[By Nic Lindh on Saturday, 14 April 2007]
The federal government now spends about $176 million annually on abstinence-until-marriage education.
In news not likely to surprise anybody who actually remembers being a teenager, a study has found that abstinence before marriage programs don’t work.
Yeah, I know, I’ll give you minute to wrap your head around that.
Turns out, teenagers are horny.
Again, a minute to wrap your heads around that.
The tragedy here is that teens who only get the abstinence message are less likely to use condoms. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the teens who are subjected to abstinence “education” want to resist “sin” and be “pure” and whatever other words are used to describe sex, and fit in with the adult expectations that are made on them.
But then, somehow, they end up alone together, and four billion years of sexual evolution and every hormone in their bodies take over, and squishiness happens.
Without forethought, without planning, without protection, and most scarily of all, without any real understanding of what happened. Leading to sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancies, and psychological scarring.
Wanting to teach teenagers about morality is a good idea.
Withholding knowledge from teenagers because it’ll put “bad thoughts” in their heads is nothing but pure dark ages insanity.
The story linked above really struck a chord with me, as I have burned in my brain a conversation that happened in Lafayette, Louisiana, when I was doing an internship in the newsroom of a TV station.
For some reason the topic of discussion in the newsroom had turned to sex ed, and the weather man, a very distinguished and seemingly sane gentleman who was the father of two teenage daughters, said, and I’m paraphrasing†: “They shouldn’t teach sexual education in school. If they don’t, the kids won’t know about it.”
Need another minute? OK.
That’s the kind of thinking that led to $176 million of your tax dollars being spent on something this harmful.
†It’s been 15 years. Cut me some slack.