I'm a costume designer, makeup artist, teacher, mom, knitter, baker, want-to-learn-how-to-do-it-all

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I'm a costume designer, makeup artist, teacher, mom, sewer, knitter, baker, want-to-learn-how-to-do-it-all, blogging, Costumed Beagle enthusiast. I am not always pleasant, although through intensive cupcake therapy I have learned not to throw knives at people anymore.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Information Please

So I've been a little geared up over Utah's HB 363 lately.  Just the thought of it makes my heart beat faster with angst and a wee bit of rage.

For those of you who don't live in Utah or who somehow haven't heard about HB 363, it is all about sex education, and Utah passing a law that now mandates that schools teach abstinence only if they're going to teach anything at all.

I got this article in my in-box today. There has been tons of coverage, and news and there will even be a Planned Parenthood gathering at the capitol later today to urge the Governor to veto the bill (and although most Utahans do NOT support this bill, no one expects the Governor to man-up and veto it just in case he ticks of the 20% of the state that does like the bill.)

I got a similar article yesterday which featured  Representative Wright, who introduced the bill with absolutely no pressure from his constituency, who basically stated, that parents "have no idea what is being taught in these classes" and that  somehow that meant that he should step in and help us out.
This is exactly why people are not interested in politics and politicians anymore.  But that is a discussion for another day.

Today we are talking about sex.  Talking about sex does NOT make people go out and have sex.  In fact, in the states that currently have abstinence only education, they lead the nation in teen pregnancy.  There are scores of articles out there on this, but here is one.  Do you know what teen pregnancy leads to?  More dependents on the states, a less educated community and an increase in abortion.  ALL of which sounds bad to me.

While I hope my own kids are wise when it comes to these decisions, I cannot expect them to make good decisions based on "because I told you so" ideology.  They need to understand what it is, how it works, and the consequences (which can be devastating).  Education does not lead to more teen sex, it leads to kids who will make better choices instead of experimenting.

Last week I went with my 10 year old 5th grade boy to his maturation program...this was not a fun experience, and although I cringed when they talked about nocturnal emissions (ew, I was never a boy), I appreciated that my son would not have his body suddenly making changes on him and maybe scaring the bejeebies out of him.  I don't want him getting his information from the boy who asked, quite candidly, if a girl's period was also called an orgasm.  BUT, although we have a good relationship, I doubt he'll come to me with his penis questions.  I don't want curiosity and misinformation to form his ideas on his body, sex and all those other mysteries.  I don't want him to feel ashamed of his body, and I don't want him to be pressured to do something he may not have any idea about.
We all knew that girl in high school that got pregnant and all she could say was "I didn't know you could get pregnant doing that."  Some of us knew girls in college that still didn't have a clue (this is a true story about a roommate of mine at BYU-her parents had opted out of sex-ed).  Some of these same girls had a really hard time when they got married because they had been taught to be ashamed of their bodies and the idea of sex.  It wasn't healthy.

I appreciated this post that my friend Jeremy shared on Face book earlier in the week from an LDS bishop who served in the SLC downtown area.  It was in included in his petition to the Governor to veto HB 363:

"As an LDS Bishop living in downtown Salt Lake City, I meet with many young single mothers who weren't taught the consequences of sex. I agree whole-heartedly that abstinence should be taught, but that should also be followed up by a healthy dose of reality as well. I recall being properly scared straight when watching a film of a baby being born in my health class.

The biggest problem that I face isn't really with these young single mothers, it's the fathers of these young children. They hardly ever take responsibility and then society is left to pick up the pieces and help them grow into responsible adults. Single mothers and their families take the brunt and the stress on them is huge.

In my opinion, teaching abstinence will do nothing to end this perpetual cycle and my best guess is that we will eventually have an epidemic of low functioning members of society on our hands. Dialogue needs to happen and it is critical that we help teenagers ease into adulthood as they mature. I am sick and tired of trying to help young kids out of the deep end of the pool.

Please Governor Herbert, I implore you to veto this horrible piece of legislation. I would also invite you to spend a Sunday afternoon in my office and experience the plight of these single mothers."

I appreciated this man's voice of reason in an issue that shouldn't even really be an issue because parents who object to sex ed can just opt out.  But somehow they want to press anti-education onto my children all in the names of "morals."  I guess that just depends on your idea of morality, because it sounds immoral to me to send teenagers out into the world with adult bodies but without the information to deal with them.

*If you want to sign the petition urging the Governor to veto HB 363 go here, but you'd better hurry.
** Please also don't forget the give away!


  1. Oh my freaking wow. I love you and this. I just want to scream DITTO. And, I hope that a woman explained that when a girl is on her period...it is basically the opposite of having an orgasm.

    1. Thanks Joy, I feel pretty strongly about this...I just cannot understand why ignorance is best.

  2. I attended some of those horrible maturation programs with my youngest brother as neither of his parents could attend. A hundred students crammed into a noisy auditorium with terrible acoustics (literally sounded like the teacher in the Peanuts cartoons) did little to help educate him about anything. The lack of sex education for young adults in this state is deplorable. People need to know and understand their bodies, the changes they go through, and the possible consequences of their actions. And they need to find out from people who do know and not from uninformed gossip.

  3. La, I agree with you completely. I wish I could articulate my thoughts a little better, but maybe I don't have to because you said it perfectly.