Sex-ed bill provides real-life learning

Recently a friend asked me how I learned about sex.

Oh, baby.

I asked my mom about it in the fourth grade, she brought me a book that started with animals, I made it as far as the cows when my dad said I was too young, and he took the book away from me.

I never again asked my parents about sex.

But I had learned how cows do it.

Fortunately, my ignorance didn’t end up with me becoming pregnant or having an abortion.

But the 15 Assembly Republicans who voted Tuesday against an age-appropriate sex-ed bill, which passed courtesy of 26 Democrats, might want to think of all the people who, for whatever reason, don’t ask their parents about sex, leaving their children to learn from the school sluts or braggarts, or not learn at all.

Maybe the daughters of politicians have to get pregnant or their sons have to get AIDS before they think perhaps a little more sex education might have been worthwhile.

The recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about how many Nevada teenagers have not just one child, but two or more, should shock you.

One out of every five pregnant teenagers in the United States is not having her first child, but her second or more.

The Nevada number is even worse than one in five, and the Silver State is right up there with Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Georgia and Louisiana.

Want to live in a state where teenage girls learn a lesson after their first pregnancy? Move to Wyoming, or the Northeast.

Even more shocking is the number of repeat abortions girls age 15 through 19 have in Nevada.

At my request, the Nevada State Health Division ran the numbers of repeat abortions in 2011 for that age group, and the result was staggering: 134 females who had abortions in 2011 also had previous abortions.

The largest tally in 2011 was 116 girls who were having their second abortion. Twelve girls were on their third. Three were on their fourth. One Clark County girl was on her fifth, and another was on her seventh.

The heartbreaker: One Clark County girl in that age group had her ninth abortion in 2011.

These figures don’t include those first-time abortions, but our numbers are high there, too.

And some lawmakers don’t want to see sex education in schools? Really.

Kudos to Assemblyman David Bobzien, D-Reno, who introduced the bill after discovering that the curriculum is 30 years old, some districts don’t teach it and there is no consistency in what is taught.

It took some guts for Assemblywoman Lucy Flores, D-Las Vegas, to testify she had an abortion in her teens. Raised by her father, he didn’t provide sex education for her.

Some Republicans want the curriculum left up to parents or local school boards instead of having a standardized curriculum taught in schools.

Last I knew, sex in White Pine County is a lot like sex in Clark County. Contraception works the same in each of the 17 counties, so does abstinence. Those communicable diseases are the same.

Because the split in the Senate is so close, 11 Democrats to 10 Republicans, if the GOP holds together and makes sex education a bill to die for, all it needs is one Democrat to agree with the Republicans to kill AB230.

There is an opt-out provision, so parents can remove their children from the classes, which are not required for graduation.

Who taught you?

College girlfriends were my educators, followed by the first publication of “The Joy of Sex” in 1972.

Those line drawings explained a lot. So did Marsha, Leora and Sally.

Jane Ann Morrison’s column appears Monday, Thursday and Saturday. Email her at Jane@reviewjournal.com or call her at (702) 383-0275.

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