Proving Sex Ed Policies a Failure
One hears, from time to time, that abstinence only sex education has been proven to be a failure.
Not only is the proof arguably incorrect, but the entire premise misses the mark. Abstinence education hardly enjoyed meager implementation, let alone the pervasive reinforcement that would be necessary for society-wide effect.
But I do wonder what those who continue to offer the common complaint that a small devotion to abstinence in the broad sphere of public school sex ed didn’t change anything would say about this:
The United Kingdom’s Daily Telegraph has an article this morning documenting the high rate of repeat abortions among young girls in Great Britain. According to the article, 89 girls aged 17 or under who terminated a pregnancy last year had had at least two abortions previously. Furthermore, 2009 figures from the Department of Health indicate that for the first time, more than a third (34 percent) of abortions were performed on women who had already ended one or more pregnancies.
While these statistics are tragic, the article unfortunately fails to link these outcomes to Britain’s permissive policies with regard to abortion, contraception, and sex education. For instance, England has no parental-consent requirement. In both 1982 and 2006 the courts ruled that minor girls can obtain abortions without their parental permission. These high rates of repeat abortions provide good evidence that effective parental-involvement laws might be able to prevent minors from obtaining multiple abortions by providing parents with an early indication of their child’s sexual activity.
Abortion isn’t the only indicator that “comprehensive” sex ed, British-style, has failed to resolve or has in fact made worse. But it’s such an article of faith that all we have to do is teach children how to have sex safely that few stop to notice that the operative clause in that belief is “teach children how to have sex.”