Utah lawmakers vote for abstinence-only sex education
March 13th, 2012
06:09 AM ET

Utah lawmakers vote for abstinence-only sex education

by John Martin, CNN

(CNN) – When I was a senior in the late 1980s, my high school brought in a woman from Planned Parenthood to talk to my health class. I remember her because she had props a condom and a banana. Utah may outlaw lessons like that one very soon. The state's legislature passed a bill mandating that when it comes to sex education, public schools must teach about abstinence, and almost nothing else.

If the bill is signed by Gov. Gary Herbert, Utah's teachers will not be allowed to inform students about contraceptives, "the intricacies of intercourse," homosexuality, or sexual activity outside of marriage. The bill says teachers would have to inform students that, "abstinence from all sexual activity before marriage and fidelity after marriage as the only sure methods for preventing certain communicable diseases." Teachers would still be allowed to provide instruction on male and female physiology and anatomy, as well as health issues like AIDS/HIV. The proposed law does allow schools one other option: not to teach anything about sex at all.

According to CNN affiliate KSL, the bill's sponsor, Utah state Rep. Bill Wright, said that he believes sex education shouldn't be taught in the classroom; he says that kind of instruction should take place in the home. Wright says he decided to change existing sex education laws after seeing instructional materials provided by Planned Parenthood that he viewed as inappropriate. The proposed bill mandates that Utah schools must use approved abstinence-only curriculum materials for sex education instruction.

The Utah Education Association – a teacher's union – and the Utah Parent Teacher Association are urging the governor to veto the bill. A state senator opposed to the bill said that schools need to teach young people about sex because parents might not address the topic at home. Critics of the bill point to a 2007 study of abstinence classes that found no difference in the abstinence rate between students who took the class and students who did not.

An online petition has garnered more than 35,000 signatures, asking the governor to veto the bill.

Current Utah law stresses abstinence, but teachers can currently provide contraceptive instruction. In addition, parents can decide whether their children will receive sex education. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, very few parents in Utah's largest school districts opt out of these kinds of lessons for their children.

The bill is on Herbert's desk, but there has been no indication yet whether the governor will sign or veto the bill. A spokeswoman for the governor's office said that he has received thousands of calls, e-mails and letters on both sides of the issue. The governor has said his decision will reflect the best policy for Utah, not necessarily public opinion.

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Filed under: Curriculum • Kids' health • Policy • Politics
soundoff (724 Responses)
  1. Keith Grill

    One word: Morons

    March 19, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  2. Valfcholo

    Доброго времени суток!У меня есть новость по кредиту он-лайн Тогда читайте новость – кредитные карты вклады выгодный кредит взять кредит он-лайн домашний он-лайн банк кредиты кредит он-лайн кредит на дом кредит он-лайн кредитные карты автокредит кредиты кредитная карта – кредит на дом кредитная карта он-лайн взять кредит он-лайн кредит без посещения банка ... Хороших Вам процентов по кредиту!

    March 18, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  3. Rick

    You want to know what will happen if a Santorum or other religious nutcase gets into the presidency, come to Utah for awhile. It's the closest thing to a theocracy in the US. It's constant public efforts to bring back the "good ol' times" of handcarts and profound ignoance is palpable.

    March 16, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
  4. Robyn

    The same group also voted that from now on all math classes will omit any mention of 2,3,6,7 or 8.
    That should work just as successfully.

    March 15, 2012 at 10:16 am |
  5. Rhythm Method Baby

    @steve:
    "Abstinence only sex education is like driver's education consisting of telling students to 'get a bus pass.'"

    Close, but only if you're legally able to drive in the state without actually attending the class or having a license in the first place, and only if all the busses are inoperable.

    Then the analogy is perfect.

    March 15, 2012 at 9:07 am |
  6. WASP

    easy answer to this situation. if they want to teach about abstinence to teenagers, teach them about mas.terb.ation to help them make it to marriage. :) remove the stigma from it.

    March 15, 2012 at 7:57 am |
  7. WASP

    easy answer to this situation. if they want to teach about abstinence to teenagers, teach them about masterbation to help them make it to marriage. :)

    March 15, 2012 at 7:56 am |
  8. Mike H

    The right-wing "Christian" radical movement is going to be the ruin of our nation if allowed to continue. These folks who use the Bible to legitimize their restrictive policies are dangerous to liberty. Using God in politics is pathetic.

