Trying to teach teenagers about “abstinence” instead of safe sex is mindboggling. It’s worse when they’re taught falsehoods. And it’s not working, as this Unicef report on teen births in the world’s rich nations show. The USA has four times as many teen births as Europe, and the Netherlands, Japan and Scandinavia have the fewest. And no, we don’t have more abortions either.

If you haven’t yet read Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, you should.

2 thoughts on ““abstinence”

  1. diane

    There are non-profit advocacy groups, like SIECUS in NYC, whose only purpose is to combat the “scared chaste,” abstinence-only-until-marriage crowd. But these groups are chronically underfunded and repeated, intrusive government audits — in other words, taxpayer-funded harassments — interrupt their work for weeks at a time.

    Curiously, survey after survey shows that most parents think sex education in schools is a reasonable, even desirable, piece of the curriculum and they think it should include topics like contraception and AIDS. Naturally, the right-wingers disagree, preferring to keep teenagers frightened, ignorant, and either ashamed of their sexuality or astonishingly moralistic in their denial of it. This semester, a pro-abstinence student even informed me that premarital sex is illegal in the US. And the way things are going, I’m afraid his mistake might be prescient.

  2. Jill

    A student thought premarital sex was ILLEGAL!? That’s really scary…

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