I read with interest your editorial “Sex ed in D.C.” (Sept. 23) and the response from Adam Tenner, the director of Metro TeenAIDS (Mailbox, Monday). As an “old-timer” who witnessed the before and after on this subject, I have to ask Mr. Tenner if he has any statistics that show improvement in arresting the rampant spread of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases as a result of more and earlier sex “education.”
The record will show that the situation actually is many times worse today than it was even a few years ago. Once again, more of the same seems to produce ever worse outcomes.
I recall that when I was a high schooler in the mid-1950s — before the sex education craze — perhaps one or two out of about 2,500 students in our high school had to drop out for a year while they gave birth out of wedlock.
There were no cases of sexually transmitted diseases among the student body. (I don’t know about the teachers.) However, with the advent of sex education, the original minor and manageable problem of regrettable but infrequent teen pregnancy and venereal disease really took off. The “remedy” has worked so well that sex education may be the only subject area in today’s curriculum where homework is widely practiced.
Today’s obsession with sex of all kinds at all ages in all places is perverted. Many of us long for a return to letting children be children and not forcing them to learn about condoms when they’d prefer just to play.
FRANKLYN J. SELZER
Adam Tenner, in his letter responding to your editorial “Sex ed in D.C.,” makes it sound as if his organization, Metro TeenAIDS, is an impartial provider of services for the prevention of HIV/AIDS and teen pregnancy that always keeps parents informed about what is being taught in its programs.
However, it should be noted that Mr. Tenner, as well as Metro TeenAIDS policy manager Jeremy Ogusky, were members of the committee that drafted the District’s new health standards. Most parents don’t know that the new health standards specify that in sixth grade, students will learn “that people, regardless of biological sex, gender, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity and culture, have sexual feeling and the need for love, affection and physical intimacy.” In eighth grade, they will learn to “*efine sexual orientation, using correct terminology, and explain that as people grow and develop, they may begin to feel romantically and/or sexually attracted to people of a different gender and/or to people of the same gender.”
Mr. Ogusky wrote in a March 2007 e-mail sent to local nonprofit organizations: “If in the future, the school board is lobbied by opponents of the new health ed standards, ULTRA Teen Choice will likely be one of them. This is a good opportunity to neutralize them now.” Later in 2007, ULTRA Teen Choice was told by D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, without cause, to stop operations in D.C. public schools; reasons were fabricated afterward.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the great majority of textbooks used in “comprehensive” sex education refer to contraceptive use nine times for every one mention of abstinence, rather than emphasizing the importance of the physical, intellectual, emotional, social and moral reasons for waiting to have sex until marriage or a committed lifetime relationship.
As your editorial states, parents should be the ones to decide when, if and how to discuss gender identity, sexual orientation and contraceptive use.
ULTRA Teen Choice