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All Sex Is Local

The National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA) recently surveyed abstinence instruction initiatives gaining ground in the United States. All have one thing in common: They are local propositions decided upon locally.

Arguably, this is where the issue of sex education belongs.

“The Forrest County School Board will be one step closer to implementing a sex education policy for the school district today,” the Hattiesburg American [1] reported on May 13, 2012. “Superintendent Brian Freeman will make a recommendation to the board on which policy he would like them to choose – abstinence-only or abstinence-plus.”

“Freeman said he will recommend an abstinence-only policy to the board for a sex education curriculum to be taught to sixth-graders only.” This Forrest County is in Mississippi.

Also in Mississippi, “A majority of Madison County parents who responded to a recent request for input want the school district to adopt an abstinence-only sex education curriculum,” the National Prevention Information Network [2] reported. “Superintendent Ronnie McGehee said the district received 60 e-mails from parents. Fifty-five percent expressed support for teaching fifth- and seventh-graders how to abstain from sex, but not for providing additional instruction on STDs and contraceptives.”

Meanwhile, further north, “A New York high school principal has decided to nix plans to make 500 free condoms available to participants at the school’s upcoming prom, following negative media coverage and objections from abstinence advocates,” Matthew Cullinahan Hoffman [3] reported on Life Site News on May 28, 2012. “Darryl Rascoe, Principal of Brooklyn’s Bedford Stuyvesant Preparatory school, was to accept the condoms from NV Healthcare, a manufacturer based in New York state, which has offered free condoms for all of the state’s high school proms.”

Living Constitution types argue for expanding government beyond what the framers intended because issues have arisen since then that the Founders could not have anticipated. Surely procreation is not one of these.

In the meantime, social conservatives plead for federal funding for abstinence education as a means of redirecting what the national government already spends on sex-ed towards what they see as a more appropriate approach. They would do well to remember something that I once heard Judge Robert Bork say: “We must, as conservatives, stop liberals from using the Constitution to accomplish their political agenda but we must not use it to push our own.”

Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia [4].

If you would like to comment on this article, e-mail mal.kline@academia.org [5].