Catholic school teens and sexual activity


#1

I am not sure if this post is appropriately classified, but can anyone point to some research on sexual activity among teens who attend Catholic school VERSUS teens who attend public school? I am trying to convince my husband of the importance of keeping our children in a Catholic educational environment through high school. Although there are many issues which we are considering, he seems to think that there would be no difference between Catholic schoolers and public schoolers on this one. (“We” currently home school the children, but are considering school for at least a couple of the children in the future.) Web sites, literature and opinions graciously accepted! Thank you for your input.
Motherof5


#2

[quote=Motherof5]I am not sure if this post is appropriately classified, but can anyone point to some research on sexual activity among teens who attend Catholic school VERSUS teens who attend public school? I am trying to convince my husband of the importance of keeping our children in a Catholic educational environment through high school. Although there are many issues which we are considering, he seems to think that there would be no difference between Catholic schoolers and public schoolers on this one. (“We” currently home school the children, but are considering school for at least a couple of the children in the future.) Web sites, literature and opinions graciously accepted! Thank you for your input.
Motherof5
[/quote]

As the father of 7 grown sons (no daughters), and the product of Catholic schooling (mixed grade school, all boys high school, Jesuit college), I can only offer my opinions:

My sons attended public schools, some catholic schools, and the last three home schooling programs.

I removed two younger sons from public schooling after witnessing consistent lack of discipline and blatant public sexual attitudes (from language to contact). Teachers’ hands are tied…our own fault. I have no reason to believe anything has changed, other than to become more widespread to include teaching permissive values on morals, sex, etc.

They were home schooled until the last two years of high school.

The oldest three attended public high school… were passed from grade to grade with minimal expectations from teachers. All are relatively successful now, and all three “refuse to let their children attend similar environments”. Their concerns are for what friends are chosen, what subjects to learn are chosen (no basketweaving), how they spend their free time.

Homeschooling has come a long way…there are larger groups who share teaching (our parish is a center of 170+ home schooled kids… about a third meet twice weekly to group-learn. I realize this is not found everywhere… but it had to start small and grow.

My high school years (all boys - Catholic) was great for education… but I left the faith for 25 years at graduation. I learned first hand what Bishop Sheen said… “Attend a public school and keep your faith, attend a Catholic College, and you may lose it.” However, he meant that for the ones brought up weak in their faith.

So if your husband is willing to supplement (not just once a week) a public education with serious envolvment in Catholic teen activities, including who thier friends are… and willing to give an uncomprimising example as a Catholic adult… your kids will make it. If you are willing to send them to a good Catholic school and them leave what they learn at school… they will not make it.


#3

Although just an opinion, I have to agree with your husband here. I doubt there is any difference between public and private on this point. But, of course, I could be wrong, as I don’t have any statistics to point to.

I am only 23, and graduated from a public high school in 99. My wife, who I dated in high school and throughout college, is the same age and graduated from a Catholic high school. From this somewhat recent experience I base my opinion. In fact, from what I could tell, it was the opposite case between our two schools.

I do think, however, that Catholic school is a great choice for many, many reasons. I agree with your desire to keep your children in a Catholic environment throughout high school, but for other reasons, discussed tirelessly on other threads.

It really comes down to the individual school, so research well. My brother in law is about to graduate form a very liberal Jesuit High School; there will have to be some serious changes in the next 15 years for me to even consider sending my kids there. I believe my kids would be better off at a public school then at an expensive heretical school.

I don’t mean to steer your thread off topic. To answer your question, No, based on my own anecdotal evidence, I do not think, in general, there is a difference between the two when it comes to sexual purity. I would love to be wrong though.


#4

It does come down to the school. Chances are a regular diocesan school will probably be not different. I say this after 12 years in Catholic school. The small little independent ones seem to be the most conservative and actually teach the kids about purity, chastity, etc. Also, all of the parents know each other pretty well and watch out for all of the kids.

I actually think it’s worse to put your kids in a regular old Catholic HS because not only are they exposed to the same things, it is under the guise of being Catholic. My senior year we all knew which teachers were sleeping together and we were taught how to put on a condom without our parents knowledge!

I used to say, after graduating from my dreadful school is that the only difference between the Catholic schools and the the public schools was higher priced drugs. :frowning:


#5

A dear friend tells me that co-ed sleepovers after the prom are all the rege. Even at the local Catholic high school her son attends. —KCT


#6

I’m 24, and while I didn’t go to a Catholic high school, I certainly know people who did. My impression is that there is not a big difference between most Catholic high schools and publics schools, but there do exist good Catholic schools that would be much better than public schools, so you’d have to shop around.


