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Here's some terrific evidence of the effectiveness of abstinence-based sex ed in Texas: not only does the state have among the highest teen pregnancy rates in the country, but Texas is also pretty darn good at promoting sexually transmitted diseases, too! See, for instance, the happily-shagging teens of the Crane Independent School District in west Texas, where one in 15 students at the high school have chlamydia.

This is not to say that Crane schools don't teach sex ed at all -- they proudly offer three whole days of sex ed, once a year, and it isn't even an abstinence-only curriculum! Rather, it's an abstinence-mostly approach: the districts School Health Advisory Committee recommended in 2012 that schools use an "abstinence plus" curriculum called "Worth the Wait," although it's not altogether clear whether the curriculum was formally adopted. A 2008 review of that curriculum by the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States characterized "Worth the Wait" in some pretty glowing terms, explaining that it

focuses on the negative repercussions of sexual activity; it discusses the possibility of unintended pregnancy and STDs, including HIV and goes on to blame teen sexual behavior for all sorts of individual and societal problems. Students are told that sexual activity leads to depression, suicide, and divorce later in life, and that “teenage sexual activity can create a multitude of medical, legal, and economic problems not only for the individuals having sex but for society as a whole.”

The review noted that the curriculum uses "messages of fear and shame" to scare students away from premarital sex, which is almost always deadly and will make you really, really impure, as illustrated in the story of "The Town Statue," a ripping yarn which goes like this:

The curriculum explains that a mayor of a small town had a beautiful statue placed in a park, and told the townspeople that the lustrous golden metal would turn “a putrid shade of green if handled too much.” A year after the statue was erected, the mayor held a celebration in honor of the statue, only to find that the golden statue had turned green, because everyone had thought that “one touch would not hurt.” The story ends with the statement, “what each person thought was a harmless touch turned into the total destruction of a beautiful statue.”

In addition, the curriculum has all the hallmarks of abstinence-mostly programs, with exaggerations of the failure rates of contraception, depictions of sex as an irresistibly corrupting force, and of course an overarching message that teens who don't do sex are morally superior to their filthy fallen peers.

And yet it appears that a whole bunch of teens at Crane High School have been rubbing against more than just statues in the town square, because the Texas Department of State Health Services informed the school district that at least 20 of the school's 300 students have chlamydia, prompting the district to send a warning letter first to parents of high school students, and later, just to be on the safe side, to parents of middle schoolers as well, although the outbreak has so far been confined to high school students.

 

The school officials met Monday to discuss possible changes to the district's sex-ed policies, and will make a recommendation to the school board May 19, but there's probably no need to worry that the schools will start flinging condoms around anytime soon. Texas law requires that all sex-ed classes emphasize abstinence, although they're allowed to mention birth control, albeit mostly as something that will fail and kill you with AIDS and teen pregnancy. And the Crane ISD Superintendent, Jim T. Rumage, is pretty big on the perfect record that abstinence has:

“If kids are not having any sexual activity, they can’t get this disease … That’s not a bad program,” Rumage said.

Oh, sure, that "if" is already kind of the problem, seeing as how abstinence is only 100% effective when you assume perfectly spherical humans in a frictionless, gravity-free vacuum, but the math definitely works.

It is not known whether Crane ISD will also reform its drivers education program by telling students that if they never drive a car or go near a road, they will never get into traffic accidents. Seat belts just encourage people to go out and drive, after all.

Also, too, go read the full review of that "Worth the Wait" curriculum, which may be worth a post all by itself some Sunday when Yr. Dok Zoom feels like starting to drink at 7 AM.

[MySanAntonio.com / KOSA-TV / Salon / ABC News / SEICUS Community Action Kit: "Worth The Wait"]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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