The education reformers trying to avert abstinence education in favor of the now old-fashioned contraceptive instruction tell us that they are doing it, as they do everything else, “for the children.” One wonders whose interests they are really representing.
“There is strong and widespread support of teaching sexual abstinence to American teens,” Robert Rector and Kirk Johnson of the Heritage Foundation found. “Over 90 percent of parents, at a minimum, want teens to be taught to abstain from sexual activity until they have at least finished high school.”
“Some 84 percent of parents favor teaching a stronger standard: abstinence until a couple is married or close to married.” In a conference paper that they delivered last Fall entitled “Teenage Sexual Abstinence and Academic Achievement,” Rector and Johnson examined data from 17 federal agencies. They found that abstinence education also coincides with academic achievement.
“When compared to sexually active teens, those who abstain from sexual activity during high school years (e.g., at least until age 18) are: 60 percent less likely to be expelled from school; 50 percent less likely to drop out of high school; almost twice as likely to graduate from college,” Rector and Johnson discovered. Those trends held even when other factors, such as income and ethnicity, were factored in.
“The inclusion of social background factors such as race, parental education, family income, and family structure had little impact on the findings,” Rector and Johnson reported. “Even after inclusion of background factors, teen virginity was found to be a significant and independent predictor of academic success.”
“Abstaining teens did dramatically better academically when compared to sexually active teens from identical socio-economic backgrounds.” Most foes of abstinence education would say they want lower dropout rates and higher college attendance levels. Yet they oppose a program in which both outcomes are happy byproducts of a sex education curriculum which at least meets the standard set by the Hippocratic Oath of first doing no harm.
“Social science data show that teens who abstain from sex do substantially better on a wide range of outcomes,” Rector and Johnson note. “For example, teens who abstain from sex are less likely to be depressed and to attempt suicide; to experience STDs; to have children out-of-wedlock; and to live in poverty and welfare dependence as adults.”
“Finally, teens who delay sexual activity are more likely to have stable and enduring marriages as adults.” All of these results are particularly relevant given other trends among the young that go well beyond alienation.
“The suicide rate among children 14 years and under has increased 75 percent in the last ten years,” Rebecca Hagelin, also of the Heritage Foundation, pointed out in a recent speech. “According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, freshmen are entering colleges in record numbers with clinically diagnosed depression.”
“The college suicide rate is the highest it has ever been.” Moreover, the sort of pornography that passes as instructional material in sex education classes is not in short supply elsewhere in the educational system, as Hagelin noted.
“What about some of the books our kids are reading for school-assigned reports?,” asks Hagelin, author of Home Invasion: Protecting Your Family in a Culture That’s Gone Stark Raving Mad. “When I was researching
Home Invasion, I decided to thumb through a few books from a list of those recommended by the American Library Association for ages 12-14.”
“Good teachers, well-meaning teachers, hand out such lists at the end of every school year—I’m sure you’re familiar with the ‘summer reading list’ concept.” What she unearthed should give every parent pause, particularly at a time when children are increasingly likely to encounter pedophiles among public school employees.
“Well, I pulled a few novels off the shelves and what I found disgusted me,” Hagelin said. “One described a sexual encounter between fourth graders. Another was written from the perspective of a 14-year-old boy who describes, in detail, watching his first homosexual encounter. In one book, you need only to get to page four for the first of many uses of the term ‘motherf—in.’ So moms and dads should know that sometimes when Susie is upstairs being a good little girl reading her book, her mind is being filled with rot. Of course you should also check out the sex-ed class materials that may include contests where kids race to put condoms on dildos and cucumbers.”
Malcolm A. Kline is the executive director of Accuracy in Academia.