June 24, 2016
Most of the Left's "solutions" are actually problems waiting to be unwrapped. Comprehensive sex education is one such "solution." Twenty-five years into the "if-it-feels-good-do-it-with-a-condom" approach, researchers are finding that "safe" sex is anything but. In fact, the approach championed by everyone from Planned Parenthood to President Obama actually made the situation worse. In one of the most important studies in a generation, Notre Dame experts have just finished what they call "The Incidental Fertility Effects of School Condom Distribution Programs" -- a sweeping look at the condom-pushing school programs of the 1990s. And the results aren't exactly glowing.
In schools that showered kids with free condoms, the teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease rates climbed. Turns out, pushing contraception on high schoolers may have advertised sex, but it certainly didn't make it safe. Stunning authors Kasey Buckles and Daniel Hungerman, the team discovered a 10-12 percent bump in teen births and a spike in STDs in districts that pitched condoms. The results were disturbing for a number of reasons -- not the least of which is the millions of tax dollars Americans have unwillingly poured down the drain of liberal sex ed (along with the $16 billion a year in STD treatments). Despite what liberals would have you believe, surveys have shown that parents on both sides of the political spectrum (76 percent of Democrats and 87 percent of Republicans) overwhelmingly prefer lessons on risk avoidance over risk reduction.
Unfortunately for our nation's young people, that's the opposite of this administration's message. In fact, a recent Barna Group study pointed out, almost four in 10 teens said their health curriculum made sex feel like an expectation. That doesn't surprise Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, who calls the Left's strategy of promiscuity "propaganda for the sexual revolution." Dr. Michael New, a good friend of FRC's, took a deeper look at Notre Dame's findings and applauded what he calls an "impressive body of research which shows that efforts to encourage contraceptive use either through mandates, subsidies, or distribution are ineffective at best or counterproductive at worst."
No wonder Congress is fighting to bring back sexual risk avoidance programs. In the omnibus pushed out the door last Christmas, conservatives did manage to include a modest $10 million bump in community-based grants for the kinds of messaging that moms and dads want. That's also a nod to local communities, which the Journal of Adolescent Health just revealed, are increasingly frustrated with the unrestrained ideology of the Left. Like us, they don't understand the rush for children to have sex -- especially when as many as 60 percent of teenagers are willing to wait. Our young people have nothing to gain from this race to intimacy but shorter marriages, deadly infections, premature parenthood, negative self-esteem, and difficulties at school. Americans may disagree about condoms, but every study says the same thing about abstinence: the kids who practice it don't get diseases and don't get pregnant?
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.