Mouse rant blog vent mouse.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Abstinence only education taken too far for even Texas

It's fairly well-known that Texas has a huge influence on what information gets put into public school textbooks that are made for the entire country, and that religious wingnuts have a huge influence on Texas public schoolbooks. And while Texas is no fan of giving kids useful information on how to use contraception and STD protection, the new health textbooks submitted by Holt, Rinehart and Winston and Glencoe/McGraw-Hill are so ridiculous in their "cold showers prevent AIDS" misinformation that it even surprises me that they were found to meet curriculum standards.

For example, Holt, Rinehart and Winston's "Lifetime Health" lists 10 steps for students to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases. The use of latex condoms is not one of them. Students are advised, however, to get plenty of rest.

Who knew that lots of naps prevented HIV? Anyway, any moron could see that these books, which don't include any information about contraception or STD prevention, do not fit state standards, which are already low:

The books, which will replace 11-year-old texts, were found by panels of educators and citizens to meet state curriculum standards, including one which requires students to "analyze the effectiveness and ineffectiveness of barrier protection and other contraceptive methods including the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, keeping in mind the effectiveness of remaining abstinent until marriage."

The necessary information is in supplemental materials, which I imagine cash-strapped schools are loath to keep buying year after year. But since only one member of the textbook review panel, which has been notoriously hijacked by members of the religious right, is protesting the deliberate misinformation being presented as "facts" in these health textbooks, I imagine they'll probably get approved and distributed in the schools. And remember, folks, that where Texas goes, so does much of the nation. Even if you don't live in Texas, you can probably look forward to your teenagers coming home thinking naps prevent HIV and pregnancy.
Of course, when I was in high school, we didn't have much sex ed at all. All we had was a two week course in junior high school where the pill was discussed once and a biology teacher who took it upon herself to make herself available for questions we had about condom use.

Since the Houston Chronicle link isn't working anymore, here's more information. And another.

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NAPS???!!!...

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