Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Real sex ed vs. "abstinence only"

From Think Progress:
The number of teen births in the U.S. dropped again in 2010, according to a government report, with nearly every state seeing a decrease. Nationally, the rate fell 9 percent to about 34 per 1,000 girls ages 15 through 19, and the drop was seen among all racial and ethnic groups.
This 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.
Woo hoo! This is some damn good news!

But wait...
Mississippi continues to have the highest teen birth rate, with 55 births per 1,000 girls. New Hampshire has the lowest rate at just under 16 births per 1,000 girls. 

That's an absolutely huge discrepancy. My question is: how do Mississippians explain statistics like that? Do they rightfully blame their elected officials? Do the blame someone/something else? Do they even notice?

Now we have concrete proof* that "abstinence only" education does not work. I doubt that Mississippi's elected officials will care, though-- what does it matter to them that they're very likely condemning these young women to a life of hardship? From where I'm sitting, pretending to save their daughters' "purity" is more important than actually raising them to be happy and healthy.

How disgusting.

*I'm pretty sure we've had the proof before now, but it's nice to be able to reinforce the fact that "abstinence only" is unmitigated bullshit.

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