Conservatives, including George W. Bush, favor limited sex education in public schools to the simple message "Don't have sex." Texas is on the verge of adopting this in its textbooks along with the inaccurate message that protected sex is essentially just as risky as unprotected sex. This issue is a subset of a larger issue" science vs. ideologies.
Liberals point out that studies have shown the abstainance only education is ineffective at best and counterproductive at worst, while balanced sex education programs that discuss various contraceptive methods, the health risks associated with unprotected sex, and methods of reducing those health risks short of abstainance, are affective at reducing teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Evidence shows that balanced sex education programs that include discussions of contraceptives work.
Some concrete issues
The above outline clearly indicates how little science is respected. Sex education should be analogous to poultry science education. Science does not concern itself with whether killing and eating turkeys at Thanksgiving time is desirable or not. Human beings and turkeys obviously may have very different evaluations in regard to that issue. Poultry science education and sex education should both involve objective analyses of how and why various outcomes are manifested. Whether it is a good idea or a bad idea to have intercourse has to depend on a clear understanding of causes and effects, and such an understanding cannot be limited to a sanitized description of intercourse and a scare story or a threat of hell.
The outline also clearly indicates how scant is the respect of many for the capability of judgment of young people. The attitude would seem to be that the average student when given the information about "who sticks what where" would immediately initiate experimentation, and that provided with a clear understanding of the physiological, psychological, and practical effects of early pregnancy, a clear understanding of the ways that pregnancy can actually be produced, an objective understanding of how various diseases are passed in the course of sexual contact, etc., etc., those benighted young people would welcome all these possibilities heedlessly into their lives.
The child who is deprived of accurate, objective information about sex is thereby disadvantaged by two groups: (1) those who hope to control the child by actively limiting his or her knowledge, and (2) those who intend to manipulate the child by provision of what is at least claimed to be "the real stuff."