Doing it wrong
You know, sometimes I wonder about that ''faith-based'' world where kids still go to malt shoppes, and don't kiss until the third date, and never have sex until after the wedding.
In a report that will surprise few of Bush's critics on the issue, the Centres for Disease Control says years of falling rates of teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted disease infections under previous administrations were reversed or stalled in the Bush years. According to the CDC, birth rates among teenagers aged 15 or older had been in decline since 1991 but are up sharply in more than half of American states since 2005. The study also revealed that the number of teenage females with syphilis has risen by nearly half after a significant decrease while a two-decade fall in the gonorrhea infection rate is being reversed. The number of Aids cases in adolescent boys has nearly doubled.
Note that the numbers are up in more than half the states. Although demographic factors such as ethnicity and income are important since rates are highest among African-American and Hispanics, they probably reflect the religious mindsets in the schools. What's more, kids in the northeast, where rates are lower, have access to more options.
The age group of adolescents aged 15--17 years sometimes was included to reflect the fact that consequences of poor reproductive health are likely to be more severe in this group than among persons aged 18--19 years because early pregnancy and poor health are likely to interrupt their schooling and to have greater social and economic impact.
Can you say more poverty? More crime? Bad long-term health outcomes? (Half the girls who were pregnant did not get proper prenatal care maybe because they either did not know they were pregnant or hid their pregnancies.)
One-third of adolescents hadn’t received instruction on birth control methods before age 18.
There were more than 744,000 pregnancies among teen girls younger than 20 in 2004 - about 16,000 were among girls aged 10 to 14.
Approximately 1 million teens and young adults aged 10--24 years reportedly had chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis. While one-quarter of females aged 15 to 19, and 45 percent of females aged 20 to 24 had human papillomavirus (HPV) infection during 2003-2004.
But supporters of abstinence-based education said that the new report shows that there is too little not too much emphasis on discouraging sex before marriage.
Look, I agree we live in a hyper-sexualized society. Sex is used to sell all kinds of things. Little girls are encouraged to dress like 20 year old hookers. Sitcom characters who, in my day, slept in twin beds and pajamas, now all but have sex on screen, even on ''family'' shows.
You can't turn back the tide.
So ''discouraging sex before marriage'' is just a valuable waste of school time which could be spent either teaching kids how to avoid pregnancy and STDs -- or even how to do calculus. Kids will have sex before marriage. Deal with it.
All of this is exacerbated by how little support teen mothers get, either with childcare or healthcare.
Can somebody please explain this whacked out mindset that abandons children with children, while doing nothing to prevent the problem in the first place?
If you ask me, abstinence-only education is child abuse.