Praise the Lord and pass the condoms. A recent St. Petersburg Times survey indicated that most Floridians (86%), even evangelical Christians (72%), believe public schools should go beyond ignorance only, oops, abstinence only dogma to teach sex education in a more complete way, including pregnancy and disease prevention. 58% of respondents thought sex ed should start in middle school, with almost twice as many women as men saying it should start in elementary school.
All sarcasm aside, I've said it before and I'll stress it again: I do not believe children should be encouraged to have sex. However, some are going to do it, no matter what their parents, teachers and clergy tell them. Those who do it need to know how to avoid two of the consequences that are most devastating to the children themselves and to the society they inhabit. Teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases affect us all in one way or another.
Florida has the 16th highest pregnancy rate in the nation and the second highest AIDs rate.
Kids are bombarded by sex by media from a very early age, and a lot of the messages they get that way are damaging to them. 81% of the people surveyed who didn't think sex ed should be taught in schools said it should be taught by parents instead. Trouble is, many parents aren't doing a very good job of it.