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Guidelines on Sex Education

October 01, 1986

The proposed changes in the state Board of Education's guidelines on sex education mostly signal positive steps toward making sexuality understandable and manageable for teen-agers. However, I read with chagrin the suggestion put forward by state Supt. of Public Instruction Bill Honig that "we can and should say that premarital sex is wrong."

Honig's attitude betrays an archaic sexual double standard, as it is obvious that women alone would have to bear the stigma of having been "bad." Since most teens now have premarital sex, and tomorrow's teens are likely to continue doing so, wouldn't it make more sense to teach teen-age men and women the value of shared reproductive responsibility rather than just telling them to abstain from sex until after they're married? Teen-agers need to be presented with several responsible sexual alternatives, including, but not limited to, abstinence.

To embark the public school system on a mawkish quest to recapture the supposed innocence of a bygone era would serve only to revive and foster an unfair cultural bias against female sexuality.

RICHARD CREEL

Santa Barbara

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