While my students are taking their final exams, I’ve been catching up with the news online. Here’s an opinion piece from the Greenville News talking up abstinence-only sex “education”:
A 2007 Zogby International poll showed parents prefer abstinence education over comprehensive sex education by a 2 to 1 margin. In addition, a 2007 survey by the S.C. Palmetto Family Council and the University of South Carolina found that 83 percent of white parents and 72 percent of black parents believe schools should emphasize abstinence as the first and best option for youth.
Of course, just because something sounds good to people doesn’t necessarily mean that it actually works or is realistic. But if you’re wanting to know how well abstinence-only works, you don’t have to look hard to find out. The current administration has very heavily favored abstinence-only for a number of years now. The New York Times reports on how well that’s been working out for us.
But a landmark study recently failed to demonstrate that [abstinence-only programs] have any effect on delaying sexual activity among teenagers, and some studies suggest that they may actually increase pregnancy rates.
Teen pregnancy rates are going up … for the first time in fifteen years. Guess that taking the “education” out of “sex education” didn’t work out too well, did it?