blog Time Hath Found Us: What Part of Abstinence Doesn't this Report Understand?

June 19, 2005

What Part of Abstinence Doesn't this Report Understand?

The attack by anti-moral nitwits on abstinence only sex education continues. According to an article published on MedicalNewsToday.com, a report written by Scott Frank, director of Case Western Reserve University's division of public health, attacks Ohio's abstinence-only programs for possibly containing misleading information.

Some of the sins of the Ohio programs include:

...some of the state's abstinence-only programs, which are offered in 85 of the state's 88 counties, confuse religion and science, perpetuate sexist stereotypes, do not provide guidance for gay adolescents and are not taught by trained health educators.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure where Mr. Frank is coming from. Here are more shocking misrepresentations and inaccuracies:

- Exaggerate the failure rates of condoms and do not include information on how to use a condom properly;

- Blame contraceptives for poor mental health among young people and warn that sexual activity outside of marriage can have damaging psychological effects;

- Suggest that hormonal contraceptives can increase a girl's chances of infertility later in life;

- Urge teens to "follow God's plan for purity" and remain abstinent until marriage;

- Contain inaccurate or misleading information about the transmission of STDs, including saying that HIV can be transmitted through tears and open-mouth kissing;

- Inaccurately describe HIV as a virus that remains undetected for six months to 10 years, when most antibodies are detectable within two to eight weeks following exposure.

I won't waste time stating the obvious except to draw your attention to: "Exaggerate the failure rates of condoms and do not include information on how to use a condom properly." This silly argument has always floored me. Even if condoms were 99% reliable, the one time in a hundred the condom breaks can be a death sentence.

It is interesting that if "Urge teens to 'follow God's plan for purity' and remain abstinent until marriage" were followed, the kids would not have to worry at all about all of the other stuff. But that would require self discipline and commitment, something the likes of Mr. Frank can't possibly condone.