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Education Reporter

You're Teaching My Child What?, Miriam Grossman M.D., Regnery Publishing 2009, 246 pps., $24.95

In this book, Dr. Miriam Grossman backs up unpopular truths about waiting and abstinence, sex and relationships, homosexuality, and gender confusion with the most up-to-date science — science that teens don't learn in supposedly "science-based" and "comprehensive" sex ed classes.

Since one in four teen girls now has a sexually transmitted infection (STI), Grossman's expos‚ of STI miseducation is especially important. Sex ed materials and instructors send students to websites such as "Go Ask Alice," an award-winning site that receives thousands of questions a week. "The only way to be 100% certain you don't get any infections is not to have any oral, vaginal, or anal sex," "Alice" tells anxious teens. "Most people eventually decide to take the plunge and explore the joys of sex."

"Alice," like other sex ed "experts," presents teens with two alternatives: dreary lifelong celibacy, or "taking the plunge" and risking some mildly inconvenient viruses that everyone gets eventually, anyway. "Just remember that almost everyone gets HPV at some time . . . the virus is so common that having only a single lifetime partner does not assure protection," another site asserts.

But as Grossman explains, "the medically accurate message is that all sexually transmitted infections, and the anguish that accompanies them, are 100% avoidable." Teens need only to wait to have sex, find someone who also waited, and then be faithful. In today's sex ed classes, students learn little to nothing about this alternative. Nor do they learn about the trauma that even the mildest of the two dozen widespread STIs can cause.

Many students learn that condoms provide 98% protection against pregnancy and STIs, including HIV. "Perfect use" of condoms prevents pregnancy at a rate of 98% (though the rate for "typical use" by adults falls to 85%). But perfect use of condoms during vaginal intercourse reduces the risk of HIV transmission by 80% at best. Condoms only reduce the risk of transmission of gonorrhea by 62%, of Chlamydia by 26%, of genital herpes by 25-50%, and of HPV not at all.

The material in the book is disturbing, but Grossman has spared readers much that teens are routinely subjected to. She conclusively proves that SIECUS, Planned Parenthood, and Advocates for Youth, the leading sex ed organizations, want to present students with a view of sex driven by outdated, warped Kinseyian ideology, not by science or teenagers' best interests.

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