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Home > Curriculum Support > High School / Senior High > Health and Nutrition 2nd Edition > The study of health can be controversial, depending on a person's worldview. How does Apologia handle “hot topics" in this course?
The study of health can be controversial, depending on a person's worldview. How does Apologia handle “hot topics" in this course?
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We have worked hard to provide information in both medical and Christian terms so that controversy may be minimal. We do not openly support any one main view because we recognize that each family has the right to decide what is right for its family members.


For example, we cover the topic of vaccines. We discuss the science of what a vaccine is, how it works, and the desired outcome. We discuss immunization choices the successes of vaccination, at-risk populations, and even the great divide over vaccination. Here is a portion of that discussion:


Sincere Christians have strong convictions about vaccination, which tends to place them in 2 opposing camps: those who vaccinate and those who don't. Both points of view have risks.


Whether to take a vaccination or not is a deeply personal matter, over which individuals have a lot of choice. Realistically, vaccinations do not have to be all or nothing. You may choose to take some immunizations but not others. You can choose to give your child immunizations at a later age than infancy. You can take each vaccination separately instead of in bundled preparations of several vaccinations at once. Or you can choose not to take any immunizations.


When it comes down to making a decision, get the best information you can and ask questions of your healthcare provider, who can give you custom advice based on your specific family's situation, your work environment, your ministry locations, and your travel plans.


As a Christian, try not to judge the people in the other camp. They are just as convinced of their opinions as you are. Opinions over vaccination (and diet, circumcision, or education method, for that matter) can ignite battles between Christians. Let's aim our weapons against the real enemy, the one who takes delight in brothers and sisters in Christ going to war against each other. We need to be able to disagree about vaccination (and a lot of other things) and still love each other.

Regardless of what we publish, we humbly recognize that there may be some criticism and perhaps a better way that we could have stated materials. When this occurs, we ask that you forgive us our error and recognize that we would never intentionally usurp parental rights in deciding what is best for their family.

We also want to make sure that parents are aware that we respectfully cover other issues such as drug abuse, pornography, and the act of marriage. We live in a culture polluted by sexual
dysfunction. It is our intent to tell the truth to teens about the beauty of married sex, the developing baby, and being parents. We want to warn them about the dalliance into immodesty, pornography,
and casual sexual activity. This is why we have stated that mature students should take this course. Parents have every right, and we support their decision, to skip certain materials in the book. Here is a section on how we cover the topic of pornography:


Pornography is an image that exposes normally covered parts of the human body in a sexually suggestive way. Erotic pictures stimulate sexual thoughts and feelings. Any picture featuring nakedness can be pornography. Such "art" has been around for thousands of years, but today's pornography is readily available and extremely graphic.


Viewing pornography is not an innocent pastime. First, exposure to pornography causes sexual arousal. This releases brain neurotransmitters, such as dopamine. These neurotransmitters make the viewer hunger for more images. Before long, the one who looks at pornography can become addicted to its effects and will have a difficult time breaking free from its hold. 


Many people think that it is only males who can become addicted to pornography. This is not true! Females can be stirred into sexual arousal and dopamine release if they read erotica, romantic stories with vivid description of foreplay. A wise woman will close the book and turn her eyes away. It is pornography.


Second, pornography causes dissatisfaction with real male and female relationships. Men who use pornography find real women unattractive. Many people who have studied the statistics on marriage believe pornography has significantly reduced the number of men who want to marry. By the same token, women who read lots of romantic fiction or trust romantic comedies for their education about relationships will find real men unattractive.


Third, the naked person who is photographed is a victim who has been used as a shameful sex object instead of a valued child of God. Pornography viewing adds to the world problem of aggression toward women as well as rape, prostitution, and sexual slavery.


What can you do? You may find the beauty of the human body to be captivating, but you must resist the temptation to look. Do not let yourself dwell on a picture of it. You can decide to respectfully turn away from images, clothing styles, and sections of stores that cause your sexual appetites to be stirred.


As a young man, if a woman wearing revealing clothing speaks to you, you must use all your inner resolve to focus your attention only on her eyes. This is very difficult and can only be accomplished with a decision you have made in advance. With practice, you can automatically avert your eyes to the floor when you have to pass through challenging places such as the female undergarment section of a store or checkout lines with revealing magazine covers.




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