Missionary Position

Missionary Position

The D.C. school system has begun teaching abstinence-only
classes as an alternative to sex education in their junior high and
middle schools. The curriculum, called ‘I’m Worth the Wait,’
focuses on building self-esteem and convincing children to wait for
sex until marriage.

Helena Valentine, program administrator of Catholic Charities’ Teen
Life Choices (TLC) programs, tells Christina Larson in the
Washington City Paper that she wants to give teens hope and help
them develop their futures. ‘But if the student wants to talk about
sex or contraception,’ writes Larson, ‘Valentine cuts the
discussion short. ‘No, there’s absolutely no discussion of condoms.
This is a total abstinence program. If it’s mentioned, we say
there’s no such thing as safe sex.”

Classes such as TLC instead offer advice on how to take care of
acne, since the program’s founders believe that children who feel
good about their selves and are happy with their appearance are
less likely to engage in premarital sex. Thirty-one percent of teen
births in the D.C. school district are repeat pregnancies, but kids
who already have had sex are not vilified by the program, which
sells students the idea of ‘secondary virginity’ as long as they
postpone further sexual activity until marriage.
–Nick Garafola
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