“What do abstinence-only advocates think of teaching reproductive health in general? I'm not familiar with how the system works in the USA (or anywhere, come to think of it). Presumably everyone wants their teenagers to exit school with a decent understanding of biology and reproduction, just as they'd want their children to know how the digestive system worked. Are these facts currently taught as part of human biology in science class, with 'sex ed' (discussing condom use or whatever) in a separate class, or is it all in together?"
Knowledge of procreation is not the question at issue. Rather, the question at issue is knowledge of, and access to, contraceptives.
“Personally I plan to homeschool, but while I'll teach 'abstinence only' in the sense of 'abstinence is the only moral alternative to married monogamy', I'll probably teach quite a lot about birth control, simply because the biology and history of it is fascinating. I want my daughter to learn FAM (no, not the rhythm method, proper sympto-thermal charting) for the myriad things it will teach her about her health and body. I don't particularly see the need for her to stick condoms on bananas (if for no other reason than that by that stage of her education, I hope she can read the writing on a packet), but I don't see the problem with mentioning what condoms are, when they were invented and how they work; nor the biology behind hormonal birth control, the side effects of it, and so on. As a sociological phenomenon, birth control exists, and not knowing what it is or does is ignorance rather than virtue.__So, would abstinence-only advocates have any problems with teenagers being taught the things I mentioned above? Is there a moral viewpoint being taught alongside these facts which they find objectionable, or do they object to the teaching of the facts themselves?”
1.It’s unclear to me why you think an adolescent or preadolesent needs to have advance knowledge of contraception. Seems to me that specific knowledge of contraception is only pertinent at the time a couple is engaged to be married.
2.I also assume that anyone who’s old enough to get married is old enough to do his/her own research on the contraceptive options. That’s something the couple should do on their own.
3.Why would you teach your daughter about condoms? She’s not going to use one herself.
I hope you don’t intent to teach your son about condoms. For one thing, I doubt a boy would appreciate having his mother explain condom use to him. In addition, a teenage boy would have to be as dumb as straw not to figure out how a condom works. It’s pretty self-explanatory.
4.More to the point, the primary use of a condom is to engage in “safe” premarital or extramarital sex. Even then, only about 1 out of 4 promiscuous males use a condom, and–not surprisingly–it’s even less popular in conjugal relations.
5.Opponents of abstinence-only programs are not merely recommending that we teach students about contraception. Rather, they advocate the free distribution of contraceptives.
6.Finally, there are times when ignorance is virtuous. For example, I hope most folks are ignorant of how to construct a biochemical weapon.