Teenagers like sex; that right there is a basic, ineluctable fact of human nature. They like it the way they like, you know, breathing, and telling them it’s bad and dirty won’t help anything. Threatening them with lakes of fire and disapproval and excommunication might make them feel bad, and if you’re a certain kind of grubby Christianist1 moralizer that might make you feel good, but it won’t stop the teenagers from making like the sex-crazed monkeys they are, every chance they get.
So you don’t have to agree with me that sex is good and fun and wholesome, and teenagers (and adults and pensioners and dogs and chickens, though not all in the same bed) should get as much of it as they want, to agree with me that abstinence-only sex “education” is a worthless crock of shit. Rep. Henry Waxman recently commissioned an investigation which found that
…over 80% of the abstinence-only curricula, used by over two-thirds of SPRANS (Special Programs of Regional and National Significance Community-Based Abstinence Education) grantees in 2003, contain false, misleading, or distorted information about reproductive health.
Today NARAL sent me email about an amendment put forward by Sen Frank Lautenberg that ensures that “federally funded “abstinence-only” programs teach only medically accurate information”. It’s S. Amdt. 2269 but you can’t read it on Thomas for a day or so (printing delay or some such). I do want to read it, because there are plenty of ways to weasel out of a commitment to “medically accurate information”, but it’s a start. NARAL has made it easy for you to send a letter to your representatives in support of Sen Lautenberg’s amendment. Here’s mine:
Abstinence-only programs will receive $168 million in federal funding this year. This is an unconscionable waste of taxpayer dollars.
Quite apart from scientific inaccuracies, factual errors (or, you know, lies) and rampant misogynism, it is plain that abstinence-only advice is utterly ineffective.
Teenagers are going to get busy; you know it, I know it, the kids know it. Only a narrow-minded, repressed, moralistic right-wing fringe lunatic who prefers rising rates of teenage pregnancy and STD to admitting this basic fact of human nature, would deny the kids the information they need to stay safe and healthy.
It’s critical that you join with your colleagues to review and correct these programs. Please contact Rep. Inslee or Rep. Crowley to join their efforts.
1By analogy with “Islamist”, and distinct from anything that might properly be called “Christian”.