This Illinois Law Banning Abstinence Education Makes Me Happy
I went to high school in the Chicago area, and here’s the only thing I remember from sex-ed class. My teacher, a track coach, asked the class, “why do you think people have sex?” One of the popular girls spoke up, “because it feels good,” and immediately blushed. You know what I thought? I thought she was lying. Not about it feeling good, but about knowing that it felt good, because I honestly didn’t believe any of my fellow fifteen year-old classmates could possibly be having sex. Because that was something married people did.
Holy shit, I was delusional, huh? Anyway. We probably learned about birth control, and I do remember learning a few things about the female reproductive system. We definitely didn’t do the condom/banana thing, because I’m sure I would’ve remembered that.Â Oh, and we watched this really horrible Kirsten Dunst movie called Fifteen and Pregnant, which was supposed to discourage us from having sex, I think?
Well, I’m happy to announce that the times are a’ changing, and that Illinois law will soon ban abstinence education.
Think Progress reports:
Illinoisâ€™Â current lawÂ requires sex ed classes to emphasize abstinence as â€œthe expected norm,â€ and stipulates that â€œcourse material and instruction shall stress that pupils should abstain from sexual intercourse until they are ready for marriage.â€ Public schools can choose between teaching abstinence-only education, using a mix of stressing abstinence while providing comprehensive information about birth control and condoms, or simply declining to provide any sex ed instruction. Under HB 2675, schools wonâ€™t be able to choose the abstinence-only option anymore â€” theyâ€™ll need to either offer comprehensive information about prevention methods, or decide not to offer any sex ed courses whatsoever.
Despite having obtained my sex education in Illinois, I am still shocked that the only three options for schools, until now, were abstinence-only, abstinence-emphasized-slut-shaming, or no sex education at all. How does that make any sense?!
I can practically hear the conservative parents rattling off objections now (I have a group of conservatives that rent space in my head, by the way. They help me keep it real). But if schools don’t emphasize abstinence, it’s the same as teachers telling our kids to go have sex!
Except no. I am speaking from experience as a former Christian girl when I say this: the only thing that made me decide to have sex before marriage was me. This shouldn’t matter, but I will mention that I was conventionally attractive, as well, so it’s not like I couldn’t have had sex.
Clearly, I don’t remember much from my freshman sex ed class. However, I do remember my mentality as a fifteen year-old girl. Even if that teacher had stood up there and repeated daily, “sex is the best! Sex sex sex! Sex will make you happy and fulfilled and you won’t get pregnant or get a disease, ever!” I still wouldn’t have done it until I was good and ready. One semester with a teacher could have never undone fifteen years of guidance by my parents and church. So unless your kid is a huge brainless pushover, you probably don’t need to worry about this new law.