According to Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), kids do not need sexual education because mankind has been fine for a long time without it. Right Wing Watch reports that Gohmert took offense at forcing “this sexuality stuff” onto kids.
“Let the kids be innocent,” Gohmert said on a Christian radio show. “Let them dream. Let them play. Let them enjoy their life. You don’t have to force this sexuality stuff into their life at such a point. It was never intended to be that way. They’ll find out soon enough.” He added, “Mankind has existed for a pretty long time without anyone ever having to give a sex-ed lesson to anybody. And now we feel like, oh gosh, people are too stupid to unless we force them to sit and listen to instructions. It’s just incredible.”
What Gohmert is suggesting — to hope kids simply find out for themselves how to safely have sex — would invariably lead to higher teen pregnancy rates and higher STD rates. A 2012 Guttmacher Institute study found that comprehensive sexual education “was associated with healthier sexual behaviors” among teens, compared to those who received no sex ed in school. Not only did those teens have lower rates of pregnancy, but they also waited longer to have sex. The same advocates of abstinence-education would achieve their goal — for kids to wait longer — if they told students everything they need to know.
But for Gohmert, explaining contraceptives in schools reminds him of the Soviet Union, where children belonged to the state.
There are only 22 states require public schools teach sex education, and 19 states require it to be medically accurate. So it comes as little surprise that the states with inadequate standards see more teen pregnancy.
States don’t agree that it’s a good idea to cut back on sex ed. Last month, Illinois banned abstinence-only education. Massachusetts recently expanded its health curriculum in a dozen middle schools to prevent the spread of chlamydia, the most commonly reported STD in the country. And in Ohio, high school students are teaching comprehensive sex ed to their peers to combat rising STD rates in the state.