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Big Decision in Texas Could Affect Sex-Ed Texts Across Country

by Jim Brown
July 19, 2004
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(AgapePress) - A pro-family group is haling new abstinence-only health textbooks for Texas public schools, the nation's second-largest buyer of textbooks.

The Texas State Board of Education held public hearings on the books last week in Austin and will once again in September. Opponents of the books -- among them Planned Parenthood of Texas and the Texas Freedom Network -- prefer a "comprehensive" sex-ed approach in the books.

But Cathie Adams with Texas Eagle Forum says the publishers consulted with the consumers of education -- parents and teachers.

"We are so happy that they did that consultation because those parents and those teachers said very clearly that we need to deliver to our children what we expect their behavior to be," Adams says, explaining that the expected behavior is clear: they should not be engaging in sexual activity until they are married.

Adams says students should not only be encouraged to live morally, but also taught how to remain sexually abstinent until marriage. There are obvious benefits, she says.

"There is a teaching process -- a very successful process in every study that has been accomplished -- showing that teaching children what expected behavior is, is very successful not only in preventing pregnancy but also in preventing sexually transmitted diseases and certainly in preventing broken hearts."

The 15-member board will vote in November whether to keep the abstinence-only health texts as is, or include detailed information on such things as condoms and birth control. The books would be used by 9th- and 10th-graders beginning next year. According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the ultimate decision could have nationwide ramifications because publishers typically market their Texas books in other states.

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