|Current music:||"Fear" by Project Pitchfork|
The Folly of Abstinence-Only Sex Education
I've added some data to "Birth Control and Contraception: Wisdom Versus Superstition" by Vexen Crabtree (2007):
In 2009 new data revealed that in the USA at least, abstinence-only education was not only ineffectual, but was actually making things worse. “To the surprise of few outside the rarefied world of the Religious Right, it has emerged that George W Bush's "abstinence only" policies led directly to a rise in teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. The Centres for Disease Control (CDC) says that after years of falling rates, teen pregnancies and STDs started rising after Bush was re-elected in 2005.
According to the CDC, birth rates among teenagers aged 15 or older had been in decline since 1991 but rose sharply in more than half of American states after 2005. The number of teenage girls with syphilis had risen by nearly half after a big decrease, while a 20-year fall in the gonorrhea infection rate was being reversed. AIDS cases in adolescent boys had nearly doubled. [...]
The number of teen pregnancies is double in areas where abstinence is the only method of birth control taught as opposed to areas where there is comprehensive sex education and condoms are handed out. [...] Religious proponents of the "abstinence-only" policies still insist that the reason for the rise is because their policies were not promoted hard enough.”
The Bible Belt is a swathe of Southern states in the USA famous for their embrace of tough Christianity. It was here, where abstinence-only programmes are popular, that the CDC reported the highest rates of teenage pregnancy and STDs.
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