Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Explosive revelation out of Canton Ohio. Apparently, sexual ignorance can lead to unplanned pregnancies:

CANTON, Ohio -- An Ohio school board is expanding sex education following the revelation that 13 percent of one high school's female students were pregnant last year.

There were 490 female students at Timken High School in 2005, and 65 were pregnant, WEWS-TV in Cleveland reported.

The new Canton school board program promotes abstinence but also will teach students who decide to have sex how to do so responsibly, bringing the city school district's health curriculum in line with national standards

Nice JOB RED STATE! Apparently, the curriculum at Timken was abstinence only prior to the revelation about the pregnancy rate. Props to the school board for addressing it rather than devolving into the usual rhetoric of blaming the usual strawman, that is to say providing accurate biological information on sex. I wonder how many of these kids took the abstinence pledge?

Just for the record, I don't object to abstinence being a part of a sexual education curriculum. My objection to the sexual education abstinence-only curriculum promulgated by the White House is that it almost always distorts the facts about the effectiveness of condoms to prevent STD's and pregnancy, and frequently makes the false assertion that early sexual activity leads to mental illness and chemical dependency. Their oft repeated claim that HIV can be transmitted through tears is patently false and a disgraceful and blatant attempt to stigmatize gay people.

I think that ALL sides of this issue tend to overstate the impact of sexual education and wildly misinterpret the impact of culture. But in the case of Timken, it seems like a reasonable deduction that educating students on available birth control might lower the teenage pregnancy. It's a cost effective, low risk way to address it that lays within the scope of the schools mission. Pushing them into programs that are slightly disguised recruitment efforts for evangelical Christian churches who *officially * regard premarital sex as sinful is clearly not within their scope.

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