative allies are pushing critical facts about sex and its consequences out of the classroom, in favor of incomplete -- but more politically palatable -- sex education programs.

And it didn't start with Bush. Religious fundamentalists successfully pushed stealth legislation aimed at gutting sex-education curricula in 1997, during the Clinton administration.

Rethinking Schools believes all students should have access to appropriate, comprehensive information about sex, sexuality and the consequences of bringing children into the world. We present this Special Collection of articles and resources on sex education.

Rethinking Schools gratefully acknowledges the Brico Fund's support of this collection.

Abstinence-Only Education Continues to Flourish
By Priscilla Pardini
If half of U.S. teens are sexually active, why aren't we giving them the full story?

'I Chose the Baby'
by Priscilla Pardini
Without support, the consequences for young moms can be devastating.

A Supportive Place for Teen Parents
By Priscilla Pardini
Teen moms flourish at Lady Pitts High School in Milwaukee.

Federal Law Mandates 'Abstinence-Only' Sex Ed
By Priscilla Pardini
A look at how religious fundamentalists successfully pushed stealth legislation aimed at gutting sex-education curricula.

'Vows of Abstinence Break More Easily than Latex Condoms'
an interview w/ Joycelyn Elders
Outspoken former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders on the fallacies of the abstinence-only approach to sex ed and the critical need for comprehensive sexuality education.

Preaching Ain't Teaching: Sex Education and America's New Puritans
by Alan Singer
Why focusing on abstinence-only is futile.

A Review of the "Sexuality, Commitment and Family" Curriculum
by Alan Singer
Singer pulls apart a one-sided "abstinence-based" sex ed curriculum

Spring 2003