    March 15, 2012 at 12:28 am |
  9. GetReal

    This is nothing but a repeat performance with regrades to the multi-billion dollar per year boodoggle known as D.A.R.E. The program was supposedly to teach kids about the horrors of drugs, etc. However,when the statistics came in on how "effective" the program was, they showed EITHER no reduction on use, or a slightly HIIGHER rate of use among the "graduates." But never mind that; the billions wasted on it were "good dollars" according to the delusional who actually believed in such nonsense. And so, too, will it be for this jibberish.

    March 14, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  10. Mary

    I am absolutely in favor of sex education. In this world, it is a team effort, between school educators, parents and religious leaders to provide a well rounded, well informed, open environment so that teens can be empowered in their own choices. I was raised in a warm, healthy Mormon family, and I was the ONLY one of my siblings who was given sex education in school, because my parents thought the materials were too contrary what they thought was age appropriate (I was 14 and in ninth grade). Though, my parents were fairly imformative about sex, they only answered questions when asked. (Who wants to ask their parents about sex?) Furthermore, how can you ask a question when you don't know anything about to ask? Needless to say, two of my sisters got pregnant and then married, one was lucky and didn't get pregnant, and the double male standard that surrounded the brothers of my family, was swept under the rug. Guess what! I felt so empowered by the knowlege I gained, that it grounded me in my moral beliefs, and I felt I had the responsibility to make good choices for myself.....I stayed abstinate...until marriage, and the rest is history. I now have teenagers and I talk to them about sex, anatomy,birth control, childbirth, and all the important topics needed for them to make good choices. I tell them the beauty of it and the ugliness of it. I teach them my moral stances and I certainly do stress abstinence as the best choice for a healthy life until they find that special someone to spend their lives with. Until then, I think giving them the full picture helps them to make better choices. Will they stay abstinate? I don't know. I hope so. If they don't however, I know atleast they have the ability and information to equip themselves to handle the situation differently than so many other kids have.

    March 14, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  11. W Lance Hunt

    If they read the science on this, they would find out that the only thing this does is cause more STD's. The teens who get Absenence only education have number of sexual partners, start having sex at the same age, and have the same number of pregnancies. So, it does nothing to behavior, except make it more dangerous: pragmatism is good. Ideology gets syphilis, among other things.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
  12. mormon hater

    Way to go Utah. Vote for something that clearly doesn't work. Religion shouldn't play a part in the law. 16 & Pregnant that's to all the hardcore Christians who are afraid to talk about sex and the real issues.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
  13. Nick

    The sad part is Utah could be one of the greatest, most fun states to visit if it wasn't for the morons (oops, I mean Mormons) and their ridiculous laws.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
  14. Danno

    So... if this isn't vetoed... then... according to this law would that mean that they have no vaginas and penises in Utah? I mean, you can't ASK about it because that would be BAD... Oh I know! How about an after school unsanctioned learning experience? yeah! and then the stork flies in and delivers a baby... :-\ wow Utah. wow. (Did they get the memo that it isn't 1952 anymore?)

    March 14, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
  15. MoLa1959CT

    I'm betting on a baby boom in Salt Lake.

    March 14, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Political Liberal

      The Mormons love a good baby boom. They think overpopulation is a liberal myth. Utah is a beautiful state though.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
      • Rachel here

        Yet what these legislators and the Governor are ignoring is that most Utahns (Mormon and not) are against the bill. So I wouldn't blame Mormons.

        March 14, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
  16. dabble53

    To paraphrase: Utah lawmakers vote to continue and expand the "protect our citizen's ignorance" educational policy.
    I'm sure they're only a few shorts steps away from bringing back polygamy too, and taking back women's right to vote.
    It is the conservative/Mormon way, after all.

    March 14, 2012 at 11:50 am |
  17. David in Houston

    R.I.P. GOP.

    March 14, 2012 at 11:42 am |
  18. WasatchWayz

    Not everybody is a uptight conservative in Utah. I agree it's a stupid law that needs vetoed. ASAP!

    March 14, 2012 at 11:40 am |
  19. Durundal

    and you wonder why the federal government has to intervene against 'states rights' and their little home grown incestuous breeding pools of backwardness. Thank you ultra conservatives, you never fail to provide a shining example of what not to do

    March 14, 2012 at 11:40 am |
  20. Joe B

    I wish that the Freedom From Religion Foundation would put up a big billboard next to every Utah high school. It could say:

    Hey teenagers! Condoms are actually very effective, and you can get them for FREE from Planned Parenthood!

