Would you give permission for your middle school child to attend a field trip to a drug store to buy condoms?
STOP and THINK about the pros and cons of this educational experience before answering.
The fact that she responded so strongly against allowing middle school children going on this sex education field trip only piqued my interest even more.
After reading the article and weighing my own personal beliefs and opinions on this issue, I’d have to say, yes, I probably would have allowed my sons to go.
Before you lynch me, let me explain.
(And by the way, I just asked MK what he thought about all of this and he shrugged and said, “It would be awkward. But I would rather do that stuff with my friends than with my mom. How weird would that be!”
When I asked him if he thought it was necessary to buy condoms to learn more about sex education, again, he just shrugged and said, “Whatever. It’s not any more embarrassing than watching those films in health class.”)
I’m a semi-conservative Christian (because I don’t agree with everything the conservative Christians stand for I don’t feel comfortable calling myself a full-fledged conservative Christian). So yes, IDEALLY, it would be great if my boys abstained from any sexual activity until after they got married.
But let’s be realistic, shall we?
You can’t watch your kids 24/7. You shouldn’t WANT to; they are their own individuals and when they reach 18, they have the legal right to make their own decisions. If that decision includes having sex before they are married, then I think it’s smart to make sure they have enough facts and education to make the smartest decision.
It’s our job, as their parents, to prepare them to make informed decisions when they get out into the real world. Sometimes those lessons are fun (like teaching them how to cook), sometimes they are not (like teaching them to clean the bathroom) and sometimes, they are downright uncomfortable, (like teaching them about safe sex).
But no one ever said parenting would be easy.
I would much rather teach my children about sex than them learning a bunch of erroneous gobbledygook from their peers. In addition to my teaching them the basics about sex, I could also use that opportunity to teach them the morals and responsibility behind having sex. This is my chance to help them make an informed decision about something as important as having sexual intercourse with someone they love.
Is it an uncomfortable subject to have with my children? Absolutely. Would I prefer they not have sex until they are 30 and married? Of course. Are these realistic expectations?
Look. The more parents make something a big deal, naughty or mysterious, the more kids are determined to DE-mystify it. And they will look for that information wherever they can find it.
If the parents treat sex/intimacy as something dirty, you can bet your bottom dollar the child will grow up with a skewed opinion on something that God intended to be a beautiful experience between two people who love each other.
Sex is not dirty. It’s how some people treat it that makes it dirty. That’s a huge difference, and one that should be taught to our children.
It shouldn’t matter whether your kids are in public, private, or even homeschooled, sex is an important part of life and should be taught regardless of scholastic background.
Two more things about this article that caught my attention:
People of any age can buy condoms – my four year old could buy condoms. A clerk should not refuse to sell condoms to anyone of any age. A patron has no reason to divulge what they intend to do with a purchased product at the request of a clerk – but leaning on the amusing (water balloons!), the honest (I’m buying them for a class), or the lie (I’m buying them for my older sister who’s too embarrassed) are always fine too. My students happened to know that their parents knew exactly what they were doing. It is rare that a teenager can have such confidence. Nevertheless, teenagers are still allowed to buy condoms regardless of whether their parents know what they are doing or not.
For some reason, this shocked me. I guess I just never THOUGHT that a 14-year old would ever NEED to buy condoms. But I suppose it’s that thought that gets people into trouble because if my son ever took matters into his own hands and had sex (God forbid and now I feel like I need to wash my brain with bleach for even THINKING that), I would much rather he have access to condoms than get a sexually transmitted disease or get a young girl pregnant.
*shudder* Gads, this subject is creeping me out but dang it, it’s something that parents really need to take a good hard look at.
The other point I thought was interesting:
Buying condoms and learning how to use them correctly has not made these students any more likely to actually use condoms. But now they all know exactly how to use condoms correctly when the time does come.
If this experience discourages kids from having sex early, then how can it be a bad thing?
If you have a few minutes, you really should click over and read the comments. There’s an interesting discussion going on over there. Dr. Rayne also elaborates on WHO should teach our children about sex education in this post, too. Another good read.
I, for one, think we need to talk about these types of things more often. And definitely not be afraid to talk about something so intimate with our children.
Information is power!