Alice Dreger attended her son's sex ed class last week at East Lansing High School in Michigan, and once she realized what the teacher (and guest teacher) were up to, she decided to take action against it. Aside from being a bioethicist, she's also a professor and author of Galileo's Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science, so needless to say, she does not appreciate arguments that aren't supported by facts. This teacher was her worst nightmare.
Fortunately her son was on her side and told his mother (and his friends) he'd be taking his sexual education into his own hands.
He even invited her to sit in on the class so she could understand what he was dealing with. Famous last words. Things started to go badly pretty quickly.
I can't stand this. They're teaching "abstinence stories" that worked and non-abstinence" stories that "led to consequences."— Alice Dreger (@AliceDreger) April 15, 2015
Then they went from bad to worse. When Dreger's son argued against abstinence being the key to less premarital sex and his teacher shot him down, Dreger started to lose it.
I feel like raising my hand and saying "Can I tell my sexual history, which involves a lot of pleasure before and during marriage?"— Alice Dreger (@AliceDreger) April 15, 2015
The teacher then began using several scare tactic stories (that may not even have been true) to exhibit what could very likely happen to you if you have premarital sex.
Now he's talking about getting a girl preg and them hiding it from their parents. Yup, that's what sexual shame does, dude!— Alice Dreger (@AliceDreger) April 15, 2015
Preg girl got picked on so her friends desserted her. That's what happens if you have sex, kids! Yup! Pregnant and NO FRIENDS!— Alice Dreger (@AliceDreger) April 15, 2015
Pregnancy equals no friends. Got it. I'm so acing this sex ed midterm. Then the class took an even darker turn (if you can imagine).
The whole lesson here is "sex is part of a terrible lifestyle. Drugs, unemployment, failure to finish school -- sex is part of the disaster"— Alice Dreger (@AliceDreger) April 15, 2015
However, the irony was not lost on Dreger.
This whole story of OD's, people in prison, out-of-marriage pregnancies is ironically a story of this guy's resilience and normalcy.— Alice Dreger (@AliceDreger) April 15, 2015
After a life of sin, this teacher learned the only type of girl worth his time was an abstinence-only girl.
"I finally met a great girl who was brought up in abstinence, and her life was so much better. I put her on a pedestal above everyone else."— Alice Dreger (@AliceDreger) April 15, 2015
At this point, Dreger had a bunch of Twitter supporters on her side, and they all thought this "education by worst-case scenario" was utterly absurd. Then this happened.
"You'll find a good girl. If you find one that says 'no,' that's the one you want." HE ACTUALLY JUST SAID THAT.— Alice Dreger (@AliceDreger) April 15, 2015
And that was just the first half of the class! Then the woman teacher spoke at length about the dangers of condoms. I imagine Dreger just slamming her head against her desk at this point.
She's now telling story of condom box in which EVERY SINGLE CONDOM HAD A HOLE.— Alice Dreger (@AliceDreger) April 15, 2015
This teacher was particularly statistic happy — not that any of them were terribly accurate, but big numbers are always scary, so why not use them?
She says per the FDA 1 out of every 400 boxes of condom can be totally defective. "You might get that 400th box." BE AFRAID!— Alice Dreger (@AliceDreger) April 15, 2015
"We are going to roll this dice 8 times. Every time your number comes up, in pretend your condom failed and you get a paper baby." JESUS!!!— Alice Dreger (@AliceDreger) April 15, 2015
And finally, the class culminated with the traditional handing out of paper babies. Because all sex leads to babies, and paper cutouts really helps you feel that responsibility. But remember, abortions are not allowed!
Paper babies are being handed out to EVERYONE. They have ALL HAD CONDOM FAILURE AND THE WHOLE CLASS IS PREGNANT.— Alice Dreger (@AliceDreger) April 15, 2015
"You have to have a baby!" There are apparently no scissors in the room for paper abortions.— Alice Dreger (@AliceDreger) April 15, 2015
Alice tried to school the teachers on their terrible, scare tactic teaching methods after class, but it did not go particularly well. When she told them she thinks it's important to teach about sex being pleasurable and respectful, their mouths fell open in shock.
She left the class horrified, feeling like the sex education in her relatively progressive town was just as outdated as it had been 30 years ago. While she recognizes she can get a little aggressive on controversial subjects like this, she knows it's better to speak up than sit back and let such ignorant, fear-based teachings continue without interruption.
You can read more from this awesome, forward-thinking mom and her battle with the backward sex ed class on The Stranger. She is certainly a force to be reckoned with, but the best part of the story is her unflagging respect for her son who continues to think for himself.
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