I spent the summer planning on teaching high school biology.
I had a curriculum picked out, mainly because I got it cheap, but I thought I had it. I was able to pick up an old copy of Abeka Biology for $5. It even came with the student test booklet. Such a great score for $5!
This post discusses sex and sex education, and is strictly my opinion. If this offends you, please do yourself a favor and just click away from here. I’m sure there are other places you could spend time reading that won’t offend you. This blog is for support and information for homeschool families, so please keep comments positive or at least respectful. Comment away! Thank you.
Then I started looking through the book.
Abeka books have wonderful illustrations, and this aspect has always impressed me about them. We haven’t used very many of their books, but I do like the graphics. This biology book was no different. Although it is an older edition, I’m sure the newer ones are even nicer.
There’s even a colorful set of transparencies in the book with layers and overlays of the various body organs. Each chapter has detailed information and an abundance of illustrations.
Until you get to the chapter on human reproduction.
Oh wait. There isn’t one. Every body system is represented in this book except the reproductive system. Every system covered here includes detailed illustrations, except the reproductive system. No reproductive organs shown, even in diagrams. This paragraph (circled) is the main reproductive system information.
This one (beautiful) image of a 19 week fetus is the sole illustration in the 2 pages they use to discuss not reproduction, but only how a baby develops and why abortion is awful.
And abortion IS awful. Don’t get me wrong. I am very much pro-life, and I love babies–all babies–no matter what. There is one long paragraph further into the book that explains the process of fertilization and cell division, but does not actually discuss sex itself. No diagram of a pregnant woman’s body. No birth process. Nothing.
I take issue when a textbook company makes an assumption that in order to keep our children innocent, they must be kept ignorant of how babies are made in the first place. Sex is all around us, from television, magazine ads, movies, and even billboards in some places. Pretending it’s not does not guard anyone from anything.
Ignorance and innocence are not the same thing.
Innocence is keeping oneself from being polluted by the world. Teens nowadays are surrounded by negative images about their bodies, from music and media and people (not only peers!) all around them. Choosing to be innocent is to be NOT guilty. It is knowing the difference between right and wrong and choosing right.
Ignorance is dangerous.
Ignorance can put teens in very bad situations simply because they had no preparation beforehand on how to handle it. There is no excuse for it. Ignorance is the reason a couple I know, who married in their 30s, didn’t actually figure out HOW to have sex until they had been married well over a month. They had no clue what went where, or how.
I realize this is an extreme example. I’m probably stepping on some toes here though. I don’t care. It’s time for Christians to pull their heads out of the sand and take their fingers out of their ear holes. Our children need to be as innocent as doves and shrewd as snakes, as Jesus said, and I’m sure he didn’t mean they shouldn’t know what is going on, particularly with their own bodies!
I’m not saying they need detailed descriptions of sexual positions or methods. On the contrary, usually they figure that out fairly easily all on their own. <— Our experience with a sexually active teen.
However, it is by being well-informed that we can keep ourselves from evil, and from making bad choices that will remain with us for the rest of our lives.
I was not able to look at any other editions of this biology book, or other Christian biology textbooks that are available to homeschoolers, save for this one: Otter’s High School Biology. It is a free (edited by GuestHollow.com) online CK-12 text with great diagrams, explanations, embedded videos and illustrations, which takes God’s point of view into account, explains both sides of the evolution debate, and doesn’t ignore the fact that the reproductive system is an important part of the body.
The screenshot above shows where the link to the textbook is. It is midway down the page and rather hard to spot, so I wanted to show you.
High school-aged students need to understand how to keep their whole bodies healthy, not just the body systems that are “fit” for a Christian book and polite conversation.
If you’re looking for a Biblically based study of romance, dating and sex to go through with your teens, the very best one I know of is Tommy Nelson’s Love Song: A Study of Song of Solomon podcast! It’s on iTunes, free to stream or download. My husband and I did the DVD study with a group at church and it was AWESOME. For mature teens, I’d say 15+. There is a youth study guide for teens to follow along with the podcast.