Ross Olson's Web Site


Testimony Regarding Comprehensive Sex Education

I am Ross Olson, a Pediatrician with over three decades of medical practice and I have serious concern about the messages we are sending our teens.

Our society is saturated with the ideas that sexual promiscuity is not only normal but free of untoward consequences. Comprehensive sex education only makes it worse. For one thing, it is often nearly pornographic in nature. After a detailed demonstration of the use of the condom, I submit that the average 9th grader is not thinking about math next hour. When the assumption is conveyed that all teens WILL be sexually active, the virgins feel perverse peer pressure to join the herd.

And condoms are portrayed as making it all “safe,” failing to disclose that they do not significantly reduce herpes (which can threaten subsequent babies with brain damage or death) or Chlamydia (which can lead to life threatening ectopic pregnancy or infertility.) And although they reduce the risk of HIV, any unnecessary risk of a deadly disease is tragic. Pregnancy also occurs at least 15% per year among teens using condoms correctly. And DiCemente ironically found that teen use of condoms with the third through fifth partners was down to 27.4% from 49.6% for the first.

Why would that be, since they now know where to get them and how to use them? As adults we understand the trauma of unfaithfulness. Can you imagine what it is like for young adolescents? The emotional toll is horrendous, self esteem plummets and many girls want a baby, since the guys don’t stick around. To call multiple partners a success story amounts to treating our young people like animals.

It is a myth that abstinence programs do not work. If the same criteria are used to evaluate both comprehensive sex education programs and abstinence programs, there is very little effect of either. Programs that build character and courage to make the right choice, while providing practical tools for avoiding or defusing tempting situations do make a difference, especially if taught by someone who actually believes in the long term benefits. And those programs clearly identify the physically and mentally healthiest choice, waiting for one faithful partner for life, as the best, not just one of many correct choices.

Comprehensive Sex Education Curriculum writers often have very different objectives from the parents. In fact, although they disguise their goals, many believe that adolescents must be wrenched free of outmoded and restrictive morality in order to experience “the utopian paradise of total sexual freedom.”

I urge you to examine the programs being proposed and look at the underlying philosophy and ask the question, “Is this what I would want for my children or grandchildren?”

Ross S. Olson MD 3/18/08

Send comments to me at ross{at}

The URL for this document is

Test Visitors