Sunday, April 6, 2008

[teh stupid] Speaking of abstinence-only education...


At least one in four teenage girls nationwide has a sexually transmitted disease, or more than 3 million teens, according to the first study of its kind in this age group.

CBS again:

On The Early Show Friday, [Kate] Walsh told co-anchor Julie Chen, "Abstinence-only is not working. It's a $1.5 billion program over the last ten years that has, quite frankly, failed. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reported that one-in-four teenage girls (in the US) between the ages of 14 and 19 are infected with STIs (sexually transmitted infections), and that, to me, is appalling and shameful. And in the age of information, these women are just not getting adequate information."

Walsh says there's urgent need for a change in the way sex ed funds are appropriated: "In addition to abstinence, which is fine, there just needs to be a comprehensive sex education program, and we can't be relying on, you know, private foundations or parents or, you know, teens' peers to be educating each other. We really do need government help on this.

"It's a shame to me that we spend money on educating our kids on history, math, science, English literature, and we can't educate them sexually. And it's proof in these statistics. It's just shameful to me that, in our country, that these young women are being infected because they honestly just don't have the information.

"Abstinence is one aspect of sex education," Walsh continued, "but it is not the complete aspect. And to expect, I think, everybody to remain abstinent, it's like asking them not to grow. It's like we don't ask people to not try out for sports. We don't ask people to stop learning. It's just a natural human process, and we need to be educating people. If abstinence-only did work, we wouldn't be seeing these kinds of statistics. We wouldn't be seeing these young women suffering like this."

Go Kate Walsh!

.... and, no, I am not in favor of abstinence-only education. I think it's a moral crime to deny individuals knowledge that could literally save their life and then pretend that you've taken the moral high ground.

Remember: Good intentions don't prevent pregnancy.


Russ said...

"It's a shame to me that we spend money on educating our kids on history, math, science, English literature, and we can't educate them sexually"

I somtimes wonder how well we teach those other things also. I look at the requirements for my children to graduate from high school, and it is amazing how little math and science is required.

Back to the original argument: Abstinence has to be taught, but anyone who thinks that abstinence-only education will solve the problem is a fool. Unwanted teenage pregnancy IS something we should be able to solve, however.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.