In the small Texas town of Crane, whose population hovers around 4,000, there normally isn’t much ado which can place it in the national spotlight. It’s a small town in the heart of Texas, about 30 miles from Odessa. The sole claim to fame the town publicizes is that it is the hometown of “Famous Author Elmer Kelton.” Now, if you are wondering who Elmer Kelton is, worry not! I had no idea, either.
Additionally, the biggest problem appearing to plague the town seems to be a water shortage where three days of the week all “even numbered houses” will have their water regulated, alternating with another three days where all “odd numbered houses” will have their water regulated. There is a steep fine of $500 for anyone found in violation of that regulation.
But underneath the small town atmosphere lies a deep dark secret: Teenagers have sex!
But no one is willing to talk about or accept this biological fact. In fact this small town which remains a conservative bastion of backwards ignorance and denial is now facing an epidemic of epic proportions. 1 in 15 students in the Crane School System has chlamydia! Yes, you read that right.
It seems that not teaching kids about sex does not, in fact, deter them from actually having sex as can be shown in studies here, here, and here; while actually having sex education not only prevents mishaps like unwanted pregnancies and STD’s it actually delays teens sexual activity as was shown in this study here.
While we have seen a popular movement from Republicans across the nation to ban comprehensive sex education (despite the aforementioned studies showing its effectiveness), and instead replace it with an abstinence only education that does not appear to be the case here. In the heart of Texas, even advocating for abstinence-only sexual education is far too progressive for the citizens of Crane. There is no sex education in the school system whatsoever according to their 2014 Student Handbook.
While, the majority of parents may not like to think about their children as beings capable of sexuality, it is time for them to just grow up. Sexuality is a part of human nature and denying it or looking the other way merely serves to create situations which can lead to dangerous outcroppings such as the one in this school district. Will your kids have sex? Probably. What can you do about it? Aside from mentor and guidance, you can advocate for your children to learn the risks involved and the safety precautions that can be taken as a result.
Sex education isn’t teaching kids perversions of any act that is reprehensible, rather it is preparing them for something that is inevitable and giving them the guidance to move forward without making a mistake that can affect them for the rest of their lives. The vast majority of unwanted pregnancies are occurring in the most conservative states who shun sexual education and seemed ashamed that the very act of sex can be committed.
Isn’t it time we came to our senses?
Featured Image: Wikimedia Commons