What “Comprehensive” Sex Ed Is Really All About

The Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health is at it again. In 2006, ICAH held its annual fundraiser at Playboy‘s executive offices. That event—view the invitation here [PDF]—included a VIP reception with Playboy CEO Christie Hefner, the daughter of Hugh Hefner, who founded the magazine in 1953. Several years ago, Christie decided that the company could make more money by producing increasingly harder-core pornography — something that even her father was reluctant to do for a long time. The next year, their annual fundraiser featured a stripper. At this year’s event on June 15, ICAH will be honoring sex advice columnist Dan Savage with the group’s “Sexuality Activist Award.” The fact that Savage is being honored tells us everything we need to know about ICAH’s values and the advice they believe should be given to kids.

Savage: “Porn Addiction Is Bulls***.” Really?

For just one example, on his website Savage ridicules a support group for pornography addicts by claiming “porn addiction is bulls***.” This despite piles of evidence showing how devastatingly harmful and addictive porn really is. (Witness pop singer John Mayer’s widely publicized admission that he would rather watch porn than form a new relationship with a real woman.) Most of the advice Savage gives is so bad, we can’t even mention it.

Are These the Values We Want Pushed on Children?

In its press statement [PDF] announcing this year’s event, ICAH blames “harmful abstinence-only-until-marriage messages that have proven inaccurate and ineffective” for the alarmingly high rates of pregnancy and STDs among teens. Yet the evidence for successful abstinence education programs continues to mount, and meanwhile, it’s increasingly clearer that the message of Condoms, Condoms, More Condoms, And Even More Condoms doesn’t, you know, work. So let’s review: For 3 of the last 5 years, the honored guests at ICAH functions have included the CEO of Playboy, a stripper, and a lurid sex columnist. And they expect the people of Illinois to believe they have children’s best interests at heart when they push for so-called “comprehensive” sex education. How stupid do they think we are?


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