As if last week’s story about Tennessee passing an anti-science bill that will force teachers to explain “alternative theories” to evolution and climate change wasn’t bad enough, that state’s legislature has gone even further into the land of the lost. On Friday, the Tennessee senate approved an update to the state’s abstinence-only sex education law to make teachers warn students that holding hands and kissing are “gateway sexual activity.” Talk about an alternative theory.
No more holding hands. This is going to throw fire drills out of whack in elementary schools, where the kids used to buddy-up and hold hands to ensure that no one got lost. Who knew that being led to the nearest exit in an orderly manner could also lead them to intercourse?
That’s right, kids, holding hands is the new first base. When you play Red Rover, don’t lock your arms together, because that’s the new second base. And I don’t want to see any high-fiving, which is the new foreplay.
Meanwhile, how’s that abstinence-only curriculum working out? In Memphis, the largest city in Tennessee, 61% of high school students say they’ve had sex, as do 27% of middle-schoolers. I’ll grant you that “students say” is not the most scientific way to guarantee the results are true, because most teenagers are going to lie on the positive side for peer image reasons, but when compared to other teens in other areas, Memphis is way higher than the national average.
I hope they didn’t do the survey by a show of hands.