    March 14, 2012 at 11:35 am |
  21. scott

    In seemingly unrelated news, teen pregnancy, abortions, and unwanted babies put up for adoption have increased in Utah.

    March 14, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Joe B

      Our logic is undeniable.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Shuffler

      Heaven forbid a parent actually have to do their job. Why do you want others to do your job?

      March 14, 2012 at 11:32 am |
      • Joe B

        Shufler

        The problem is that MANY parents – especially in Utah – will NOT teach their kids about sex or contraception. Kids have the RIGHT to be educated on matters that may have a huge impact in their life. Regardless of what the parents believe.

        March 14, 2012 at 11:37 am |
      • Joe B

        Shuffler, the fact is that MANY parents in Utah simply will not teach their teens about sex or contraception or STD risks. They just wont do it.

        A teenage student -who's hormones are raging- has the RIGHT to know about and understand these things. It will help them make better decisions, like using protection if they have sex.

        March 14, 2012 at 11:42 am |
      • Evangenital

        Parents cannot fight what is normal and sex is normal not only for adults, but teenagers. Abstinence does not work unless you are dead.

        March 14, 2012 at 11:45 am |
      • Ymerej

        I do agree with him completely in theory. This knowledge should be coming from the parents, but unfortunately in this day in age parents are happy to let day cares/schools/other people raise their kids for them. It seems the point of this bill is to force the parents to give sex education to their kids, but for a lot of parents I can see this not happening. For now it should stay in the schools.
        "Bill Wright, said that he believes sex education shouldn't be taught in the classroom; he says that kind of instruction should take place in the home."

        March 14, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
      • lordshipmayhem

        Parents see their kids as still being "kids" even when the "youngsters" are of an age that in previous centuries they were expected to get married and start their own families – "She/he is too young for sex! Doesn't need to know!"

        If left up to the parents, the children would learn about birth control after they've turned the parents into grandparents. Even professional sex education experts – public health nurses and the like – admit that they themselves are the worst at educating their own kids, too uptight and embarrassed about it.

        March 14, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      I consider it my job as a parent and the school's job as educator's. Like any basic education, it is a team effort. If you

      March 14, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
      • MyKidsMom

        It would be great if I could be the sole educator of my kids. If I had adequate knowledge and skill to teach the topic effectively. But, my kids need to be able to ask questions comfortably. I do talk to my kids about sex, as well as drugs, alcohol, and other things that can be harmful to them. However, some topics are hard to talk to mom and dad about. This is a topic that is especially charged in our culture. Oh, and I do talk about abstinence as the 100% safe strategy. Meanwhile my boys have every image they see and every peer goading them to act on the demands made by the hormones. There is actually a lot to know about the medical aspects of sex and STDs. I am not as good at describing what can happen as a trained educator. Educators have experience and preparation to teach this subject. Lastly, I found when my boys had sex and development education they became more comfortable talking to me, and I to them. They were given good information and we were able to expand on the conversations we had previously. I would not want to undertake this process alone knowing that many of my children's peers are not being adequately informed. No matter what my efforts are in my home, there is a majority of parents who do not talk about this subject. I don't want my boys exposed to the ignorance that would come from the many others.

        March 14, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
  22. Timothy

    Please...wake me up when you have it figured out- abstinence only, contraception....bad parents...ignorant people....haven't we already had this argument? Didn't we resolve this in the schools and free contraception....oh good gosh...seven high school kids in Mass had a pregnancy pact and all got pregnant- what grade did they get in sex ed? Abstinence only kid got pregnant? wow. That one did not and was a virgin when larried? wow. Ooops..she had an abortion and is doing wonderfully. Did you hear Susie is taking her one year old up on stage to get her HS diploma with her? Clap...Clap...Clap....your all doing a wonderful job with your arguing for how you believe others should run their lives. How about we try and find a way to support each other...left/right/middle/colors/genders/money/intelligence- all crap...we can fight or we can help....wake me up when you decide.....zzzzzzzzzzz

    March 14, 2012 at 11:23 am |
  23. Joe B

    I expect that the rate of teen pregnancies will skyrocket (and abortions too!) because of this legislation.

