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Teaching Sex Abstinence

August 21, 1988

So the California Assembly passed legislation mandating that instructors teach students that sex before marriage is harmful ("Assembly OKs Bill Requiring the Teaching of Sex Abstinence," Part I, Aug. 12). I choked on my bagel while reading that bit of news.

Last year I taught eighth grade in Alhambra. My students would have laughed me out of the room if I told them that a new law required such teaching.

What makes our legislators believe that laws will change sexual behavior that has been in the making for 30 years? Morals are not controlled by law. They are inculcated slowly into the minds of our youth by the examples of parents, friends, and the media. If sexual behavior is to change, it will have to be done through the raising of consciousness on the part of society.

If anything, passing laws requiring such teaching will make a mockery of the educational system and will accomplish nothing but scorn on the part of our youth.

MAXINE ASHER

Palm Springs

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