Debate questions government’s role in sex education

Alex Erb

On Wednesday night, an estimated 40

Iowa State students gathered in the Gold Room of the Memorial Union

to view a debate hosted by the ISU Ambassadors. The topic of the

debate: the federal government and its role in sex


Dan Rajewski, a graduate student in

geological and atmospheric science, represented ISU Students for

Life, a club that educates and promote the importance of human life

from conception to death.

His opponent was Miles Brainard,

freshman in community and regional planning and president of The

Good Sex Brigade, a club that educates students on sexual

expression and healthy sexual activity.

The debate followed a typical

format; both parties gave an opening speech, then answered a series

of questions, followed by closing arguments.

Rajewski cited the founding fathers

and other historical figures in support of his position that sex,

in its purest form is the greatest good and not to be tampered with

by the government.

He also cited Griswold v.

Connecticut (1965) as a turning point in American history, wherein

he claims the supreme court overstepped its bounds by overturning a

Connecticut law that prohibited the use of


Brainard, however, thinks that the

government should be more involved with sex and sex education

because that involvement provides for the public


He mentioned that 400,000 teens give

birth in the United States every year, which is more births than in

any other developed country. He also mentioned that the cost to

taxpayers of teen pregnancy is just over $9 billion, whereas the

cost to institute comprehensive sex education in public schools

would be only $206 million.

When asked if contraceptives and

education about contraceptive options should be provided in

schools, the two shared opposing opinions.

“They should provide comprehensive

education of birth control methods,” Brainard said. “School nurses

should at least have condoms, and students shouldn’t be embarrassed

to take them.”

Rajewski responded with, “No such

product should be in a public institution. If any information

should be provided it should regard the potential health risks [of

those products].”

When asked about education’s role in

preventing sexual assault, the two came to a shaky


“Without comprehensive sex

education, kids don’t know how to say ‘no’ and aren’t as

well-equipped to defend themselves,” Brainard said.

Rajewski agreed in part, saying, “I

agree that students should be taught how to avoid being victims of

sexual assault, but there is a balance that needs to be stricken,”

explaining that teaching kids too much about sexual assault may

actually encourage it.

In closing arguments, both debaters

summarized their views.

“There are basic laws that govern

our world and allow the common good to be promoted. When we break

these laws, there are consequences. The further we deviate from

these laws, the more problems we introduce,” Rajewski


Brainard said the opposite:

“Requiring comprehensive sex-ed is a responsibility we have to

ourselves and our children, and to not provide it is expensive,

immoral and a plain shame.”