Abstinence-Only Education

Ken AshfordEducation, Sex/Morality/Family ValuesLeave a Comment

Here’s the video:

…which serves as the launching point for this great comment by Amanda Marcotte:

Watching videos of representatives of organizations like the Abstinence Clearinghouse, the CWA, and the IWF always makes me tense, and I finally realized that it’s the women themselves (and women are the official faces of all these misogynist groups) that make me nervous. The permanent grins affixed to their faces from a youth misspent in drill team practice and the tension radiating from them that indicates they’re about to crap a diamond if they could relax their sphincter muscles enough to release it is a winning combination for making people uneasy. All that lying must do a number on your stress levels. I didn’t even realize a person could grin and grind her teeth at the same time.

Capt92dd0c64d0b54aa8846d74255b1f235It’s remarkable to me how some people can claim that abstinence-only (and I stress "only") works in light of very obvious countervailing evidence.  Just look at the graph.

Now what if I told you that Bush started abstinence only program funding in 2003?  The money got allocated in 2004, and the programs started going into effect.  And looked what happened, starting in 2005, after 14 years of decline.

Up. Tick.

Abstinence-only education "works" in the sense that it is — truly is — the safest policy for teen sex.  But it fails miserably in terms of actually preventing teen pregnancy and sexual disease transmission, which is, at the end of the day, all that matters.  It’s the sexual equivalent of Nancy Reagan’s gloriously naive "Just Say No" drug policy.  It’s not really an effective policy if nobody follow it, you know?

Some background on Valarie Huber, the pro-abstinence woman in the segment above.  She was once the State Abstinence Coordinator at the Ohio Department of Health.  Result?  65 girls in one single Ohio high school became pregnant.