The Harsh Reality of Religion-Driven Sex Ed in America

Pantsuit Nation, the private Facebook group of around 4 million members, was originally created as online camaraderie for Hillary Clinton supporters in the 2016 election but has since morphed into a sort of support group for progressives facing trying times under the Trump administration. The following is a recent post to the group from a midwestern parent who gave us permission to republish it here. We believe her story is important because, for those of us living in more evolved towns, cities and states, it’s easy to forget that ill-informed, alternative-fact-based sex eduction still exists across this country, wreaking havoc on the sexual development, understanding and empathy of young people.

A few months ago I started a battle that I was not sure I could win. I found out that my children’s public school uses a pro-life organization to teach sex ed in middle school (grades 6-8). There are so many levels of wrong with this program.

First of all, by controlling access to the lessons, they make it very difficult to dissent or complain or even know about what is taught. I am on my third round of viewing the lessons, and I still have yet to see updated sources (which they make difficult to see).

The lessons taught include:

  • If a girl starts making out with a boy, this boy will be ready for sex and he will have a difficult time stopping if she asks him to stop (called “the 12 Steps to Intimacy”)
  • The “proper age” to start having sex is 20-28
  • Sex outside of marriage damages the bonding function in your brain and you will not be able to bond with your spouse
  • Boys use love to get sex and girls use sex to get love

All the while, this religious center is promoted in the introduction, conclusion, paper work, and on every slide shown in the classroom. I am told that the group that comes into the school is “educational only and does not promote religion,” but all they are teaching is that sex waits until marriage.

What about those who don’t get married? What about protecting yourself in a normal sexual relationship? What about anyone in the LGBTQ community?

I have gathered a few parents and friends who agree. But this fight? It sucks. The district doesn’t seem to care that they are teaching rape culture. They just make “requests” for the program, and act like they have no power. Some days I feel like I am losing this battle, and some days I have no idea what to do. They are great at technicalities for following the law, and people seem to ignore that the STD rates in my area have been going up in the past 10 years, the same ten years this program has been in my public school.

Today is one of those days that I feel a bit hopeless. Some parents don’t like the religious aspect and talk about that. Some don’t like the abstinence aspect or that the information is not all medically accurate, but don’t mind the religious part. So the parents are starting to split up and question things. In the end, it should be about what is best for the students. And that is why I continue the fight.

I just needed to vent this morning. Thank you for listening.

Is your kid’s in-school sex ed lacking?
10 Practical Ways Parents Can Offer Better Sex Ed


  1. This program sounds like a law suit waiting to happen. I wouldn’t be surprised if it comes to the school at no cost, and they take at face value the belief that it doesn’t promote religion. The group promoting themselves in the material raises a red flag (without even considering what they are teaching). This example also shows the need for parents to be proactive in educating their children.

    1. It seems like this is a tactic of religious groups: create programs for schools that are inoffensive (at least to the majority of parents) and offer them for little to no money. Lo’s own school had an assembly promoting the power of forgiveness — how can you argue against forgiveness?! — but it’s run by the Bruderhof, a religious sect (some call a cult) where women defer to the authority of the menfolk. I think it was fairly benign (our school made sure no religious recruitment would be happening) but in more traditional christian communities where many people DO think church and state should NOT be separated, we imagine you get a lot more faith-based (anti-science) programs that must be pretty hard to fight.

Comments are closed.