    When I was a teenager I was involved in a Catholic Youth program called Life Teen. I was in the program for three years and in that time FIVE girls got knocked up! They were teaching abstinence only of course.

    March 14, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • Joe B

      Jesus: 0 Hormones: 5

      March 14, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • Shuffler

      WTG It is the parents responsibility to teach their kids about sex. The only thing the school should say in regards to sex is abstinence.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Wit

      I wonder if any of the five regretted not listening... shame on those providing the advise for not ticking their ears saying what they want to hear – that nobody who uses a condom can get pregnant. I know someone who was using a condom, pill and IUD within marriage and she still got pregnant. God forbid someone insists adults commit to each other for an extended period of time before acting in a fashion that could result in bringing a new and defenseless human being into the world wondering why it is unwanted, its' needs aren't being met, and life sucks.

      Having said that, couldn't the state merely choose to coach it's "sex education" in terms of within marriage (husbands and wives have a legal document and intention, stated before witnesses, to stick to each other and deal with any consequenses of their fleshy union, such as children – this works best if both parties are honest though). Have topics around planned parenting, and join it up with the other thing parents aren't teaching their children these days – how to have lasting, healthy, committed relationships and perhaps making it available online as a tool for parents to use with their children, or teachers with classes of students with parental permission, via a login that has a password to access to ensure parties prone to offense can't stumble upon it. You could call it "Are you ready for adulthood?" and stick to basics like conflict resolution, financial literacy/managment, planned families, adult and family responsibilities, civic responsibilities, finding and maintaining work, etc. ... Of course there is some good information in the bible about these topics, however people seem to hate to read/learn...teens in particular often want to figure things out for themselves rather than being told which is why they make so many stupid mistakes, and why trying to provide the information to them often feels like an exercise in futility.

      We had PDR in school. I remember hearing about where babies come from, STD's and that we were allowed to say "No", but not enough about how to avoid being in a situation where you need to say it, and what to do if your partner doesn't want to listen, and how to go about finding someone who would listen without putting yourself at risk – strange they didn't clarify that because I do think they mentioned date rape was common – why wouldn't there be an effort to address that?

      March 14, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
  24. Richard L

    All of you vile bigoted commenters miss the point. Its the responsibility of parents to teach sexual education to their children. The schools should focus on reading writing and math.

    March 14, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • mab18

      That's the thing though, depending on which version of the bill goes through (if any) they will still teaching sex education though – just cutting out half the lesson. How is that fair to the kids?

      March 15, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  25. desmond24

    OK. If Utah wants to pass this bill in order that they can maintain 8.3 children per household in an already overcrowded world, then, all the other states should inact a bill that permits only 1.8 children per Utah household to emigrate from Utah to other states! We do not want the other states over-run with children from Utah because Utah could not provide them with jobs etc.

    March 14, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • Richard L

      Utah has the lowest unemployment rate of all 50 states to date.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:20 am |
      • Joe B

        Thats because "housewives" don't count as unemployed, and the women in Utah are encouraged (expected) to stay home and crap out a kid every other year.

        March 14, 2012 at 11:24 am |
      • bignevermo

        1

        NORTH DAKOTA

        3.2

        2

        NEBRASKA

        4.0

        3

        SOUTH DAKOTA

        4.2

        4

        VERMONT

        5.0

        5

        NEW HAMPSHIRE

        5.2

        6

        IOWA

        5.4

        7

        WYOMING

        5.5

        8

        MINNESOTA

        5.6

        9

        UTAH

        5.7

        10

        VIRGINIA

        5.8
        oops wrong about your state sir!! :(

        March 14, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
  26. Marla

    First, abstinence does work 100% of the time for those who are able to handle it. Takes a lot of self control and responsibility but it can be done. There are many people who have proven that through the years. Many cannot do this so we offer them altwernative birth control methods. Still, we will result in failure too. There is no one thing good for all and without their hazards. But, as an educated and intelligent society we understand this and we will find a way to address the needs of individuals rather than pushing our misguided ideals on everyone. That just seems it will not hasppen today. I taught my children about sex from the time they can fart- it is a bodily function...but I also teach them abstinence and so far, that is working well with two out of the house and my lively third left. If it doesn't go as planned, then we will make new plans taking into account whatever it was threw a curve ball at us. After all, that's life and that is what life is all about. No need for me to push my stuff onto you or you me. Hiow about we give each other the freedom to do what we feel is right for us and our families. I'm gonna do what I do anyway as you will. Why fight over it?

