TN just passed this:
The Bill states:
(b) A family life curriculum shall, to the extent that the topic and the manner of communication is age-appropriate:
(1) Exclusively and emphatically promote sexual risk avoidance through abstinence, regardless of a student's current or prior sexual experience;
(2) Encourage sexual health by helping students understand how sexual activity affects the whole person including the physical, social, emotional, psychological, economic and educational consequences of non-marital sexual;
(3) Teach the positive results of avoiding sexual activity, the skills needed to make healthy decisions, the advantages of and skills for student success in pursuing educational and life goals, the components of
healthy relationships, and the social science research supporting the benefits of reserving the expression of human sexual activity for marriage;
(4) Provide factually and medically-accurate information;
(5) Teach students how to form pro-social habits that enable students to develop healthy relationships, create strong marriages, and form safe and stable future families;
(6) Encourage students to communicate with a parent, guardian, or other trusted adult about sex or other risk behaviors;
(7) Assist students in learning and practicing refusal skills that will help them resist sexual activity;
(8) Address the benefits of raising children within the context of a marital relationship and the unique challenges that single teen parents encounter in relation to educational, psychological, physical, social, legal, and financial factors;
(9) Discuss the interrelationship between teen sexual activity and exposure to other risk behaviors such as smoking, underage drinking, drug use, criminal activity, dating violence, and sexual aggression;
(10) Educate students on the age of consent, puberty, pregnancy, childbirth, sexually transmitted diseases, and the financial and emotional responsibility of raising a child; and
(11) Teach students how to identify and form healthy
relationships, and how to identify and avoid unhealthy relationships.
(c) Instruction of the family life curriculum shall not:
(1) Promote, implicitly or explicitly, any gateway sexual activity or health message that encourages students to experiment with non-coital sexual activity;
(2) Provide or distribute materials on school grounds that condone, encourage or promote student sexual activity among unmarried students;
(3) Display or conduct demonstrations with devices specifically manufactured for sexual stimulation; or
(4) Distribute contraception on school property; provided, however, medically-accurate information about contraception and condoms may be provided so long it is presented in a manner consistent with the preceding provisions of this part and clearly informs students that while such methods may reduce the risk of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases or becoming pregnant, only abstinence removes all risk.
The following terms and definitions provide a basic understanding of the types of sexuality education programs that are currently offered in schools and communities. Remember, however, that names can be deceiving. It is important to look past labels and find out what young people in your community really are, or are not, learning in their sexuality education programs.
Comprehensive Sexuality Education : Sexuality education programs that start in kindergarten and continue through 12th grade. These programs include age-appropriate, medically accurate information on a broad set of topics related to sexuality including human development, relationships, decision-making, abstinence, contraception, and disease prevention. They provide students with opportunities for developing skills as well as learning information.
Abstinence-based : Programs that emphasize the benefits of abstinence. These programs also include information about sexual behavior other than intercourse as well as contraception and disease-prevention methods. These programs are also referred to as abstinence-plus or abstinence-centered.
Abstinence-only : Programs that emphasize abstinence from all sexual behaviors. These programs do not include information about contraception or disease-prevention methods.
Abstinence-only-until-marriage : Programs that emphasize abstinence from all sexual behaviors outside of marriage. If contraception or disease-prevention methods are discussed, these programs typically emphasize failure rates. In addition, they often present marriage as the only morally correct context for sexual activity.
Fear-based : Abstinence-only and abstinence-only-until-marriage programs that are designed to control young people's sexual behavior by instilling fear, shame, and guilt. These programs rely on negative messages about sexuality, distort information about condoms and STDs, and promote biases based on gender, sexual orientation, marriage, family structure, and pregnancy options.
How would you classify TN's new law?
Personally, I do not think this is based on the "Comprehensive" approach used by the states with the lowest teen pregnancy rates and STD rates. But, apparently our TN legislature thinks this is the best approach.
For some more background info:
As a young adult, how can I fight this kind of thing? I live in TX, but I KNOW this will spread through the fucking bible belt and I'm sick of it. All the facts are wrong, and it is all based on religion (even if not specifically said - see "non marital sex").
I have written to my congressman and governor and even president Obama, but of course nothing has changed (congressman and governor don't give two shits and Obama is obviously too busy actually doing his job)
I initially wrote to my rep (who sponsored the Bill) and criticized this Bill and he asked me if I "had read the Bill or just used blogs." I subsequently sent him a detailed thrashing exposing his intellectual deficiencies and ignorance of actual recommendations for "comprehensive" sex ed as related to this legislation - I cc'd my other rep as well as the governor.
Sad thing is, you are right- they don't care what anyone but Christian/Republicans think, and this is part of a broader movement spearheaded by Christian groups that, in my opinion, will likely take years to undo (and they passed several pieces of legislation this past session in TN which were clearly motivated by religion) - personally, I am sick of the GOP (god's oppressive party).
I am too. I seriously get very angry at the GOP as you pointed out for being assholes they are. Even though I'm majoring in electrical engineering, I REALLY want to run for president or any congress position as an atheist liberal to stand up for this shit and promote logic for once.
If you need a VP, let me know.
I asked for the contact info for the medical/scientific advisors for this legislation - no reply- imagine that...