Keeping Radical Sex Ed at Harm's Length

February 21, 2020

In the real world, no one would keep paying for a service that didn't work -- especially if it was hurting the people using it. But that's exactly what's been happening for years under "comprehensive sex ed." It's not making any difference on behavior, a new study says -- and worse, it's probably damaging kids in the process.

When President Trump pulled the plug on Planned Parenthood's teen pregnancy prevention (TPP) grants early on, Planned Parenthood was outraged. So outraged, in fact, that they decided to sue the administration to keep their funding pipeline open. "The Trump administration is clearly trying to push their abstinence-only agenda," argued Planned Parenthood attorney Carrie Flaxman at the time. Unfortunately for her, elections have consequences -- and one of 2016's is that President Trump is finally taking an honest look at the country's approach to sex ed. And guess what the experts have discovered? The same thing as Obama's CDC: the Left's strategy isn't working.

In a deep dive of more than 60 studies on "comprehensive sex ed" in the U.S. and 43 abroad, the Institute for Research & Evaluation found "little evidence that [liberal] programs are effective at producing positive impact on their participants." But author Irene Erickson said, "Perhaps of greatest concern is that this new analysis found harmful effects on children and youth for roughly one in six school-based comprehensive sex education programs worldwide."

Of the 103 school-based comprehensive sex ed studies, only six found any evidence of "real effectiveness" after a year. And even those six didn't prove that they'd made any difference on condom usage or reduced sexually transmitted diseases. Only one in six even lowered teen pregnancy. But, the researchers warned, they didn't have any trouble producing negative results, like increasing teen sex and other risky acts.

None of this is a surprise to the CDC, which found that after two terms of the last administration's "if-it-feels-good-do-it" approach also made the situation worse. "Compared with their peers," a 2016 study by the American Journal of Public Health found, "teenagers in the [government's programs] were more likely to begin having sex... and more likely to get pregnant." And it's no wonder. The curriculum was so extreme that 40 percent of young people actually said they "felt more pressure to engage in sex from their sex ed classes than from their boyfriends or girlfriends!"

In other words, groups like Planned Parenthood, who are rattling the states' gates, demanding more money for their radical curriculums, are just wasting money -- and radically indoctrinating kids while they're at it. In places like California, Texas, Colorado, and Maryland, parents have been so shocked by the content leaders are proposing that they've built massive coalitions across party lines to fight back. "In Virginia," FRC's Cathy Ruse points out, "sex education is disguised under the parent-friendly label 'Family Life Education." And part of that "education," she points out, is giving eighth graders lessons with "multiple references to 'anal sex' and 'oral sex.'"

It's astonishing that any state would keep throwing money at an approach that's such a proven failure. But unfortunately, several have. That's why it's so imperative for parents to be involved -- on the state level where the money is appropriated, but also on the local level where these curriculums are being taught. If there's one thing Planned Parenthood and every other liberal is afraid of, it's engaged parents. They understand that the more you know, the harder you'll fight. And in a world where the other side will do anything to get to our children, fighters are exactly what we need.