    March 14, 2012 at 10:58 am |
  27. Chris

    LOL...we pride ourselves on multi-culturalism amd tolerance and so many wonderful things yet we cry like babies when things do not go our way and we demonize those who think differently. The issue of sex will NEVER go away until we are altered at birth- so get over with how different people wish to address it. None of us has the proper way for anyone else- get over that too. The most fascinating thing about us, though, is the fact that we create these lightening rod nonsensicle issues that could easily be handled and keep most of us happy: Cost of contraception/viagra and non-life threatening 'health' issues are easily handled by mandatory coupling health spending accounts to accident/illness plans. Employer contributes to savings account with savings from reduced plan cost savings. Employee has option of contributing pre-tax percentage. Account able to grow over years. Buy whatever one wants- no religious issues, etc.
    Sex education: why must these be mandatory. Most schools teach in small classes. Teach different sections A: maechanics only/ mechanics & abstinence only/mechanics & full boat/home schooled. It is only when we seek to control others that we stop thinking of ways to help us all and we get into this. Does my desire fit yours and your view of what is wrong- probably no more than yours does me but I guess we can either decide to fight with one another or support each other to get what we feel we need. None of this is about what is best...it's all about power of one group over another and THAT will never end so take your egotistical, ignorant, intolerant and your way only world home with you. I donlt feel like playing with you today.

    March 14, 2012 at 10:44 am |
  28. matt

    Time to increase the food stamp and welfare funds for all the future babies in UT.

    March 14, 2012 at 10:44 am |
  29. TuffGong71

    Republicans: Pretending sex doesn't exist for two generations now!

    March 14, 2012 at 10:42 am |
  30. Majestic

    And this will improve the economy in Utah how??? Idiots.

    March 14, 2012 at 10:42 am |
  31. tacc2

    Let's just rename Utah to JesusState and let them have their backwards 5th century theocracy. Then all the moralist crazies can go there and leave the rest of us in peace.

    March 14, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • Jack

      Um...pretty sure that contraceptives and Jesus have nothing to do with each other. It's the crazies that relate the two...Jesus never taught about contraceptives.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:12 am |
  32. steve

    Abstinence only sex education is like driver's education consisting of telling students to "get a bus pass".

    March 14, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • Rhythm Method Baby

      "Abstinence only sex education is like driver's education consisting of telling students to "get a bus pass".

      Only if the state doesn't require you to be licensed to legally get behind the wheel and drive around, and only if all the buses in the state are inoperable. Then the analogy is perfect.

      March 15, 2012 at 9:00 am |
  33. GHJ

    Abstinence only teaching really works. It had a great outcome for that Palian kid.

    March 14, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • Cord

      And so by your logic, "normal" sex ed has done wonders for all the 16-yr-old single moms out there.

      It's an irrefutable fact - not having sex is the best way to avoid getting pregnant or contracting sexually transmitted diseases. What's wrong with telling kids that?

      March 14, 2012 at 11:11 am |
      • mab18

        Nothing wrong with telling them that. As you say – it is true that abstinence is the only 100% effective way to not get pregnant. But, what's wrong with telling them there are other options as well? If you're going to teach anything about sex in school, then you should give them the whole picture.

        March 15, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • John

      I'll bet the teaching part works real good.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:42 am |
  34. jonnyboy

    I'm going to go give a bunch of mormon girls my unwrapped sausage. My chlamydia will run rampant in Utah

    March 14, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • Steve -- the Ultimate Authority on Everything

      I thought they eliminated chlamydia in pork with the new modern ways of raising swine.

      You can no longer get chlamydia from eating sausage.

      Still, it's a good idea to thoroughly cook your sausage and poke it with a meat thermometer to make sure it ready.

      March 14, 2012 at 10:41 am |
      • John

        That sounds kind of severe. Why don't you just wear a condom?

        March 14, 2012 at 11:38 am |
  35. KindaIWan2

    I do live here, Steve. It's frustrating, but is also hilarious.

    The same Theocracy here attempted to shut down a very profitable state run liquor store last year again because they think everyone is Mormon and they don't have the mental capacity to think any other way.

    March 14, 2012 at 10:37 am |
  36. Paul Manny

    Just when you thought Mormons couldn't regress any further...The people of Utah should be fighting against secular religious views from entering the realm of politics and maybe inbreeding as well.

