Abstinence education received an $11 million boost from the House of Representatives last week, far from the $39 million dollars the President requested, but an increase nonetheless.
“We’ve been fighting on the Hill for months now to protect the President’s original request as much as we could. In a year where we’re seeing cuts on programs across the board, we’re grateful for an increase as large as this; $11 million is a start, and we will continue to work toward larger increases every year. Ultimately, we have to close that funding gap between authentic abstinence education and contraceptive programs,” said Lanier Swann, Concerned Women for America’s director of government relations.
The appropriations come at a time when policy makers and educators are trying to reverse rampant sexual activity among American teenagers, who for years have been brainwashed by “safe sex” and “reproductive health” propaganda. The outcome of this laissez-faire attitude toward teen sexuality is hardly positive: This year alone, 3 million teenagers will acquire a sexually transmitted disease (STD), and more than 1 million teenage girls will become pregnant.
Clearly, sex isn’t quite as safe as our youth are led to believe. For years, proponents of “safe sex” have deceived our youngest generation, imparting the message that fooling around sexually is okay and essentially without risk, and touting contraception as “highly effective” at preventing pregnancies.
The numbers say otherwise.
A report just released by Planned Parenthood’s Alan Guttmacher Institute rated various methods of birth control according to their failure rate. While the study accurately reports that almost half (47 percent) of all unintended pregnancies in America occur among women not using contraception, it fails to articulate the not-so-good news: 53 percent (more than half) of all unintended pregnancies occur to women using some form of “protection.” Even the infamous pill and highly promoted condom have an 8 percent and 15 percent rate of failure, respectively. The failure rates skyrocket for other less popular “protective measures” including spermicides, sponges and withdrawal methods.
So much for “highly effective” pregnancy prevention.
Why then, despite the evidence, does American society continue to promote sex education to teenagers and young adults, encouraging, condoning, and even providing contraceptives in the name of “safe sex”? Why does it continue to deceive our youth with a message of “sexual freedom” when illicit sex produces such harmful consequences? It is time to expose “safe sex” for what it is: A lie and an injustice to a generation that deserves to be told the truth.
Abstinence education exposes the fallacy of “safe sex” and promotes a far superior method of preventing STDs and out-of-wedlock pregnancy: Not having sex!
And it works. Numerous studies validate the effectiveness of abstinence education in reducing sexual activity and, therefore, pregnancy. According to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sexually active teens have declined from 54 to 46 percent, and a majority of teens reported that abstinence education was an important factor in their decision to abstain from sex. Other extensive studies by the Adolescent and Family Health journal credit abstinence for a 67 percent recent decline in teen pregnancies, and a study by the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health reflected a 40 percent lower likelihood of pregnancy for women taking virginity pledges.
Additionally, abstinence has a positive effect on teenagers; those who abstain from sex are happier. A study by the Heritage Foundation found that teenagers engaging in sexual activity are more likely to experience depression and increased emotional stress.
Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse of the Beverly LaHaye Institute states, “One quarter of sexually active girls are depressed three times the rate of depression among abstinent girls. While less than 10 percent of sexually active boys are depressed, that is twice as high as the depression rate among abstinent boys. There is an even stronger link to suicide attempts among teens who are sexually active. The girls are three times more likely to attempt suicide and the boys are eight times more likely.” And in a telling survey of sexually active teens, a compelling 63 percent regret engaging in early intercourse.
Teaching youth that sex is a beautiful and sacred expression of love and intimacy designed to seal a marriage relationship empowers, not represses, them. Teenagers not engaging in sexual activity are free from the threat of incurable STDs, the risks of single parenthood and emotional problems.
The “safe sex” message is not working. It is clear that abstinence remains far superior to all other contraceptive methods and is the only foolproof method of practicing “safe sex.” It is time to tout it as such while exposing “safe sex” fallacies.
Jessica Anderson, a senior at the University of Northern Iowa, is an intern in CWA’s Ronald Reagan Memorial Internship Program. She is majoring in public administration, political science and music.