Thursday, January 24, 2008
I'm reading my brother's Health textbook, Glencoe Health, and finding it a little disturbing. The book is really pro-abstinence. How pro-abstinence? Well, I can't find "birth control," "contraception" or "condom" in the glossary. They're not even discussed.
In the chapter entitled, "Abstinence; A Responsible Decision," abstinence is defined as "a deliberate decision to avoid high-risk behaviors, including sexual activity before marriage..." Well, I prefer the definition of "any self-restraint, self-denial, or forbearance" (dictionary.com), but I suppose I can let that slide, even if I think "high-risk" does not necessarily describe premarital sex.
But later, the textbook explains, "One of the important benefits of abstinence is that it leads to healthy feelings of self-respect." Excuse me, I've been abstinent for 23 years and I can tell you, my self-respect is at an all-time low. So there.
The book continues, "Often, the fear of being caught leads teens who engage in such activity to begin lying to parents or others. This dishonesty can cause emotional trauma..." You know, maybe there's a reason adolescents become sexually active, maybe they enjoy it, and maybe that dishonesty might not be an issue in an open, accepting and informed family that advocates safe prevention. Maybe it's unhealthy to have an unrealistic expectation for sexual behavior. Why isn't this viewpoint explored?
This textbook has a very biased agenda and it's unfortunate my brothers' are receiving such an ill-informed, myopic "education."