Dr. Don McLeroy's Take On Sex Ed in Texas

JanieBelle's picture

Dr. Don McLeroy, Ready to Destroy Education in TexasOn the heels of my post at UDreamOfJanie about anti-science Sunday School Teacher Dr. Don McLeroy being appointed head of the Texas Board of Education, allow me to bring to your attention another of Dr. McLeroy's religiously motivated dangers to education in the Lone Star State.

I'll spare you the awful frames at his homepage this time, and point you directly to his statement on abstinence only Sex Ed.

Many of us on the Bryan school district's Teen Sexuality Committee firmly believe that a strong abstinence message is the only safe and realistic goal of a sex-education curriculum for our local schools.

Teen promiscuity results in three major risks: ill-timed or unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases-including AIDS, and emotional or psychological damage. In dealing with this problem, the committee is divided into two basic positions: those who favor a strong abstinence message, with contraception discussed in the context of marriage, and those who favor what is termed "comprehensive sex education" and believe we should give out all the appropriate information so that the sexually active teen will at least have the opportunity and knowledge to engage in what they call "protected' sex."

The comprehensive view agrees that abstinence is the best way to go but claim that "realistically" it is an unattainable goal. I will argue that the abstinence view is the realistic one and the only view that offers "protected sex." To begin, let us define what a healthy sexual teen is, according to the two positions, and then see if the behavior described is likely or not.

This statement was originally published in 1992, but reaffirmed in 2003. As it still stands and is presented at his homepage, it is presumably still his position.

Dr. McLeroy, a dentist by profession, repeats the usual mantra of "sex is bad, m'kay". He also predictably repeats the insinuation either mistakenly or deceptively that extra-marital sex of course inherently causes psychological and emotional problems:

The truth is "the protected" are only partially protected against pregnancy and STD's. Against the third risk of promiscuity, the psychological and emotional risks, they are totally unprotected.

My favorite little message Dr. McLeroy presents on that page however, is this one:

Do "the protected" exist? To better understand this more complex behavior, let us look at a real example of it - the mature marriage. In the privacy of their bedroom, with careful planning, and where even with "spur of the moment" decisions all the necessary contraception is available, "protected sex" is practiced. Do teens have such a private place? Do they plan so carefully? Do they have the medicine cabinet located so conveniently? Are they so committed? What incredible teens these must be, what mature planners to always find a place with contraception always avail-able and easily usable every time.

In addition, they must be mature enough to overcome their egocentric thinking ("It can't happen to me"), their concrete short-term reasoning ("'Let's eat, drink and be merry."), and the stigma of being known as sexually active ("Psst - they're doing it."). Is such behavior realistic? I believe "the protected," the desired result of the comprehensive view, to be totally unrealistic. It rarely, if ever, happens.

Did you happen to catch the logic there? Teens are not informed about their sexuality, and don't have easy access to protection because people like Dr. McLeroy have caused that to be the case, and Dr. McLeroy tells us that teenagers should not have sex because they are not informed or protected.


The most charitable interpretation I can give that page or the appointment of Dr. McLeroy to head the State Board of Education is "irresponsible".