Monday, December 29, 2008


Another nail in the coffin of abstinence only sex-ed. Apparently, a recent study says that those teens who take the virginity pledge are no more likely to abstain from sex before marriage than their counterparts who don't take such a pledge.

Seems like fairly common sense stuff to me. Hormones and romantic love are a hard combo to beat. But the scary part is that this study found that those who took the pledge are more likely to NOT use protection. Proponents of abstinence only education say this is a skewed result because the researcher assumes that these types of classes either downplay or misinform their audience about the proper use of protection. They claim to "just give the facts". Bet they don't include the classic demonstration of how to apply a condom on the piece of fruit trick. And without knowing how to properly use the damn things they can fail at an alarming rate. So if you tell your kiddos that condoms fail at "x" percentage rate but fail to tell them that this rate can be significantly reduced by simply knowing how to put the suckers on and use them appropriately, aren't you in fact misinforming?

More importantly, rather than argue over what's said or not said about protection in relation to premarital sex, why not face the facts that say this approach isn't keeping kids from having sex? That ultimately this is a personal decision that must be made by each and every one of us at some time in our life. When we decide to take that step, whenever it is, doesn't it behoove us to know how to prevent pregnancy and STDs?

I'm all for a comprehensive, reality based approach to sex education. There are plenty of good reasons why its better for teens to wait before becoming sexually active that run the gamut from emotional to psychological to physical. But the truth of the matter is that a percentage of teens will have sex. They need to know how to protect themselves and their partners.

The ultimate goal of both programs is to reduce the teen pregnancy and STD rates. The only 100% effective way to prevent pregnancy and disease transmission is abstinence. But in the real world, you and I both know that our teenagers are sexually active. Like so many things, we can only do so much before we have to let them go. If they're going to have sex, I would much rather they know how to keep themselves safe.


Aliceson said...

Right on sister. Just like carseats for children are only effective if installed correctly.

Education is everything.

skyewriter said...

My mother and I got into a conversation about this just last week.

Kids are having sex; not teaching them anything but PREGNANCY! and ABSTINENCE! and STDS! is foolish.


Geesh-- when did common sense become immoral?

Chris said...

Just like you said!!

Sidhe said...

Well said! Let common sense prevail.

It also occurs to me that in areas where there is a strong belief "abstinence only" education and pressure on young people to take the "virginity pledge" it may be more difficult for teens to access preventative devices. I imagine, that more than likely, their health care needs are provided by a family doctor who may not consider the privacy of a teen over the favor of their parents.

I live in one of those counties with anti-abortion billboards all over the place and I know of absolutely no service in the county for obtaining birth control measures however I do know that our teen pregnancy rates are pretty darn high.

I'm not sure what parents think around here but I can see that there is relatively little for teens to do, aside from 4H, that is productive. With nothing to occupy their time, I suppose they resort to the usual: drugs; sex; and country music.