Posted by: Beverly Dale | February 1, 2010

Repressed Adults Harm the Young

Mississippi is in the top 8 states receiving the most abstinence-only funds–$5.7 million in 2008. As a result, it bombards teens with media campaigns, billboard ads, and abstinence-only sex “education” courses. The Leland school district in Mississippi “distributes a pamphlet to students, entitled ‘The Truth About…Sex & Love.’ It states, among other things, that sexually active high school females are three times, and sexually active high school males two times, more likely to suffer from depression.” The significance of that statistic, no doubt, is supposed to point out the severe emotional consequences to having sex, linking emotional health to sexual behavior!

However, for all this campaigning against sex, Mississippi on all counts of sexual health ranks at the bottom in terms of good, safe sexual practices. The state has higher rates of sexually transmitted disease and that includes HIV and unintended pregnancies, and they engage in riskier sexual behaviors. And, the Dept. of Human Services (which should be overseeing the health and welfare of its citizens) is allowing the dissemination of erroneous information.  For example, it allows one school district to use old and outdated and higher AIDS statistics rather than current ones presumably to scare the youth more!

So it probably is true that sexually-active teens in Mississippi are more depressed. But it isn’t because they are following their sexual urges. It is because they live in a state that uses fear tactics rather than real education and it is this that, no doubt, contributes to feelings of fear, (What if I am pregnant? What if I have a disease? Chances are greater they are and they do!) or guilt and shame.

To the detriment of the health of their young, Mississippians are entrenched in sexually repressive tactics. This situation only happens when people are very, very afraid of sex, and become hysterical about teaching accurate and comprehensive education about sexuality to the young people.  What a shame! It is the young who are paying the price!

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