How Schools Are Ruining Our Youth With Abstinence


by Jake Grosvenor, Opinions Editor

Say no to drugs, wait till marriage, one hit and you’re on the road to failing, only fools and idiots drink; these phrases are some of the most echoed amongst students in the United States. The idea of teaching kids abstinence and temperance has been around for a long time, and as the years have gone on, we can see this ideology failing.

The amount of programs and lessons dedicated to teaching kids not to even think about sex, drugs, alcohol are limitless, some of the most famous being ones like D.A.R.E. The bumper sticker of every minivan in suburbia, meant to teach kids to be safe and smart when faced with the option to do drugs or drink, has done the polar opposite.

These programs teach kids the idea of abstinence, that sex should not be an act done with unmarried people, this idea is what is crammed down the generations of kids attending public school, and the matter of the fact is when you tell a young hormonal teen that something is off limits, they’ll go and get it.

This is exactly what’s happened in the case of sex in the United States, in the United States a study done by California State University said “The average male loses his virginity at age 16.9; females average slightly older, at 17.4.” This should be evidence enough that teaching kids not to have sex isn’t working, because last time I checked, I don’t know any married teenagers.

Now while you may have your own opinions on premarital sex, and that’s ok, we can all agree that if teens are having sex, there should be safety involved. It’s found by the CDC that “in 2014, a total of 249,078 babies were born to women aged 15–19 years, for a birth rate of 24.2 per 1,000 women in this age group.”

Now in most cases, these kids are being born to unready parents, kids that are still in school and don’t have a steady income and that’s not right. This issue can be easily combatted with teaching kids how to have safe sex; teaching girls about birth control and guys about condoms. While both are self explanatory, teaching kids that if they choose to have sex, they should use these products is important.

Teaching kids to have safe and protected sex is important, and can help fight the issues with STD’s and teen pregnancy

Another popular topic is drinking and drugs, this topic too is taught with the idea of temperance. Temperance is the idea that drinking alcohol and doing drugs is wrong. This idea is also wrong and harmful, teaching kids not to touch alcohol and drugs their whole life doesn’t stop them, it even encourages some of them to try it before they are ready.

When this happens you end up with kids who have no idea what too much is when drinking, or what drugs can really do to their body. Thus you have a group of drunk, stoned, and sick kids who had no idea how much is too much. This again is up to personal opinion, and if someone chooses to partake in these activities, a little program won’t stop them.

Kids that want to be sober, won’t drink, and kids that want to drink, will drink. No amount of “Drinking is for losers!” pencils will fix that, and preparing kids to learn what drinking is like is more important. Saying that “drinking will kill you!” is not preparing them, telling them that if they drink too much, they’ll get sick, throw up, and might make bad decisions is far better than saying they’ll die.

The issue with teaching both abstinence and temperance is the judgement that people get because of it, kids now look at adults and teens who have ever drank, and are forced to think they are horrible people.

Forcing ideas on kids is wrong, we shouldn’t be teaching a kid that if someone drinks or has sex before marriage that  they’re monsters isn’t ok. Along with teaching kids that drinking and having sex is up to them, we should teach that if someone does partake in these acts and you don’t, that’s ok. It’s clear that teaching kids not to do any of these acts has failed, human will is far stronger than a ribbon saying “Friends don’t let friends do drugs!” Every kid laughs at those mottos and speeches, and in the end make their own decisions on sex and drinking. Time to stop wasting money on these speakers that waste time.