Dumb, Dumber, and What The?!?

Today I saw an online article about the increase in teen pregnancies, which have risen for the first time in a decade.  Here’s a quote:

“The cause of the increase is the subject of debate. Several experts blamed the increase in teen pregnancies on sex-education programs that focus on encouraging abstinence.”

Are these people just trying to create fodder for the late night comedians?  I’ve never claimed to be an “expert” like the “experts” cited here, but I’m pretty sure that “encouraging abstinence” does not impregnate teenage girls.  If these programs required artificial insemination in order for a girl to participate in the program, then I could understand.  Otherwise, these “experts” might seriously need to consider taking a vocational aptitude test.

Maybe they accidentally omitted a “not” somewhere in that quote.

Either way, the fact that the current administration has withdrawn $150 million in funds for abstinence programs might have a little something to do with the current rise in teen pregnancies.

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Published in: on January 26, 2010 at 9:32 pm  Comments (4)  

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  1. As far as I know, surveys of people who have signed abstinence pledges have shown that they are just as likely to have sex outside of marriage when in a significant relationship, as those who have not signed pledges. They do however wait longer before having sex and are less likely to use protection. This seems to be due to the “accidental”, un-premeditated nature of the sex. For them having protection on hand would be like planning to fail.

    This means that there is a higher likelihood of STIs and unplanned pregnancy.

    So obviously, no, abstinence education does not “cause” teen pregnancy. But it could very easily be a contributing factor.

    The problem I see with abstinence education is it is generally about reforming behaviour and not the heart. If people want to actually last at waiting until marriage I think they need Jesus, and a strong Christian community. Even then, in my experience, many won’t make it.

    So perhaps our advice needs to be “Wait until marriage. But if you can’t, don’t or won’t, whatever you do, use protection.” But how you say that without people thinking you’re promoting sex before marriage, I’m not sure.

  2. Have you heard about the show “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” on ABC family? It’s a show that promotes abstinence yet everyone on the show is having sex with each other. Before commercials they talk about how important it is to wait and parents and kids should talk about it with one another. Talk about mixed messages.

  3. Katie, that is one show I don’t think I could stomach! Everyone knows what “the secret life of the American teenager” is like. Aren’t those years that we’re all trying to forget?

  4. Thanks for your comment, Tom. I wish they’d interviewed you for this article so you could clarify that. Sounds like the problem might be in the quality of the abstinence training. If the message is simply, “don’t have sex,” then yeah–I could see how that might not exactly prepare and equip teenagers to deal with tempting situations. The situations we put ourselves in are probably the biggest factor when it comes to dealing with temptation. I wonder if they spend sufficient time addressing this in the abstinence programs.

    By the way, great to hear from you!


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