(Nina Funnel - Sydney Morning Herald)
In her book Princesses And Pornstars, the feminist author Emily Maguire claims that by bowing to economic pressure, many US schools may end up mortgaging the health and safety of students.
Sounds a lot like the United States, where rates of teen pregnancy were dropping steadily until abstinence-only sex ed became all the rage. Now study after study shows that while such programs may help kids put off losing their virginity for a little while, it makes them much less likely to use birth control when they do start having sex, thus increasing the risk of pregnancy and the spread of disease.
Citing numerous studies, Maguire argues that while there is no evidence to suggest that abstinence-only programs succeed in reducing the likelihood of teenagers having premarital sex, there is significant evidence to suggest these programs reduce the likelihood of sexually active teens practising safe sex.
The problem is that students given the "abstinence-only" line often miss out on vital information regarding contraception, sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. Not only does this place teenagers at a much greater health risk but it also contributes to a culture of ignorance and secrecy about sex.
I'll have more about Rick Warren and Africa in the next post.