April 22, 2021

But Abstinence Education Doesn’t Work!

Life 7 to 12 WeeksI’m still amused.  A post on Russia’s “Day of Conception” just keeps on going.  The latest set of arguments has nothing to do about what the impact would be on Russia or whether the fetus is a baby, but have instead decided to focus on whether it’s beneficial to make America healthy that we have abortions, and the efficacy of Birth Control.

In this thread, there’s an attempted bait and switch.  I ask the question:

Since we all know that the only way to have practically 0% probability of pregnancy (practically because of the virgin birth of Christ!) is to not have sex, how has the increase in availability of the pill, condoms and now abortion effected this risky behavior?

The response?  To tell me how I live in a dream world if I expect kids to be abstinent.

oooh a bum[p]ersticker sexual education. The problem with this is that it totally ignores the realities of human be[h]aviors. You can’t possibly have missed the studies that point out that abstinence only education fails miserably at preventing sex or sex related issues. Delaying the onset of sex does nothing to drop abortion or disease rates and may in fact make it worse since the kids are ill equipped to make responsible decisions. Do you really need me to link all the studies that show this.

Tell me if I’m wrong, but I clearly asked for the impact of teaching “[un]safe sex” on the rates of teenage pregnancy.  Since he was unwilling, perhaps I should provide some stats:

  • The sexual activity rate among younger teens is increasing. Among males who turned 20 between 1970 and 1972, 20 percent had had sexual intercourse by age 15, compared to 27 percent of those who turned 20 between 1985 and 1987. Of females who turned 20 between 1985 and 1987, 10 percent had initiated sexual intercourse by age 15, compared to 4 percent of those who turned 20 between 1970 and 1972. 1
  • The pregnancy rate among females age 14 and under rose from 13.5 (per 1,000 females age 14) in 1973 to 17.1 in 1992.2
  • The abortion rate among all females age 14 and under was 5.6 (per 1,000 females age 14) in 1973, 8.4 in 1980, and 7.9 in 1990.1

Since abortion was legalized in 1973 the amounts of teen sex and pregnancy rose, not shrunk.  This tells anyone that wants to listen that the impact of abortion for anyone is actually encouraging kids to have sex.

But back to the topic at hand, why doesn’t abstinence education work?  Well, there’s a two fold answer.  First, it depends on what you mean by work– as it works every time it is tried.  Every person that abstains does not get pregnant and does not get an STD.

However, that’s not what techskeptic or any of the other pro-abortion people are saying– they’re saying it doesn’t work because of the effect on the teen pregnancy rate.  Well, the question then becomes, what is the culture doing and saying about sex.  If one area (school education) says “don’t do it”, but the whole society is saying “do it, it’s fun” what do you think will win?

The problem isn’t with the program– for obviously the teens are convinced that they shouldn’t participate.  The problem isn’t with people inability to control themselves– we teach our kids self-discipline in all sorts of areas including about drugs, smoking, etc.

The problem is that adults are sending a mixed message.  They’re both saying “you shouldn’t do it” and “doing it is fun.”  If you truly want to fix the problem, you need to change the culture to stop telling and encouraging kids to participate in risky behavior.

I mean, what parent would encourage sky diving for a teen when they knew the parachute would probably not come out.  What parent would encourage their kid to go somewhere that there was a known disease and that they could catch just by physical contact, but tell them to make sure they wore their rubber gloves.

We’re so two-faced here, thinking that sex outside of marriage or as recreation is somehow a God-given right that we dare not infringe upon and we must kill humans to protect.  Protecting the right to contract a life altering, physically debilitating, or deathly disease– and yet they wonder why we’re pro-life!

1 Moore KA, Miller BC, Glei D et al. Adolescent Sex, Contraception and Childbearing: A Review of Recent Research. Washington, DC: Child Trends, 1995.)

2 Ventura SJ, Martin JA, Mathews TJ et al. Advance report of final natality statistics, 1994. Monthly Vital Statistics Report 1996; 44(11 suppl):1-88.

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