Friday, January 9, 2009

Abstinent-Only Mississippi Leads in Teen Pregnancy Rates

Predictably to those of us in the reality-based community, but surely as a shock to those in the faith-based community that are so enthused about abstinence-only sex education, their leader in that pedagogy Mississippi, now leads the nation in teen pregnancy rates:

The Centers for Disease Control released a new report today that found that Mississippi “now has the nation’s highest teen pregnancy rate, displacing Texas and New Mexico for that lamentable title.” The report found that in 2006, the Mississippi teen pregnancy rate was over 60 percent higher than the national average and increased 13 percent since the year before.

While the new report does not explain why the state’s teen pregnancy rate is increasing, one reason may be the poor quality of its sex ed programs. As the Sexuality Information and Education Center explains, Mississippi focuses heavily on abstinence education and teachers are prohibited from demonstrating how to use contraceptives:

Mississippi schools are not required to teach sexuality education or sexually transmitted disease (STD)/HIV education. If schools choose to teach either or both forms of education, they must stress abstinence-until-marriage, including “the likely negative psychological and physical effects of not abstaining.” […]

If the school board authorizes the teaching of contraception, state law dictates that the failure rates and risks of each contraceptive method must be included and “in no case shall the instruction or program include any demonstration of how condoms or other contraceptives are applied.”

Of course this data, as always, will be ignored by the abstinence-only crowd in lieu of their faith in theoretical canards like "abstinence is the only 100% effective prevention method", which any thinking person should be able to fisk with little effort.

It does however, have a certain amount of evolutionary benefit to their DNA. Idiocracy, here we come.

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