Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Abstinence Education & Perrotta's The Abstinence Teacher

For the "it's news to me" file, here's a week-old U.S. News report "Congressmen Introduce Sex Ed Reform Bill:"
On Valentine's Day 2013, Illinois Reps. Randy Hultgren, a Republican, and Daniel Lipinski, a Democrat, re-introduced the Abstinence Education Reallocation Act, which would reform federal funding of sex education. An earlier version of the bill would have allocated $110 million in annual federal funding to educational programs that include a focus on forgoing sexual intercourse until marriage.
Perfect companion novel? The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta:
Thanks to an off-hand remark made during a class discussion of oral sex, sex-ed teacher Ruth Ramsey finds herself a target of the Christian evangelicals who are increasingly influencing the schoolboard of suburban Stonewood Heights. Forced to attend remedial sessions with a smug “Virginity Consultant,” Ruth is isolated and alone, caught in the polarized red-versus-blue landscape of present-day American suburbia.  Then one morning at her daughter’s soccer game, Ruth meets Tim Mason, a cute forty-something volunteer coach. Ruth feels an instant attraction to Tim, but when he draws the girls together for a spontaneous prayer circle after the game, she angrily yanks her daughter away from the proceedings, placing herself once again in the sights of the evangelicals.

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