#7

Thank you all for your opinions. I truly appreciate it. I may even show this to my husband! That said, I realize that I am going to have give some serious prayer to this matter. Obviously there are many issues to sort through…not the least of which is the fact that the closest (not the best) Catholic high schools are about 20 miles away.

Thanks, again.

Motherof5


#8

[quote=Motherof5]Thank you all for your opinions. I truly appreciate it. I may even show this to my husband! That said, I realize that I am going to have give some serious prayer to this matter. Obviously there are many issues to sort through…not the least of which is the fact that the closest (not the best) Catholic high schools are about 20 miles away.

Thanks, again.

Motherof5
[/quote]

Please look at the schools individually before making your choice. There is no blanket answer for this question. Some public schools are better than some Catholic schools in the morals department. Some Catholic schools are better than some public.


#9

I didn’t go to a Catholic high school, but the one in my area was notorious for drug trafficking. That’s where all the kids in my public school got their drugs. Everyone thought because the kids were rich and went to a Catholic school that no one would suspect them as dealers. Guys from my school also dated the girls there because they were known as “easy.” So be careful and perceptive.


#10

if you are waiting for the school (be it private or public) to keep your children chaste… :confused:

have i got a surprise for you :thumbsup:


#11

Why not continue to homeschool and then transfer to a running start program at local com. college. There are Catholic homeschool programs and other Christian correspondence style programs that give treanscripts and make for an easy transfer when the time comes. Of course, one needs a community college in close proximity that offers running start. My Daughter went right to running start and is so glad to have skipped all the silly high school stuff. She is enjoying the running start experience immensely and will be two years ahead in college by the time she is 18. Some may say she is “missing out.” Yup, I agree, she is missing out on a big pile of garbage. Sure, com. college students do things they shouldn’t, but we are finding that the environment is preferable to the local high school or the catholic high school. Just a thought.


#12

For anyone thats interested, you may want to check out this link to the Catholic High School Honor Roll website. It really helps in researching Catholic High Schools.


#13

I think that your teens sexuality will depend much more on what you teach them and how you monitor their activity than on the Catholic or Public schooling. My children (4) all attended and one still does attend Catholic High School. I have many reasons I choose this, and being able to pray at school and to continue to learn about their religion is one thing. Recently a junior at my son’s school died of cancer and the whole school participated in the funeral mass. I can name many many positives about Catholic School, academic and religious positives. I love Kairos, and it is a retreat that is so awesome for the teens in Senior year. However, that being said, I fear there are many Catholic school teens engaged in sex, drugs, theft, etc. You name it. There are no guarantees. Catholic children are in the same society that the rest of the teens are in. There are sleepover parties that stem from both Catholic and public schools in our area. My children aren’t allowed, but many are. I was/am very strict. I won’t allow sleepovers with any friends in high school because I feel their curfew allows enough time away with friends. They would sometimes use sleepovers to get out of house rules, or to get our of attending mass. Yeah, my ones that are out of college now thank me for being strict now, but they didn’t then.

The school choice is just the beginning of what you need to be careful of in high school. You get the picture.

Last time I posted postitive things about Catholic High School I got horrendous feedback. Please don’t bother me with that. I like Catholic School. I don’t want to be chastised about it on a Catholic Site!!!


#14

[quote=Fitz] Recently a junior at my son’s school died of cancer and the whole school participated in the funeral mass. I can name many many positives about Catholic School, academic and religious positives.
[/quote]

I teach at a Catholic high school and my oldest is a Sophomore there now. Is it perfect? Of course not. But I agree that one of our greatest strengths is the ability to come together in joyful and also in tragic moments to pray. It is when tragedy happens that I am most grateful I am where I am. I can’t imagine dealing with the death of a student without being able to come together in prayer and being able to reference God when discussing this with students. It is our most natural instinct and it never ceases to offer comfort.

I couldn’t hazzard a guess as to what percentage of our students are engaged in behaviors they shouldn’t be. Sometimes, I think I overestimate and then other times I think I’m too naive and that a huge percentage are making poor decisions. (of course not my daughter, right?) Even with the knowledge that it’s not perfect where I’m at, I know it’s the best choice for me and my children.

Kris


#15

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