Sex Education Bill Pending Vote in Veto Session
 
Sex Education Bill Pending Vote in Veto Session
Written By David E. Smith   |   10.18.11

Our Illinois state lawmakers will be returning to Springfield next week (October 25th-27th) and in early November (8th-10th) for the annual Fall Veto Session.

One of the bills that we are working against is HB 3027 — a bill being promoted by the ACLU of Illinois. This unnecessary and ill-conceived proposal mandates that every public school which teaches sex education in grades 6-12 must teach “comprehensive” sex education.

Contraception-centered sex-education curricula encourage children and youth into early sexual experimentation. They mislead youth by teaching them that condoms will provide sufficient protection from the physical, emotional and social consequences of early sexual activity.

Abstinence-emphasis curricula already address condom use for protection against sexually transmitted infections, and research suggests such curricula are more effective in educating students on STDs than are comprehensive sex ed curricula.

In addition, typical comprehensive sex ed curricula include homosexuality-affirming ideas, usually without information on the serious health risks of homosexual practices.

This bill has already passed the Illinois Senate and we must stop it in the Illinois House.

Background
This “comprehensive” sex education bill will affect secondary AND elementary schools by mandating “comprehensive” sex education in grades 6 – 12. “Comprehensive” sex education refers to sex-education curricula that emphasize and encourage contraception use, rather than abstinence. In reality, we are talking about teaching children to use a condom.

HB 3027 is completely unnecessary and an intrusion into local control. Public schools in Illinois already have the ability to teach “comprehensive” sex education if they wish. Local public school administrators do not need a mandate from Springfield telling them they must teach comprehensive sex education when the preponderance of evidence suggests that authentic abstinence education is successful.

IFI’s Laurie Higgins identifies a number of significant problems with the bill:

  • HB 3027 requires that “course material and instruction shall place substantial emphasis on both abstinence… and contraception…” First, “substantial emphasis” is vague, ambiguous language open to interpretation, Second, typical “comprehensive sex ed” curricula give short shrift to abstinence teaching both in terms of amount of material and tone. Typical sex ed subordinates abstinence to contraception.
  • Three different sections of HB 3027 require that sex education “material and instruction shall be developmentally and age appropriate, medically accurate, and complete.” (SIECUS, the nation’s “experts” on sex-education, believes this information is age-appropriate for your child.) The word “complete” is ambiguous and potentially opens the door to the inclusion of deeply problematic material. For those districts that want to teach about methods of contraception, the term “complete” is unnecessary in that elsewhere in the amendment is wording that requires contraception to be taught.
  • HB 3027 defines important terms, but “abstinence” is not defined. What will students be taught to abstain from? Will they be taught to abstain from just vaginal intercourse — or will they be taught to abstain from all erotic interactions. Does abstinence education include abstaining from oral sex, mutual masturbation, anal sex, bestiality, and paraphilias?

Contraception-centered sex-education curricula encourage children and youth into early sexual experimentation. They mislead youth and create a false hope that condoms will provide sufficient protection from the physical, emotional and social consequences of early sexual activity. Authentic abstinence education programs provide youth with life and character skills, not condom skills. Sexual activity among youth is far too costly for adolescents, families, society and taxpayers.

Passing HB 3027 would mandate the teaching of curricula that most parents and taxpayers would find objectionable.


David  E. Smith
Dave Smith is the executive director of Illinois Family Institute (501c3) and Illinois Family Action (501c4). David has 25-plus-years of experience in public policy and grass-roots activism that includes countless...
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