June 16, 2010

Proving Sex Ed Policies a Failure

Justin Katz

One hears, from time to time, that abstinence only sex education has been proven to be a failure.
Not only is the proof arguably incorrect, but the entire premise misses the mark. Abstinence education hardly enjoyed meager implementation, let alone the pervasive reinforcement that would be necessary for society-wide effect.

But I do wonder what those who continue to offer the common complaint that a small devotion to abstinence in the broad sphere of public school sex ed didn't change anything would say about this:

The United Kingdom’s Daily Telegraph has an article this morning documenting the high rate of repeat abortions among young girls in Great Britain. According to the article, 89 girls aged 17 or under who terminated a pregnancy last year had had at least two abortions previously. Furthermore, 2009 figures from the Department of Health indicate that for the first time, more than a third (34 percent) of abortions were performed on women who had already ended one or more pregnancies.

While these statistics are tragic, the article unfortunately fails to link these outcomes to Britain's permissive policies with regard to abortion, contraception, and sex education. For instance, England has no parental-consent requirement. In both 1982 and 2006 the courts ruled that minor girls can obtain abortions without their parental permission. These high rates of repeat abortions provide good evidence that effective parental-involvement laws might be able to prevent minors from obtaining multiple abortions by providing parents with an early indication of their child's sexual activity.

Abortion isn't the only indicator that "comprehensive" sex ed, British-style, has failed to resolve or has in fact made worse. But it's such an article of faith that all we have to do is teach children how to have sex safely that few stop to notice that the operative clause in that belief is "teach children how to have sex."

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

We were roofing a house today and I made the mistake when removing the cap shinges...........Nick asks me " Do you need a striper? No I said, I can do it by hand. So be it at my workplace.
Many laughs and future remarks.

Posted by: David S at June 16, 2010 7:18 PM

Maybe I am dense....but I don't understand the point! Are the parents in the UK failing to parent? Is the society too much into their drinking, drugs and page 3 topless models (in the regular newspaper)?

I hardly see where comparison to a news story in a UK paper relates to the statistical failure of abstinence education in the USA.

But I digress. I would assume most parents would like to teach their children that refraining from intercourse is a great way to avoid pregnancy and/or life responsibilities one is not ready for. It should go without saying that good parents teach this by example and by discussions. It would also seem that this would be taught in the same classes (if they exist) which teach "sex education" and other such subjects.

But I suppose the difference may lie here. Many conservatives and fundamentalists are willing to bury their heads in the sand and pretend that the sex drive is not primal...and that, no matter what we do or teach, that a large percentage of human beings will have sex which has nothing to do with either having children or marriage. Therefore, we want to prepare our children (and I have a few myself, as well as grandchildren) for the real world, not some imaginary one which the priest told us about.

Contrary to what you might believe, Justin, we libs don't send our kids out to parties with pockets full of condoms telling them to "play the field". However, we do remember our own youth as well as the experiences of former generations (which our parents told us about) and therefore hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

Does that make any sense?

Posted by: Stuart at June 16, 2010 8:13 PM

When are people living in the USA going to understand that before they start throwing stones in a glass house they should clean up their own act first!

What and how UK laws are applied to parents, children, sex education, daily life styles and health issues in the UK have no direct bearing on what happens and goes on in the USA.

It is a completely different life style between the UK and USA. Apples and oranges!

Posted by: Ken at June 17, 2010 12:15 AM

Sorry Ken, but human nature is universal regardless of the legal system or "life style". Having lived in Europe for years, one major thing I found is that life style isn't all that different among the Western countries. Thanks to global media, that is even more true today.

Justin is right in saying that abstinence education hasn't even been given a chance, since it is overwhelmed by both teaching by Leftist teachers in school and a constant bombardment of pop media messages that indulgence is not only acceptable, but better. The 1960s mantra of instant gratification and irresponsibility, "If it feels good, do it, became a guiding principle for those who call themselves Liberals, and they have poisoned the brains of generations of kids already.

Posted by: BobN at June 17, 2010 7:30 AM

Bob, I know facts are tough, but could you point us to a few modern societies where the teaching of ONLY abstinence (and that is the issue) has made vast differences in the situation?

I could point you to MANY where education about birth control and availability of such did.

We can't let these pesky facts get in the way...or can we?

Here is the current consensus:
"The abstinence-only approach to sex education
is not supported by the extensive body of scientific
research on what works to protect young
people from HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections
(STIs), and unplanned pregnancy. An
assessment of the peer-reviewed, published
research reveals no evidence that abstinenceonly
programs delay sexual initiation or reduce
STIs or pregnancy. By contrast, credible research
clearly demonstrates that some comprehensive
sex education, or “abstinence-plus,”
programs can achieve positive behavioral
changes among young people and reduce STIs,
and that these programs do not encourage
young people to initiate sexual activity earlier or
have more sexual partners."

Is there a part of that you think is false?

Posted by: Stuart at June 17, 2010 10:27 AM

Uh, oh!
Justin, you're going to have a REAL tantrum over the new birth control pill that the FDA is about to approve! It's a five day after pill............

Personally, I'd prefer better planning, but in a pinch I'd grab for one of those if we had made a mistake...that is, if both the mother and father did not have the desire nor the means nor the commitment to raise a child to adulthood.

Posted by: Stuart at June 17, 2010 10:11 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Important note: The text "http:" cannot appear anywhere in your comment.