Grown-ups can preach and promote the importance of sexual abstinence for our kids until we're blue in the face, but pause to consult the hormonal hurricane of your own youth. When the siren call came your way, did you answer the call? Be honest. With that in mind, should sex education accommodate reality or try to ignore it?
Hood: Manitou Springs
Does abstinence-based sex ed work? It doesn't hurt to explain abstinence as a desirable option, but you're dreaming if you think it ends there. It's brutal being an adolescent male. When nature calls, by God you answer.
How did you learn about sex? On the streets. My school was so tough that we had driver's ed and sex ed in the same car.
What did your parents teach you about sex? Dad beseeched me not to knock anyone up.
Is abstinence-based sex ed realistic? Absolutely. My sex ed was abstinence-based. I got all the essentials.
At what age did you become sexually active? I'm not sexually active.
Is it more realistic to teach teens safe sex or abstinence? Abstinence is the only safe sex.
What would improve sex ed? Provide the facts without bias, pro or con. Let us figure out the rest for ourselves.
Real estate marketer
Hood: Cheyenne Mountain
Does abstinence-based sex ed work? Teens should know that abstinence is a viable option and virginity isn't embarrassing, but few kids I knew practiced abstinence.
How did you learn about sex? My parents got pregnant out of wedlock. Because of that and their religious views, they taught me that sex outside marriage is sinful and dirty. Birth control, naturally, didn't come up.
At what age did you become active? I was 17.
How could sex ed be improved? Change the focus from abstinence to self-confidence and self-knowledge. That would promote abstinence more than telling kids not to have sex.
Junior Achievement director
Does abstinence-based sex ed work? Kids are going to have sex, period. Hormones are way too powerful. They certainly were for me.
How did you learn about sex? My parents gave me a book. It had pictures.
When did you become active? Two weeks before my 17th birthday. I'd made up my mind that I wanted to do it, and nothing would have changed that. That's why you have to make safe sex accessible to kids. You're dreaming if you think they're not going to do it.