Mouse rant blog vent mouse.

Monday, May 10, 2004

News just in: contraception prevents conception

California refuses to teach abstinence-only and their teen birth rate is falling. Of course, the numbers are kind of screwy. Teen pregnancy fell across the nation for an entire decade, no doubt because of the massive growth of widespread condom use. In the 90's, it was pretty much standard to walk into a Planned Parenthood, give the nice lady behind the desk the change you scraped off your floorboards as a donation and she would give you about a dozen condoms. This method of getting contraception fits your average teenagers needs--easy, affordable and secretive so that fights with parents can be avoided. The birth control pill or other methods that were favored pre-AIDS were not so easy to afford or hide. Just like us adults, it turns out that all teenagers need to use contraception is the knowledge of its existence and the ability to get to it.
Of course, this article suffers from the plague of untruth that is sweeping journalism because they don't want to be "unbiased".

California's teen birth rate has dropped by more than 40 percent over the last decade, a trend attributed to a state-sponsored program that provides information on sexual abstinence and birth control.

While it's technically true that they teach that abstinence is the best method for avoiding pregnancy, a technical truth, there is a veneer of bullshit in this statement. A uninformed person would read this sentence and think that abstinence education had equal amounts of influence over the declining birth rate as contraceptive information. But that's baloney. Kids already pretty much know that you can't get pregnant if you don't have sex. Filing them into a classroom to tell them that is one of the exercises in adult inanity that drives kids crazy.
Of course, actually reducing the teenage pregnancy rate is not the goal of abstinence education. I mean, there's no doubt that they would like it if it happened, but only so that they had numbers to push around and crow about. But abstinence-only education is about making a statement and keeping people ignorant, and everything else is just gravy.

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