(Written by guest blogger JustAnotherTeen.)
My guest blog for this month will be about 4parents.gov. I found this website through a commercial (they are all on their site) and I must say, it kind of disturbed me. On the about us page, they said this:
“4Parents.gov is part of a national public education campaign to provide parents with the information, tools and skills they need to help their teens make healthy choices, including waiting until marriage to have sex. Nothing is more important for a child, pre-teen, or teen than a caring parent. If pre-teens and teens are going to make the choices that will help them grow up to be healthy adults, they need parents to talk with them about important topics like sex and relationships. 4parents.gov is meant to give parents the information and guidance they need for having these conversations”
To me, it makes no sense. I mean, I realize it is just a further extension of the current administrations abstinence-only sex education, but seeing it so blatantly in print makes it worse. So making the choice to have sex before marriage, according to this website, is unhealthy. And apparently you won’t grow up to become a healthy adult if you don’t wait until marriage either! Don’t get me wrong, I agree with the fact that it is important to have a caring parent, but to say it is only healthy to wait for sex seems a bit over dramatic and damaging even.
By their own admission, almost half of high school students have had sex. I know they meant for this to bolster their case, but in my eyes it weakens is. By saying that almost half have sex, and yet also saying that there is no need for anything but abstinence only sex ed, they seem to contradict each other. I mean, is failing to tell teens the ways to protect themselves as much as possible not the same as condoning the transmission of STDs and unwanted pregnancies? Because in my eyes failing to tell teenager about contraceptives is like saying “I hope you get chlamydia if you have sex before marriage!”
According to one survey? One? With all the government funding going into this project, they could only find one survey that supported the numbers they wanted to use, huh? I’m sure with enough funding and time I could get a similar number of respondents to say that the moon is made out of cheese!
As many parts of the site as I hate, there are some good parts to. In the “What if my son or daughter tells me he or she is gay?” page, it has this good advice:
“If you believe your teenager may be gay, or is experiencing difficulties with gender identity or sexual orientation, consider the following points:
- All children, pre-teens, and teens need to feel accepted and loved. Remember, your son or daughter is probably very scared about having this conversation with you. Accepting your son or daughter can help lead to strong, life-affirming relationships in the future.
- Some teens who question their sexual orientation are at increased risk for depression, attempted suicide, or other problems
- Some parents need help in understanding and communicating with their son or daughter. You have made a great step in this direction already by visiting this website.
- Counselors and other health professionals may be helpful for both teens and parents when addressing difficult issues.”
Please look over this site and tell me what you think in the comments section! And, as always, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org !