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By Tamara L. Roleff, Book Editor

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Sex Education 30 Frontmatter 2/12/04 7:40 AM Page 30 At Issue text. To state that “the primary goal of sexuality education is the promotion of sexual health” is particularly unfortunate in this context. At the same time, approaches which treat sex not tied to procreation as sinful, shameful, or dirty should be avoided. To say, in this context, that “most merciful God, we confess we are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves,” may speak to some people with religious commitments (but surely offends others); provided as a part of a statement about “human sexuality” it sends a rather different message than the one endorsed here.

The fact, though, is that all too many parents are either unable or unwilling to dedicate themselves sufficiently to the education of their children. Indeed, throughout modern times, schools have supplemented parental education, and stepped in where parents were not available or their contributions to character education were inadequate. Public education for intimacy is no different. The fact, however, that some of the responsibility for sex education is delegated to schools, does not mean that parents have lost their right and duty to be involved in decision-making concerning the education to which their children are subjected, especially with highly charged and normatively loaded issues.

Government to keep contraceptives out of the hands of the poor, the unmarried, and the young. ” As late as 1964 contraception was nominally illegal in some states even for married people. Public contraceptive programs, condoms in plain view in grocery stores, and magazine advertisements for contraceptive products were unimaginable. Sex education for many students before the 1960s consisted of a brief lecture about menstrual hygiene (delivered to girls by the school nurse) or nocturnal emissions (delivered to boys by the coach).

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