    March 14, 2012 at 10:35 am |
  37. dennyram1

    This is a great way to PREVENT our kids from being exposed to all sorts of STDs and pregnancies.

    March 14, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • Steve -- the Ultimate Authority on Everything

      Regardless of what they teach, teenagers will still experiment. No amount of legislation will end that. And, "Abstinence-only education" teaches that condoms are wildly unreliable. And, that is total BS.

      As someone who had a very good run in college, I can attest to the fact that condoms are HIGHLY reliable when used correctly!

      March 14, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • tacc2

      I hope you're kidding. Because ALL of the evidence collected about abstinence only education shows it doesn't work very well.

      March 14, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • Eris71

      These programs don't all ways help with STD. Everyone was so impressed with the purity ring in my community, then the kids started coming in with anus and oral STDs. So watch out, kids come up with their own logic and ideas about what "real" sex is.

      March 14, 2012 at 10:49 am |
  38. KindaIWan2

    This is exactly why you should vote for Mitt Romney ; )

    March 14, 2012 at 10:31 am |
  39. Steve -- the Ultimate Authority on Everything

    Folks, let Utah be its own enclave of stupidity.

    Just be thankful if you don't live there!

    March 14, 2012 at 10:30 am |
  40. Rich

    Wow, so many bigoted comments on here. Taxpayer dollars fund schools and most of those (85% and more) come from state and local taxes. Since the taxpayers are funding the schools don't you think it is right that they have a say in what is taught. After all, the taxpayers should be the bosses of education, they fund it. If they decide that is what they think is best then so be it. If people don't like it, move to another state.

    That is why state rights are so good, people can choose to move and then they have 50 options. Now when the federal government steps in, then everybody is stuck with only one solution. People, try not to be so hateful and bigoted towards a group of people just because they have different views than you. They haven't said anything to you. You said stuff first but as soon as they say anything "mean" you will be the first to call them bigots and racists.

    March 14, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Majestic

      I don't mind at all. Just make sure the sexually ignorant kids in UTAH stay the hell out of my state.

      March 14, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • Brian

      You mean to say that if you do not agree with the legislation just run to another state? What does that solve? I thought democracy was all about voicing your opinion and changing things for the better. I think you are ignorant of what goes on in the "real world". Abstinence has been proven to not be effective. Look up the studies. Some advice, if you want to earmuff your kids for the rest of their lives don't let then go to public school, or better yet keep them home on sex ed day. Genius idea. You are perpetuating ignorance because teens are having sex before marriage, its a fact. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the federal government stepped in and said the bill cannot be passed as is. And just because we are educated doesn't mean we are bigots.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Oz

      If it's a state right then why not have the whole state vote on it?

      March 14, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Silas Mirror

      I agree, Rich. States rights all the way. I my state most folks don't like race mixing. We could outlaw mixed marriages! That would be great because everyone has their own views. If you don't like it, move to another state. If Kentucky wants to allow slavery, I say why not? If you don't like slavery, just move to another state! Rich, states rights are the best. Every state knows what's best for them. No activist judges telling us how we should do things!

      March 14, 2012 at 11:56 am |
      • Bw

        Why should someone have to move from a location they love because someone is trying to force THEIR own views on everyone else? This is not right. And yes, freedom of speech all the way but what about the people in Utah who DON'T agree with this? Your suggestion to basically shut up or get out is extremely ridiculous and probably coming from someone who agrees with this ignorant decision. When will people just stop being so close-minded?

        March 14, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Justin

      Oh Rich I think you are forgetting one portion of the comments from the Governor. "The governor has said his decision will reflect the best policy for Utah, not necessarily public opinion." So he has no intentions of following your logic by letting the public decide.

      The above statement being said I hope he rules on the side of common sense as the matter of the mass majority of public opinion can be wrong i.e. Prop 8. Why politicians still rule or the public outcries to enact laws and regulations on the basis of "belief" or "religion" I have no idea since there should be separation of church and state!

      Someone should put out a bounty for information to said politicians sex life I personally highly doubt this said politician remained a virgin until married.

      March 14, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
  41. mdnc

    Morons. All of them.

