More Teens Keep It In Their Pants

New data from 2002 show a remarkable decrease in sexual activity among teens since 1995. Today’s AP story highlights a number of statistics, showing a major dropoff in sexual activity, especially among 15-17 year olds. The number of boys aged 15 to 17 who had intercourse dropped most precipitously, from 43% to 31%. The same figure for girls was 38% to 30%. Contrary to popular belief some 70% of juniors in high school are virgins.

Meanwhile, there has been a brouhaha in the media (it combines titillation with politics; what could be better?) about federal funding for abstinence-only textbooks that contain fallacies. Congressman Harry Waxman of California (who looks uncannily like a sex-ed teacher) issued the report that sparked this whole debate. All the liberal pundits quoted are using the opportunity to say what they've said all along: abstinence-only education doesn't work. The new data, however, would suggest otherwise. The cultural shift has occurred among teens versed more and more in abstinence-only education, which burst onto the scene in a real way in 1996 [history here], and has been growing since. The second liberal argument, that abstinence-taught kids won't know how to use a condom, is also gainsaid by the data, which shows a rise in contraception use.

Can this all be credited to abstinence-only education? By no means. But I would argue that this seismic shift arises because today's teens are growing up in a different atmosphere. Not only is abstinence being taught in the classroom, but society is embracing that formula more and more in general.

So don't bash abstinence education unless you are willing to come out and tell the truth: you, like most anti-abstinence-ed folks, really think that adolescent sex is a good thing, and you don't want anybody discouraging it. In that case, all I can say is, "Keep your morals off my children!"

Sound familiar?

Posted by Chops at December 10, 2004 2:17 PM