If Abstinence-Only Sex Ed Doesn’t Work, Then Why Are We Still Teaching It?

Posted on May 3, 2012 by

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kevin bacon footloose

He just wants to dance.

Yesterday in Salon, Tracy Clark-Flory wonders why Obama’s addition of a new sex-ed abstinence plan isn’t getting more flack. The addition which was regulated by Heritage Keepers Abstinence Education, according to RH Reality Check, “contains little or no information about puberty, anatomy, sexually transmitted diseases, or sexual behavior,” or does it “include information about the health benefits of contraception or condoms.”

Here’s what Clark-Flory writes:

The review offers up many disturbing examples of the fear-based messaging, most memorable of which is the following exercise:

Each student rolls a six-side die; the number that comes up corresponds to a particular consequence. Students who roll a one have contracted HIV, a two contracted herpes, a three HPV, a four untimely pregnancy, a five infertility, and a six emotional pain.

I believe that’s what you call a loaded die. All of the potential outcomes are crap; there is no chance in this “educational” exercise for emotional intimacy or pleasure. The game is designed to end with a simplistic takeaway: “Having sex outside of marriage is gambling with your future.”

Why promote an abstinence agenda when in the past few weeks it’s been made very clear by new CDC reports that teen births are down because of pregnancy prevention education and birth control? I of course, understand that this is pandering to the religious right. This is about a social more, and has nothing to do with actual studies. This has to do with the sluts who are slutting it up and those sluts should shut their slutty legs.

So the administration decided not to announce this new platform. I’m surprised it didn’t come along with a “this is what I would do for my daughter’s speech” like Obama did with Plan B. It’s utter bullshit. Obama is a brilliant man. He’d look at the research and say, clearly an intervention about birth control is needed and that sex is positive when you’re ready. Instead, they buried it on their website, until RH Reality Check started squawking about it because it is election year. So disappointing.

Conservatives are balking about the findings because God-dammit, no one is allowed to have fun. They say that teen sexual activity is down and that this is considered abstinence. But Clark-Flory has another reason. According to studies, there was no change in sexual activity among teens from 2008 on, so this new decline in the teen mom syndrome has nothing to do with abstinence.

Ready to sink your teeth into some teen pregnancy facts?

*States that prescribe abstinence-only sex education programs in public schools have significantly higher teenage pregnancy and birth rates than states with more comprehensive sex education programs, researchers from the University of Georgia have determined.

*There was an 86% decline in teen pregnancy between 1995 and 2002 as a result of contraceptive use. 14% of this decline is attributed to decreased sexual activity.

*Some researchers suggest that abstinence  “may even contribute to the high teen pregnancy rates in the U.S. compared to other industrialized countries.”

*Research showing that teens who receive sex education are much more likely to delay sex.

Now, I have no problem with abstinence. If that’s your path in life, then you should take it. I’m sure I’ll teach my children a combination of both: wait to have sex with someone that you love and respect and when you do decide, you need to protect yourself. The new addition to our national stance on sex ed preaches the opposite, and worse, it infuses a series of zealous consequences.

Watch the movie Footloose if you doubt what a mortifying agenda looks like (i.e., you’re going straight to hell or getting STDs up the wazoo) because hey, all they wanna do is dance, and they’ll do it even if you tell them not to.

More, it’s proven not to work.