    March 14, 2012 at 10:21 am |
  42. Go Figure

    This hardly sounds like a news story in the 21st century...people actually suggesting to folks that abstinence is the best solution to all the unplanned/unwanted pregnancies in our country...nevermind facts and real information about the whole process and contraception options. Wow! No wonder Father Rick is doing so well and the Teavangelicals are in the drivers seat....the illogic and downright stupidity outshines the sun!

    March 14, 2012 at 10:21 am |
  43. manohman

    One of the only ways I learned about sex education was through school programs. The topic of sex was too umcomfortable for my dad, and my mom was too scientific. The fact is, most parents don't know the first thing about talking to their children about sex. Had they not had these programs, I never would have known what condoms or birth control were. They stopped teaching sex education in my high school, for example, and my little sister didn't know condoms prevented STDs. (she thought they were simply to catch the sperm). Teenagers are going to have sex, whether you give them the proper education or not. Why not help prevent STDs rather than casting them aside as if they don't exist? It really bothers me that this bill made it this far – it seems like one hundred steps back in the wrong direction. Young adults should be allowed to know their options, and they should be taught to them by a teacher – someone they respect – not by google, or yahoo forums.

    March 14, 2012 at 10:01 am |
  44. Blossom89

    Your GOP at work! Welcome to the 16th century. I'd be surprised if they don't try to have sex-ed teach the rhythm method for contraception AFTER marriage!

    March 14, 2012 at 9:57 am |
  45. Qwertz

    As usual, these laws are a bit inane in their attempt to sanitize day to day reality. If one cannot mention "the intricacies of intercourse," how will teachers explain to the students what they're supposed to abstain from? One can envision classes turning into Beavis and Butthead exercises where teachers are reduced to snorts and giggles as they try to avoid mentioning the information they're not allowed to teach to students.

    March 14, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • ComSenseWiz

      Utah is a great place to ski and to find women who missed the abstinence classes.

      March 14, 2012 at 10:29 am |
      • Steve -- the Ultimate Authority on Everything

        .
        True dat!!!

        But, it's a shame that Utah is playing politics with such a serious issue. This is about information that our young people desperately need.

        March 14, 2012 at 10:33 am |
  46. Lisa

    This is not saying Sex Ed is the culprit but what is being said is it certainly isn't helping. Since the implementation of SEX ED in schools, STD's, pregnancies, and having sex in general has skyrocketed in our country among school age students. Look at the data people. Sex Ed doesn't work and it doesn't help and it's the not the school systems responsibility to make sure our kids know about sex. It is the responsibility of the parents, period. The school system needs to stick with their responsibility in educating our children in Math, English, Science, Social Studies, etc. This is what they were created to do, not be parents to our children. To the comment about "parents may not be teaching them so we have to" is like saying it's the education systems responsibility to raise every child who doesn't have a responsible set of parents. NOT their job to do. Sex Ed should not be taught in the classroom, HEALTH should. Sexual preference, what marriage is or isn't, etc. should not be taught in the classroom. This country has got to leave home lifestyles in the home. I think Utah and other state should just ban it altogether because the liberals want their way and the conservatives want it their way, so neither should get their way because their is no consensus and one point of view infringes upon the others point of view. Liberals need to get it and so do conservatives, we live in a mosh posh country with bi-polar perceptions and ideals of what our society should be and without consensus there is no law that works for everyone. We need to govern our own homes the way we see fit and quit trying to make everyone else conform to your view and ideals because it won't happen. We don't live in a unified country with the similar ideals, faith, mission, vision, goals, and desires for our country so a one size fits all approach will never work. I don't want anyone teaching my children anything but subjects that are needed for them to receive a high school diploma and a college degree, Sex Ed coupled with what families are or aren't, or what religions are or aren't is not. That's my responsibility, to teach them what I want them to know about life. So citizens and government stay out of the family and quit trying to dictate what everyone should think, feel, like, dislike, and believe. If families aren't teaching their children what citizens think they should be taught or being productive responsible parents then that is what mentoring is for, outside the classroom. So put your time where you mouth is and YOU take a child under your wing, with parental consent of course, to mentor and help train up a child. It's not the teachers responsibility.....

    March 14, 2012 at 9:44 am |
  47. bill

    This is funny. Hey when nature calls, no bible or laws can stop a young person from what nature programed him or her to do. We must instute a virginity right? Good luck with this teaching.

    March 14, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • What Now

      Yes...but that would mean they would need to understand biology. Unfortunately, real science just gets in the way, so they ignore facts. It's the same with those who don't believe in global climate change or evolution.

