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Sex Ed Round-Up: California, Deleware & National Black Religious Summit on Sexuality

Rachel Hart,
Reproductive Freedom Project
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July 17, 2006

California: InsideBayArea has an article about teen births in San Joaquin County. The article talks about an organization called Delta Health Care that teaches comprehensive sex education in Tracy, Manteca, Stockton, Lodi and Lathrop. Note that one of the students says that she learned from the program that she “want[s] to be abstinent.” Deleware: The News Journal reports on a program in Wilmington called the Collaborative Sexual Abstinence Program. The program ended with teens making a public pledge to abstain and they received a silver ring to serve as a reminder of their decision. The article notes that Delaware schools are required to provide comprehensive sex ed that stresses abstinence.And The Washington Informer has an interview with Rev. Carlton W. Veazey, president and CEO of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice and a minister of the National Baptist Convention about sexuality education and religion. The article the National Black Religious Summit on Sexuality which the National Black Church Initiative has convened for the last ten years and which took place just last week. Rev. Veazey has some interesting things to say about religion and sex ed:

I think that [what the church can do to promote responsible sexual behavior] is what this whole Summit is about. In fact, when I started the National Black Religious Summit on Sexuality 10 years ago, my goal then, and is today, to make comprehensive sexuality education a vital component of all religious education. I don’t think there should be a religious education program in our churches without having a component of sexuality education and that component should be broad enough, comprehensive enough. We’re living in a time when the most important thing, I think in life, is to have a wholesome relationship. A wholesome relationship may or may not be a marital relationship and I think what we need to teach people is that they ought to have a wholesome relationship with a person and in that wholesome relationship could be a sexuality component…many people will not get married. I have a daughter who is 38 years old, and she has no intention of getting married. What am I to say to her that because of that you are denied the expression of sexuality? No I can’t say that. More progressive ministers understand this. We’re going to have to address questions that people are asking. I had a professor who said that what we do in the church many times we’re answering questions nobody is asking. We have to answer questions people are asking, and they do want to know how can I be religious and also have a wholesome life, which includes a sexuality component? If the church gets real about it, we can prevent a lot of abuse, we can prevent a lot of infection and STDS, but you got to be open enough.

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