Red State Fail: Abstinence Only Education Leads To Highest Rates Of Teen Pregnancy In The Country

Author: April 11, 2012 12:08 pm

In yet another concrete example of how the right ignores reality in favor of harmful ideology, the latest statistics for teen pregnancy in the United States show a clear trend: traditionally red states that push abstinence only have the highest rates of teen pregnancy.

ThinkProgress reports:

This (2010, the most recent year with complete statistics)is the lowest national rate for teen births since the Centers for Disease Control began tracking it in 1940, and CDC officials attributed the decline to pregnancy prevention efforts. Other reports show that teenagers are having less sex and using contraception more often. Studies have backed this up. Researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle found that teenagers who received some type of comprehensive sex education were 60 percent less likely to get pregnant or get someone else pregnant.(emphasis mine)

Comprehensive in this context means “more than the religiously motivated and wholly useless teaching of ‘don’t be a naughty sinner!’”

It is also important to note that a staple of conservative thought is that liberals are immoral, godless and sex craved and that we only want to teach our children to be whores and sluts. They demand that sexual education come from the home and only the home because all God-fearing parents will raise their children better than the gub’mint ever could. This has not been borne out by any real world experience whatsoever. The most “religious” states are the ones that consistently have the worst rates of teen pregnancy. Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia and so on, nine of the top ten states for teen pregnancy are in the Bible Belt (New Mexico is the outlier but they don’t require sex ed at all, with the same lousy results).

The truth is, parents tend to do a terrible job of teaching their kids about sex. The reasons for this are legion but teenagers are rife with dangerous misconceptions as detailed in The Virgin Diaries by Kimberley A. Johnson and Ann Werner:

Friends would say that the first time was going to be painful and that you would bleed once he “popped your cherry.” That there would be no way you could get pregnant the first time and that once you had sex, you would walk different. My favorite: if I didn’t have sex for a long time, I would be a virgin again.

You can be assured this was not taught in a classroom. Sometimes, parents are simply not equipped to do more than say “No,no,no! Sex is bad and you shouldn’t have any!” A tactic widely hailed as being 100% effective on teenagers similar to emptying the ocean with a teaspoon and just as useful. On the other hand, teaching the proper method of using contraception as well as thoroughly explaining the consequences of pregnancy and STDs seems to be quite effective in those godless, whorish blue states like New Hampshire that take their responsibilities seriously.

Don’t look for the bible Belt to suddenly wise up, though. Unthinking adherence to religious ideology always trumps common sense in Jayzusland.

facebook comments:


  • I have a cousin who lives in Texas. A few years ago, she came over here to AZ to visit my family. She was 15 at the time, and I was 16. We both talked about high school and complained about various things. I can remember one of the topics being the number of pregnant girls at our schools. I was in a public school, so there were several. However, she went to a private, religious school, so she mentioned that if you got pregnant, you got kicked out. We both agreed that it was stupid to have a baby during high school, since it was so stressful already.

    A few months after this visit, we found out that she was pregnant. She became a mother at age 16 in February of the next year. Her baby is lovely, but I dont think she is quite ready for motherhood yet. Luckily, the father of her child has stayed in her life and they plan to marry after he gets back from the army.

    This is the magic of abstinence-only education.

  • Second Amendment Democrat

    To answer the picture, what you are SUPPOSED to do is have the baby,3raise it out of wedlock into an unloved criminal. Because you will have NO social services except adoption (I wonder how the GOP will charge YOU for it, but rest assured hey will find a way…)

    What you are SUPPOSED to do is know your place, a worthless female, to find an marry another poor loser. they are running short of cannon fodder and footmen…

    Still wanna vote Republican?

    Do you REALLY buy the fundie viewpoint that abstinence-only is a viable solution to overpopulation and overextending our limited resources? If you’re a Fox watcher, or a member of the Westboro baprist Church of Fools and Haters – then yes, you believe.

    But once again, a beautiful assumption is destroyed by actual fact. But who’s listening? Not the indoctrinated.

    Your viewpoint is pure abstract Science Fiction (I know you hate science, it disagrees with the bible.) But I know you LOVE fiction, you live your life by it.

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