Sunday, July 19, 2009

Government Survey Says U.S. Teens Need Better Sex Ed

From Carnal Nation:

The results of data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) should not really come as a surprise to anyone: American teens need more and better sex education. The surveillance summary Sexual and Reproductive Health of Persons Aged 10--24 Years published in this week's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report paints a grim picture of the sexuality of American youth.

Dr. Lorrie Gavin and colleagues write, "The data presented in this report indicate that many young persons in the United States engage in sexual risk behavior and experience negative reproductive health outcomes." Using data from a variety of studies and surveys involving several hundred thousand children, teens, and young adults from 2001 through 2007, the CDC researchers found dire news with regard to the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregancy. The number of AIDS diagnoses among men aged 15-19 years has nearly doubled, increasing from 1.3 cases per 100,000 in 1997 to 2.5 per 100,000 in 2006. The rate of syphilis infection among women has gone up by nearly 50% with 1.5 cases per 100,000 in 2004 to 2.2 cases per 100,000 population in 2006. After years of decline, the teen birth rate also showed an increase with 40.5 births per 1,000 females in 2005 to 42.5 in 2007.

More here.

Like the article says, this is no surprise. Indeed, I've been railing away against the wishful-thinking folly of "abstinence based" sex education since almost the beginning of this blog back in '02. It's always been fairer to call "abstinence based" programs indoctrination, rather than education, but the federal government and state legislatures have been eating this shit up for over a decade, and now days it's the standard. It has long been obvious that the kids who go through these programs would pay a price for it, and, at last, we have some hard data supporting that notion.

I mean, teen AIDS cases have fucking doubled in the last decade, and teen pregnancies have shot up as well.

It's time to end this bullshit. Time to teach kids the facts about sex, without any state sanctioned Christian moralizing, which, in any case, is forbidden by the first amendment. There is no scientific data supporting the efficacy of "abstinence based" sex ed, but now there is plenty of data showing how dangerous it is. Let's just get rid of it.

It really is a public health issue.