Friday, February 8, 2008

Abstinence Only!? You could even pay me...

Ok, I admit it, I am a "perfect-world" Libertarian. By that I mean if we lived in a perfect world where there was mutual human kindness instead of greed and abuse I would be a card carrying Libertarian. Being that it is not a perfect world I have buried these leanings deep inside. But recently my little internal libertarian has been chomping at the bit as I read about all the states that have said "Thank you, but no" to abstinence only federal funding. I like to fantasize that the refusals of these14 (possibly more) states was not so polite and involved a certain taboo finger waving in the air and a song that said "take your 50+ mil and shove it" but I digress. It is so exciting to see states stand up for their citizens and refuse federal bulling to support a program that just doesn't work.

And why doesn't the abstinence-only-until-marriage approach work? Besides the obvious that it fails to give teens medically appropriate information about birth control, STD prevention, and the option of abortion. After watching a recent PBS Frontline Documentary called Kids Online I have a little fledgling, not quite fully formed hypothesis as to why this approach is doomed to continual and repeated failure. One of the ideas brought up by the documentary is that this generation of kids grew up with the internet and are used to and expect immediate access. They never racked their brains all day trying to remember that actor's name that was in that movie.... or, the next lyric after "my girl wants to party all the time..." or who is buried in Grants Tomb? They can just look it up. They probably never had to listen expectantly to the sound of a dial-up modem while waiting for it to grant them access to the world wide web. These kids have had constant and immediate access to all the information they have ever wanted a suddenly we adults want to try and deny them access to information about the one topic they think about all the time. Sex. It just won't work.

Hats off to the 14 states so far that have turned their collective backs on $50 million.

1 comment:

Mrs. Y said...

I would pay money to go back in time and convince whoever came up with the "abstinence-only" label that they should have been talking about chastity instead of abstinence. For pete's sake, isn't the point of "sex ed" to prepare children for adult life which, at some point, is likely to involve sex? We conservative types posit chastity as a positive value at all stages of life, and chastity - which entails people adopting sexual behavior appropriate to their age and marital status - isn't abstinence. I wish my fellow proponents of comprehensive sex ed gave more credence to the merits of teens not having sex, sure, but it's ridiculous to treat the kids as if they are going to be kids forever!