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March 13, 2007

Testimony from Barb Anderson
To the House Education Committee
Regarding HF 615 [also SF 588]
to mandate Comprehensive Sex Education 7-12
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
        My name is Barb Anderson.  I am speaking in opposition to HF 615. I am a former teacher and I have followed the sex education issue since 1990, and annually attend the MN School Health Education Conference where comprehensive sex education is promoted.  I would like to help you see the real content of mainstream comprehensive sex education and show you why it should not be mandated. 
        A representative model of comprehensive sex education is the Educators Guide to Reproductive Health that was introduced at the School Health Education Conference last month.  This conference is attended by hundreds of health educators each year. The Birds & Bees Project an organization that trains teachers and uses comprehensive sex ed to educate more than 8,000 young people in the Twin Cities metro area each year publishes this guide.
        This is typical comprehensive sex ed. and your handout contains excerpts of lessons for middle and high school students.  There are five reasons why I am opposed to this bill that would mandate this type of teaching.
1.) Comprehensive sex education gives choices to young people without guidance.  Teachers are told (page 22) to respect youth and their decision to be, or not to be, sexually active.  Students learn to develop their own values and are told,   There is no right or wrong, and no good or bad choice. In this crucial area of their lives, comprehensive sex educators just give them information.  That is like dumping a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle on a childwith no straight edges, no box top, and saying, Here, put it together.  We would never consider teaching drug education or drivers education in this way. 
2.) Promiscuity is presented as commonplace and normal, while abstinence-until-marriage is actually scoffed at in the classroom Captain Condom video included in this curriculum. Captain Condom asks 15-year-old-actors (who, in the video, appear to be naked under a blanket) Is there anything in your family, religious or cultural background that would prevent you from having sex, and do you want to save sex for marriage?  The 15-year-olds loudly respond, Hell no! 

3.) The sexual content of the lessons includes sexual slang terms, explicit descriptions of contraceptives, and graphic classroom demonstrations of condoms as safe sex using a wooden phallus, fingers, a banana, cucumber or test tube.  On page 81 the lesson states, Condom use can be incorporated into your sexual experience in creative and sensual ways. Students are told they can purchase flavored or glow-in-the-dark condoms, and that they can experiment with their partner for purposes of pleasure and fun.  These lessons violate parents92 rights and send the wrong message to kids.
4.) The SIECUS guidelines are foundational to this curriculum and to all comprehensive sex education.  SIECUS is the national clearinghouse for comprehensive sex education.  You can see a sample of the guidelines at the back of your handout.  What they consider age appropriate is much different from what you and I, and most parents would think is appropriate.

        In comprehensive sex education, beginning at age 12, (page 16) students discuss vaginal sex, oral sex, anal sex and masturbation (all done in mixed classes).  For agses 15 and up, the contraceptive unit contains graphic instructions for condom use for students and how to make dental dams for oral sex on the vulva or the anus.  On page 44 the instructions say please excuse this explicit language. I will only read part of the instructions that students hear. The person performing oral sex lays the dental dam (a thin sheet of latex) flat over the vulva or anus and should be used during oral/vaginal sex (cunnilingus) or oral/anal sex (analingus or rimming)...A new dam should be used if switching partners.

        Imagine being fifteen and hearing this in the classroom.  This is typical comprehensive sex education.  Is this what you want to mandate for our kids in Minnesota?  This goes beyond the role of a health educator and becomes an issue of advocacy and promotion of dangerous behaviors. 
5.) Comprehensive sex education encourages children to accept a homo/bi/trans sexual lifestyle as normative and teaches that there are three equivalent forms of sexual intercourse.  Why?  Because the guide insists on inclusiveness of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth and their behaviors.  Comprehensive sex ed. protects the beliefs of students who do not conform to traditional gender roles, and tramples on the beliefs of those that do.  This is unfit for a public school setting.
        I urge you to reject HF 615 that would mandate comprehensive sex education 7-12.  This bill is taking us in the wrong direction.  We need true abstinence programs.  Comprehensive sex education is a failed program that puts children at risk and does not respect the diversity of families and faiths in the Minnesota public schools.

105 Peavey Rd, Suite 116, Chaska, MN 55318
952-361-4931 www.edwatch.org - edwatch@lakes.com

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