      March 14, 2012 at 9:54 am |
  48. dotheflippinmath

    Ron Dunn, teenage kids who want sex are responding to perfectly normal human urges. Before modern society, humans became sexually active in their teens. It's human nature and it's a stronger force than any religious or legal mandate to have them restrain themselves. Utah is heading back towards the dark ages. STD's and unwanted pregnancies will be the result. Utah legislators are out of touch fools, only cow-towwing to the far right to keep their elected positions. If stupidty were outlawed, Utah would be a very empty state.

    March 14, 2012 at 9:41 am |
  49. The_Mick

    What's not mentioned here is that the Bush Administration only supplied funding for abstinence only programs and EVERY Red State that instituted such programs and accepted the money eventually stopped taking it and ended the programs because of the huge increase in teen pregnancies in their States.

    March 14, 2012 at 9:38 am |
  50. TRouble

    Good for them! This is exactly how it should work. States should make their own laws and requirements, etc. And people can decide where to live, or whether to move to a different state. Meanwhile we get 50 democracies and hopefully, less Federalism.

    March 14, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • Dana

      When you get back to Middle Ages, send me a postcard, I'd like a peek what's it like. But i don't wanna go there in person.

      March 14, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • Tim

      So when will the government stop busting people for marijuana in states that it is legal in.... any opinion on this??

      March 14, 2012 at 10:21 am |
      • tacc2

        They only want "states rights" when it's concerning something they agree with.

        March 14, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • ama01

      Um, this isn't an article covering the right of states to set their own education standards vs federal standards. It's an article concerning the effectiveness of abstinence-only education. And if you're truly supporting the will of the people to influence their local community, then if a large enough portion of the population encourages the govenor to veto the bill, don't cry foul when he does.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • Bw

      false, that is not how it should work. I agree with the two posters above. Get back to us here in this day and age and then we'll talk.

      March 14, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  51. GetReal

    Shocking, that this comes from a state whose primary religion embraces magic underwear.

    March 14, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • Tim

      Jesus visited the Indians too!!!

      March 14, 2012 at 10:23 am |
  52. Tim

    This is just another clear example of how religion hinders progress. Our country was founded on the seperation of church and state so why is it, over 200 years later, we are still letting churches and other religious groups dictate our laws!? Religious leaders do not want progress because the more enlightened we become, the more we will realize that their Gods are not real. Religious leaders only want power and to dictate to you exactly how you should live your lives. Did you know that there are still several Christian schools in America that do not allow dancing at any social events or on their grounds because it is a sign of the devil? I know this because I used to assist churches, religious organizations and non-profits with fundraising. I found churches to be more corrupt and greedy than any business I have delt with.

    March 14, 2012 at 9:27 am |
  53. Mark

    Apparently there are a lot of stupid people in Utah.

    March 14, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • GetReal

      If I may.....

      There a re a lot of religious people in Utah. Oh wait, same thing.....nevermind.

      March 14, 2012 at 9:35 am |
  54. Not Blind

    We can't pretend like teenagers do not engage in sexual activitity. Instead of pretending like our children our the innocence we wish, we need to deal with this head on and try out best to put a spike in between. You can't control human emotion and you can't stop every teenager having sex. The best we can do is to prepare them for it with safety and words of wisdom. Don't turn a blind eye.

    March 14, 2012 at 9:08 am |
  55. MarkinFL

    Headline: Utah voted for no Se.x education

    March 14, 2012 at 9:07 am |
  56. shinden58

    Watch for a spike in underage births over the next couple of years. Abstinance, the form of birth control that has the highest number of unwanted births. When will politicans get their head out of the sand and deal with the real world as opposed to something less than reality.

    March 14, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • BobCs

      Unwanted pregnancy, unwanted birth. Do you hear what you are saying? I hear you talk about evolution and science. When will you use your intellect and reason to recognize the way new life is brought into the world is by a man and woman coming together and a child will come from this union. Nature as created by God is much more powerful than you and your selfish desire to make life into what you would have it be. Truth is there is only one choice when choosing to engage in sexual activity in the end you must submit to the possibility of a new life being conceived and it is your responsibility to protect that new life or you will violate your own self. You will live with your decision at least until the end of your life on earth. Wake up! True Life is waiting for you.

      March 14, 2012 at 11:29 am |
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