To the editor:
I assume the Journal-World publishes James Dobson's "Focus on the Family" column for entertainment rather than education, as Dobson consistently writes without fear and without research. Never was this clearer than in his Dec. 21 column on sex education. In attacking coeducational sex ed, Dobson suggests that the class would rob girls of their "natural modesty" and therefore make them more likely to have sex sooner. As most research, including my own book on the history of sex ed ("Teaching Sex," Harvard University Press, 2000), has shown, the opposite is closer to the truth.
Sex ed has little direct effect on sexual behavior one way or the other, but sexually precocious girls, especially, are generally distinguished for their sexual ignorance and inability to negotiate behavior with their partners both of which could be remedied by coeducational sex ed.
Now, Dr. Dobson first distinguished himself as a right-wing antiabortion activist in the 1970s. You don't think that affects his opinions at all, do you?