K-I-S-S-I-N-G! Who knew that could be such a naughty word. Well, in Tennessee it is.
In fact teachers there could soon be banned from even saying the word or talking about it after the state outlaws discussion of 'gateway sexual activity'. This after the state vows to promote abstinence only among students.
Bill Haslam, the discussion of sexual activity like genital-touching, often promoted as an alternative to full intercourse, could be prohibited in high school sex education classes.
If teachers are caught discussing such behavior they could be fined $500.
But, critics say the definition of gateway sexual behavior was so vague that teachers may not even be able to discuss more innocent acts such as kissing or hand-holding.
According to the Nashville Tennesean, the move would require sex education classes to 'exclusively and emphatically promote a sexual risk avoidance through abstinence, regardless of a student's current of prior sexual experience'.
However, the Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region told ABC News: "Tennessee students need more information about puberty, their own bodies and proven methods that prevent pregnancy and the spread of disease. Denying them this prevention information in order to exclusively promote abstinence until marriage does our students a serious disservice."
Putting things into perspective, nearly 750,000 girls will become pregnant in America this year.
And Tennessee has the seventh-highest teen birth rate in the nation along with the 11th-highest HIV infection rate in the nation.
After looking at the numbers do you think this is a good move in sex ed?
Viewers serve up their thoughts:
August writes: I hope there's a bylaw that includes hand-holding.
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