Thursday, January 08, 2009

Mississippi passes Texas for highest teen birth rate

From the San Antonio Express-News via the Houston Chronicle:

New Mexico ranks second, and Texas is third in the rate of teen births, according to a final report released Wednesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The two states tied for the highest teen birth rate in 2005.

More here.

Number three, eh? Texas just can't catch a break. First the Longhorns end up, unfairly, at number three in the BCS rankings, and now this teen pregnancy bullshit. I'm telling you, Texas is undoubtedly number one when it comes to teen pregnancies, and we can prove it, given the chance, on the field!

But seriously.

This is obviously the result of "abstinence based" sex education combined with regional dominance of the attitudes that created it. In Mississippi and Texas, at least. I get the feeling New Mexico might be a bit different from it's teen pregnancy competitors: the state immediately west of Texas straight-up rejected "abstinence based" sex ed a year ago after trying it on for size. Indeed, New Mexico's Health Department, while turning down federal funds for the dangerous and stupid program, declared that "national studies have found that abstinence-only programs are not effective in preventing teen pregnancy or in delaying young people from having sexual relations."

Maybe that's why they dropped out of the top slot. Who knows? But I will tell you this. As long as parents and authorities simply wag their moralizing Christian fingers at teenagers and call it sex education, kids are going to get knocked up. No mystery about it.

Really, in a sane world, teachers would have goldfish bowls full of free condoms on their desks. Unfortunately, the world is crazy.