Conservative Sex Education

Now that the vilification of Sarah Palin has died down from the barrage of a useless US media, I thought that I would comment on the real issue in her 17-year-old daughter’s pregnancy. I had to sit back and figure out what I would have done if I were in that same situation. My conclusion? The new Republican VP pick is an embarrassment to Republicans; however, she is not an embarrassment to parents.

It may come as a surprise to some of you, but I actually have a daughter that is not much younger than Bristol Palin. She is at that age where her hormones are raging and doesn’t quite understand her emotions or the emotional impact of having a sexual experience at a young age.

I’ve lived in both the most liberal area of the United States and in one of the most conservative areas of the United States. Guess what I’ve come to understand? Abstinence education doesn’t work. You can’t stick your head in the sand and expect that your children will just get it. The “No See Evil” conservative approach never works. It’s time for all parents to become proactive about their children’s sex education.

Please don’t leave such an important topic to the government to dictate.

It’s time for parents to step up and educate their children at a younger age. My first talk with my daughter about sexuality was at 5 years old. At the time, it was an age-appropriate response. Words were used that she could understand. She understood on a very simple level that people express their love together. By far from graphical, it started our dialog that has evolved over the years.

I typically take the time to have a talk with her about every six months as she matures to a beautiful woman. Each time I tell her I need to have a talk with her about sex, she gives me the teenage daughter eye roll with a, “Oh my gosh dad, again?”

Our discussion has ranged from “what do boys want” to, “what it means to become a parent at such a young age” (her childhood is over), to, “what contraceptive options that she has.”

As Bristol Palin’s pregnancy became an Issue, I formulated an idea of what myself and her mother should discuss with my daughter. While I would prefer that she never have sex, I realize that that’s not an option. I remember how I was at that age.

I decided to approach her from the side of contraception. In a nutshell, I think the best approach is to have my daughter understand that if and when she decides to have sex, she needs to be covered by more than one type of contraception. Basically, I want to see her on the Pill as well as have an understanding with her that under NO circumstance should she EVER have sex without using a condom. This is not only to protect her from getting pregnant, but it takes a step further to protect her from sexually transmitted diseases.

Understanding that we’re living in a fairly conservative area, I went so far as to make sure that I have condoms in my home that are readily available to her and her friends. These condoms also contain spermicide, for added protection.

I find it sad that in areas in which a conservative Republican mindset is the norm, children are not taught about sex from the people they trust, or should trust most, their parents. Instead, this important part of maturing into an adult is left to the State and to God to make sure that they don’t have little icky grandchildren running around. It has been proven OVER and OVER again that ignoring an issue doesn’t make it go away.

It’s embarrassing for conservatives that John McCain would pick someone as the VP who has pregnant unmarried teenage daughter. But it would be far more embarrassing (and ironic) if a Lingerie/Adult storeowner’s daughter were pregnant…  What with all of the available contraception at their fingertips! Many unwanted pregnancies could be prevented in our country if adults were willing to take advantage of tools and technology and combine those with good, age-appropriate healthy education. That is true care, love and respect for our children and their bodies and minds.

Jason Vance


3 Responses to “Conservative Sex Education”

  1. 1 stellastewart September 5, 2008 at 8:00 am

    what is so bad about abstinence? lets see: having confidence and pride in yourself, not having any of those regrets, making your marriage special, not worrying about pregnancy or std’s, regarding yourself as special and sacred…ohhh no! god forbid! how horrible. lets just tell everybody that they are worthless so its no big deal.

  2. 2 sabrinabual September 5, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    If this article was promoting teenage sex and telling people to go out and have as much sex as possible then your comment would have a little more value. But since this article is talking more about keeping your children educated and safe, your comment doesn’t carry much weight.
    1) There is nothing wrong with abstinence and as a parent I would hope my children would follow that route but as a realist I understand that they are going to have sex and the best thing I can do for them is to teach them safety comes first and to never have unprotected sex because it can lead to a unwanted birth and worse a std.
    2) When did having sex make a person worthless? So people who have pre marital sex now have no pride in themselves? How much sense does that statement make?

    As parents whether we like it or not we have to take active roles in our children’s education not just acedemically but also socially, morally and YES sexually, but it doesn’t stop there we also have to teach them about drugs and alcohol. If as parents we put our heads in the sand and allow others to teach our children sex education when it should come from us then in essence we are telling our children that as parents our jobs stop once they start school and that their education lays solely at the discretion of their teachers. NOT!! I brought my children into the world and I will teach them the importance of safety always comes first. Kids grow up and we can’t make their choices for them but if we have taught them the ways to keep them safe as well as the pros to not doing certain things then we have done our jobs and it is up to them to make the proper choices.

  3. 3 Moderator September 11, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    This was a very good read. I wrote something kind of similar about how Governor Palin’s daughter Bristol could be a lightning-rod for people to discuss sex ed in a level-headed manner. I didn’t lay everything on the backs of the parents because I know that there are children out there that will not hear anything about sex from their parents. I think a lot of the education has to come from the schools. If the schools can get the kids talking in class, then the kids shouldn’t feel so awkward talking about sex with their parents.

    When I was a teenager, my dad took me out to the crabapple tree and told me the facts of life. He said, “If you ever need some money to get a hooker, let me know.” I swear to all that is good in the world, that is exactly what he said. I had to find out the rest all on my own.

    That is what shaped my opinion of public school supplied sexual education. Thank you.

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