The article "Children having Children: Race, Innocence, and Sexual Education" by Jessica Fields discusses the debate of abstinence-only sexual education vs. abstinence-plus sexual education in a low-income, largely African American school in North Carolina. The debate was largely gendered and racist amongst the parents, the term "children having children" was given to all of the low-income "at risk" African American girls in the school. Fields states that this debate "reﬂects a history of controlling myths about African American women's excessive and corrupted sexuality--a history that dates in the United States to the enslavement of black women and men". One thing I found interesting is the fact that when talking about the children all of the adults, discussed them as being raceless beings. Stating, they both "only wanted the best for the children".
The article discussed teen pregnancy and sexual diseases in the South as a social problem left up to the rest of society to solve. It stated both sides of the argument, and the risks that come with them. Abstinence-only education argued that if school's were to teach the children more than only abstinence, it would encourage a large majority of the students to become sexually active. To support their argument the used the very interesting 20-60-20 statistic. Abstinence-plus education argued that because of the already high pregnancy rates, teaching the children about safe sex would decrease these rates.
The article mainly focused on female sexual education rather than male sexual education, occasionally stating that African American males were considered the "trouble makers" of the classroom. White children were considered to be "innocent virgins", one example of this was seen when a fifth grade white girl stood up in front of the board to only say, "I don't want the school to teach me about condoms". This is only one demonstration of the wide racial divide in this debate.
This article brings up many questions, such as who should decide what type of sexual education is taught in schools, the parents, administrators, or other? Why are children viewed as sexually innocent beings when the age people have sex keeps getting lower? Is sex education in the North greatly different than the South? If so, why?