shelly donahue waffle

Christian sex educator Shelly Donahue.


Abstinence-based sex education, time and again, continues to not work — in preventing unintended pregnancies OR sexually transmitted infections.

Not only that, but most of these curricula are wrapped up in the idea that premarital sex is synonymous with guilt or shame, especially (or only) for women.

One student pointed this out last week when her public high school in Oklahoma hosted a sex-ed class that did exactly that, but worse.

On March 22, Brooklyn Wilson wrote a Facebook post to voice her disgust over the lecture...

...which called women "desperate" for texting men first, and saying that the reason is because "daddy left." Her lecture also compared women to crockpots while "men are like microwaves."

"To stereotype and undermine girls by calling them 'desperate' for having the confidence to text a guy first is SO OUT OF LINE," Wilson, a senior at Jenks High School, wrote. "Parents, I would be furious if I sent my child to school and this is the way they are treated, with shame, guilt, and embarrassment being used as a way to try and prevent sex."

Wilson's post has been shared more than 1,300 times and received more than 3,500 reactions.

"I have three daughters in the Jenks schools.. ... Through the years I have heard over and over again from my daughters about how biased and unhelpful this sex education has been," one parent commented. "Many parents have been frustrated and disturbed by the tone and lack of factual information presented by the public school system in Tulsa, including Jenks."

According to an article by Tulsa World, school administrators asked Shelly Donahue, the contracted instructor, to follow a secular curriculum at Jenks High School.

"She gave assurances to our administrators that her presentation would be secular, not religious. Regrettably, she did not adhere to those standards," Rob Loeber, a spokesman for the Jenks school district, told Tulsa World. "Some of her comments strayed outside the realm of sex education or AIDS education. Those statements certainly would not be echoed or endorsed by Jenks Public Schools. Because of those misrepresentations, Ms. Donahue will not be asked to return."

According to Donahue's website, however, the bible's teachings of abstinence are the centerpiece of her curriculum.

"It is my heart’s desire for parents to be educated, encouraged, empowered and equipped to parent for purity so their kids will be free to pursue God’s destiny for their hopes and dreams for their future!" she writes.

But what's worse, Donahue separates men and women's desires for sex, intellectual and emotional ability to process sex, and motives behind sex in a way that demeans women and excuses men.

"Guys have a brain that's kind of like a waffle," she famously says in another analogy, in that they compartmentalize sex and other things the way waffles can compartmentalize butter, syrup, fruit, etc.

"God made girls' brains, on the other hand, to be like spaghetti noodles," she says, because, for them, sex gets all mixed up with everything. "Girls are into feelings. Guys are into facts."

This was Donahue's first time being contracted with Jenks High School — and, thanks to Wilson, it was also her last.

jenks high school
photo: Google Earth

Sex ed that demeans girls, that slut shames them, that doesn't even really talk about sex has no place in a public school.