Abstinence-only education doesn't work
Well, it doesn't work for the stated goal of actually getting teenagers to abstain from sex.
DALLAS — Abstinence-only programs like those promoted by the Bush administration don't seem to be working on teenagers in the president's home state, according to a state-sponsored study by Texas A&M University researchers.
The ongoing study, the first evaluation of the abstinence programs across the state, found that students in almost all high school grades were more sexually active after undergoing abstinence education.
By the way, isn't it a misnomer to call it "education"? I mean, haranguing a group of kids for a semester about keeping their pants on isn't really teaching them anything. It's not like teenagers aren't aware that Sex Is Bad. How do they fill up class time? Teaching girls how to hold a pencil between their knees? After being bored out of my mind like that for a semester, I'd go have sex just to spite the school for wasting my time if I were a student.
Anyway, the story just mentions that the kids go to class, blow off the "lesson" and go out and fuck anyway. They don't mention if after wasting the kids' time and our tax dollars whether or not the kids then decide to take what they did learn (that condoms don't work and make your dick fall off, I mean, the "failure rate" of contraception) and use that new information to decide to blow off using birth control. My guess is yes.
Call me cynical if you must, but it's hard for me to believe that people have good intentions when they gather a bunch of kids into a classroom and tell them what they already know--adults don't want you to fuck--and then tell them that condoms don't work. In fact, that sounds almost as if the actual intention is not to keep kids from having sex so much as make sure that those who do pay for it with their health or their future. Maybe some starry-eyed optimists really do think that kids have sex because no one has ever told them not to and that's all it's gonna take, but my guess is that they are a minority of the abstinence only proponents. Everyone else?
Yeah, it's hard for me not to see abstinence-only education as a vengenance program unleashed on the young to punish them for growing up in a time where they have their health and their youth and they can have sex without risking their futures.
And if that's the goal, according to this map, abstinence-only is working like a charm. (Thanks for the map, Jill.)