I still remember the banana demo from eighth-grade health class.
Yes, there was giggling and joking. We squirmed and made faces. But we came away with at least a basic understanding of how condoms work. Nothing could have been construed as encouragement to have sex, and yet we did learn there were options for those who chose not to wait.
I got a similar lesson in high school. And that was probably the last time I gave much thought to sex ed in schools.
That is, until Deb Courtney told me her concerns about the sex ed her son Zach had experienced in Colorado Springs School District 11, much of it from a group called Education for a Lifetime, which is part of the Life Network, a Christian anti-abortion group.
EFL pulls many of its teachings from an abstinence-until-marriage curriculum called Aspire. As I became more familiar with it (see this week's cover story), and abstinence-until-marriage programs in general, it became clear why they can be so controversial.
In spite of a 2007 Colorado law that says sex ed content must be science-based, EFL crosses some shaky ground, for instance telling kids that people who have premarital sex lose their ability to "bond" with future spouses.
Everyone seems to agree that abstinence is an appropriate message. But this? It seems to be something else entirely.