The reasoning behind this change is that schools need to provide an “above the waist” approach to sex education so that children can make better decisions about life. Bill Albert, Chief Program office for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, states: “There is a growing realization that we have to talk to you people about relationships.... It’s saying ‘What are your goals?’ and helping young people understand what they need to do to get there.”
It is difficult to see exactly how government, not to mention the federal government, has any proper role in inculcating moral values and social norms to children. The usual bootstrap argument runs something like this: “States pay young mothers who have children out of wedlock. The federal government supports those state programs. Therefore, the federal government has a legitimate interest in reducing its costs by teaching young ladies how not to have babies.”
Inevitably, and intentionally, this usurps the traditional role of family, community, and faith — each of which has historically and effectively insured that the perils of unmarried pregnancy or adolescent promiscuity, while never perfectly protected, were still reasonably regulated by the expectations of proper behavior. This was reinforced by the fact that if a young lady had a child out of wedlock, it was the family, the church or synagogue, and the neighborhood that historically picked up the pieces and either supported the new mother or provided for the adoption of the infant by a good family.
The whole, smoky intrusion of the federal government into “life choices” of young adults cannot be neatly ended at a brightly drawn line. The Judeo-Christian religious tradition treats marriage as the proper place for sexual relations and for raising children. Adherence to this value system also prevents the promiscuity that has heralded the explosion of sexually transmitted diseases and the descent of many young women into the nether regions of the “adult film” industry and prostitution. Now, presumably, government educational bureaucracies are going to teach secular principles of healthy living rather than religious principles of moral behavior — all on the taxpayer’s dime.
When clergymen and rabbis, parents and grandparents, friends and neighbors all worked together to raise kids right, the system seemed to work pretty well. The explosion in out-of-wedlock pregnancies, abortions, and venereal diseases has come after, not before, the federal government began to try to replace parents and religious precepts. The old system, also, cost the taxpayers nothing at all.