The federal government spends over $200 million a year funding abstinence-only education, including the $50 million spent each year since 1996 on Title V grants for states choosing to participate. President Bush recently even threatened to veto funding for AIDS help in Africa if lawmakers removed the requirement for a third of the AIDS prevention money to be spent on abstinence-only education. Yes, virgin, there is an abstinence clause. Meanwhile, teenagers and unmarried adults keep having sex. The only difference is that taxpayers are getting screwed right along with them.
According to Advocates for Youth, abstinence-only programs have never shown lasting results. A 2007 Congressional report also claims that abstinence-only education simply has no effect.
Even abstinence pledges have trouble beating back Mother Nature, as people making the pledge are approximately six times more likely to engage in oral or anal sex compared to those not making the pledge. In other words, abstinence-only education sucks. Or sodomizes.
Hey, let’s all pledge not to have car accidents. Then we can stop wearing those annoying seatbelts.
Even the American Medical Association promotes comprehensive sex education that mentions abstinence as the most effective protection against pregnancy and STDs while recognizing the multitude of other options available.
This issue is another example of policy being dictated by religion rather than common sense. That’s not to say that religion doesn’t have sense, but we have multiple religions and only one common sense.
A lot of responsible parents have probably given a talk similar to this one, whether it was about alcohol, hunting, or bungee jumping:
“(insert activity here) can have very bad consequences, so you shouldn’t just do it any time you want, as much as you want. You still have some growing up to do, and you need to wait for the appropriate time. But if you ever can’t resist and you get yourself into some trouble, don’t be so afraid of asking for help that you end up making things worse. “
Why can’t we do that for sex? The help in this case would be some form of STD and pregnancy protection, and it would preferably be called upon somewhere between the lapse in judgment and the actual consumption of the forbidden fruit. We can have that approach as parents, but we’re to assume that God the Father would have a more naïve parenting style?
Try asking a person of the cloth why we can’t encourage abstinence while providing protection for moments of weakness. After all, we’re all sinners, but the Church expects people to be perfect on this one. You’ll probably be answered with some spiel about the prophylactic benefits of abstinence. Or just a pregnant pause.