Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Documentary raises questions about sex-ed in schools

president and director

On Monday, April 18, a special screening was held of “Daddy I Do,” a documentary about the controversial issue of sex education in schools.

“Daddy I Do,” 22-year old Cassie Jaye’s first feature, is really about all the ways we look at sex in America and how our views have been shaped by cultural mores, religion and media.

The documentary was made possible by the local chapter of the Texas Freedom Network, an organization started by the daughter of former governor Ann Richards.

The organization stands for such causes as the separation of church and state, the teaching of evolution and overall stronger public schools-a belief-system summed up by local leader Erika Morin as “sound science and sound economics.”

Currently, their most important issue is the country’s divided stance on sex education in schools–on whether or not to teach abstinence-only or comprehensive sex-ed.

The latter form focuses on informing adolescents on all aspects of sexuality, with the intention of urging young people to make informed, educated decisions. It also advocates many resources, such as family-planning, condom use and other safe-sex practices.

Though it ultimately makes an argument for this ideology, the film, which was voted Best Documentary Feature at Cannes last year, really goes for a broader target and achieves something much more interesting.

Jaye starts by showing us a father and daughter on their way to a “purity ball,” a church-sponsored event that initiates girls into an adulthood of abstinence until marriage.

From there, Jaye goes on to talk to everyone, from middle-class evangelicals in Tennessee to professional strippers in Las Vegas, investigating, with each story, our perceptions of sexuality and ultimately, love.

All of this she brings into focus as a singular issue–how the younger generations are being taught to think about sex. And, for major figures in the documentary, it comes down to one method or the other–purity or freedom.

From Jaye’s title, it is clear she stands not for female servitude to their fathers, but instead for personal freedom and the right to make one’s own decisions.

Jaye claims that one of her main priorities as a filmmaker is pushing for female independence.

“I actually put on a purity ring at 16,” she admits, but she quickly set it aside after watching all of her silver-ringed friends break their purity pacts.

But the message she advocates with her film is not a choice between sexual activeness and virginity. The choice is between fear and educated decision-making.

“Whatever decision you make is fine,” Jaye says, “as long as you’re being true to yourself.”

She ends her film with the same words, spoken by President Obama, who recently eliminated funding for church-based, abstinence-only education.

According to Obama, young people should make decisions regarding their sexuality based not on “fear” and “ideology” but on “education” and “facts.”

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