Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Are we still on this?

Teen pregnancies are up for the first time in yonks. This article goes on to say that this revives the "debate" surrounding abstinence-only education. Thing is, in order to have a debate, you generally need two valid sides. Proponents of abstinence-only sex ed are seriously running out of credibility. Study after study has shown that their classes do not decrease teen sexual activity, and have a good chance of increasing rates of risky sexual activity. Know why? Because if adults spend all of their time telling kids not to do it, kids won't know how to do it safely when they decide not to listen to the adults.

But of course, no teenager has ever gone against the expressed wishes of an adult.

This administration has been pretty hardcore about strapping funding to the abstinence-only bomb, and I suspect it's now catching up with them. Here's the deal, though. You either get behind fully legal abortion at any age or you get behind teaching kids to use condoms or the pill*. If you insist on doing neither, you get babies having babies, and then we start this discussion all over as if we've never done the research. And that makes me cranky.

*If you want to make ME happy, you can get behind both. Because if you're old enough to conceive it, you're old enough to make the decision to keep it, and you've got a right to be told how to protect yourself from having to make that decision. And that doesn't even touch how we're failing to keep kids safe from STDs in the name of "innocence."


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