I am a freshman at USF from a Catholic school of about 350 students and my intended major is architecture. I am also gay. For me, marriage is not an option I can abstain for. How could I possibly have safe sex outside of marriage if I do not know how to protect myself?
With an understanding of the school I came from, the editorial “Abstain from Abstinence-Only” Oct. 23 caught my attention. In high school, I only had one safe-sex based presentation my sophomore year.
Because my school was Catholic, the program was based around being completely monogamous and left me with many questions. The program was presented by college-aged students who were completely abstinent and reinforced the idea that a person should wait for marriage to have sex and that one would regret having sexual intercourse out of wedlock.
Here at USF, Student Health Services eagerly hands out condoms, encouraging the use of birth control. Also, in the University Experience course, class time is devoted to sex education.
For instance, I did not know that the female condom could be used for anal sex. Although I am a virgin, I cannot wait for marriage as required by abstinence programs, so I must learn as much as I can about having safe, protected sex.
Sex education helped me with information on how to have smart, safe sex.
The “Abstain from Abstinence-Only” editorial was correct in agreeing with and encouraging the Pasco County school board in their refusal of abstinence-only sex education. Even if parents complain that their child should not be thinking about or having sex, it does not mean their children are not partaking in sexual relations. Safe-sex programs should be educational instead of leaving students in confusion.
Overall, I am very happy with the editorial and must agree that education about the forms of safe sex is the only way to get people protected, as opposed to leaving them in the dark with only one abstinence-based option. The editorial has inspired me to write to my school principal about this issue, because in abstaining from sex education, educators fail to protect those who choose to have sex outside of marriage.