Garrett Mize is the Youth Advocacy Coordinator at the Texas Freedom Network and heads up the Texas Youth Leadership Council, the Texas portion of Advocates for Youth’s Cultural Advocacy and Mobilization Initiative.
Texas Governor Rick Perry has been sliding in the polls and his debate performances have hit a brick wall. It seems that after an initial flurry of excitement when he entered the race, primary voters are becoming increasingly disinterested with the “Texas miracle” governor. Just last night, Perry flubbed again when discussing basic facts about our country’s founding:
“Our Founding Fathers never meant for Washington, D.C. to be the fount of all wisdom. As a matter of fact they were very much afraid of that because they’d just had this experience with this far-away government that had centralized thought process and planning and what have you, and then it was actually the reason that we fought the revolution in the 16th century was to get away from that kind of onerous crown if you will.”
Not only is Perry off by a couple of hundred years when it comes to what century the American Revolutionary War took place but his sex ed policies are also incredibly outdated. His insistence on abstinence-only-until-marriage as the best approach for sex ed is beyond just being old-fashioned; it’s almost medieval!
Sex ed in the 21st-century should be medically-accurate, evidence-based, fully inclusive of LGBTQ youth and comprehensive. A true comprehensive sex ed program should also include information about abstinence as the only 100 percent effective method of birth control and STI prevention, but it should go further to include information about contraceptives and skills on having healthy relationships.
Despite the pleas of medical professionals, educators and public health leaders to shift toward comprehensive sex ed in Texas, Perry seems to prefer the sex ed policies of the 16th-century Puritans over 21st-century science.