Wednesday, March 12, 2008

1 in 4 Teenage Girls Has an STD

I hope that others find this study disturbing. 25% of the female teenage population has a sexually transmitted disease. This is catastrophic and it is even worse in the African-American community where close to 50% have one.

As dismayed as I was when I read this, I got more upset when I read in my local paper (in an AP article) that most "experts" are blaming abstinence programs for the problem. Why? They argue that when a child is taught not to have sex that we are just setting them up for failure and are taking a "head in the sand" approach to the reality. But, is this the truth of the matter? No.

The most prevalent disease, HPV, can be contracted even if a condom is used. Even the Center for Disease Control say:
For those who choose to be sexually active, condoms may lower the risk of HPV, if used all the time and the right way.
Yet, they still blame abstinence programs for the problem. Why don't we get down to the root of the problem. When we teach kids how to use condoms and tell them "better if you didn't, but if you do, use a condom", THEN we are setting them up for failure.

As for schools teaching sex ed., I don't want my kids learning about sex in a public school, where politics play a bigger part than what is best for my child. This is why we homeschool. My children will learn the beauty of sexuality and why it is a gift from God intended for their spouse, if they have one. The schools basically tell them they are little animals that need to wear protective gloves (that might fail) but can help reduce risk. Of course, they don't talk about the emotional, spiritual or relational problems that sexually active teens have. They also don't tell them they are more likely to have a marriage fail or take part in other high-risk behaviors.

Try googling "abstinence programs" and you will find a 10-1 ratio of sites attacking abstinence programs as unscientific, inaccurate, and as teaching our kids to fail. I really don't understand the line of argumentation that condoms "fix" any problem.


Dove said...

As mom to teens who choose chastity as the way to go, I so agree with your feelings about how the press blames our way of chastity for the failure of their sex ed programs.

I unashamedly loaded my home schoolers up with the latest data on STD's and a good video of a woman giving birth surrounded by her children and husband. We TALKED about relationships and what sex is intended to do in a relationship. So their choosing chastity is the result of an education in reality.

The public schools fail to teach REALITY. The reality that if you jump from sexual encounter to sexual encounter you WILL end up with an STD, an accidental pregnancy, and emotional baggage that will effect all future relationships. So kids who get nothing but the condom class will sadly become part of the statistics by design because nobody told them that the BETTER way is chastity and waiting for marriage. If they did, more kids would choose the better way.

Undecided said...

"I hope that others find this study disturbing."

I'll bet Planned Parenthood is happy about it. Their solution to the problem would probably be publicly funded condom key chains (yes they exist). But then again they probably already are publicly funded. I just got done with doing a lot of research on PP, Last year we paid them about $305.3 million. A lot of that money goes into their sex ed programs.

Heidi Hess Saxton said...

What makes the reporting even worse is that it is blatant falsehood. Condoms do NOT stop HPV. Abstinence is the only truly safe option.

Having said that, we must teach our children to be "wise as serpents, harmless as doves." It's not enough to say simply, "don't." We must teach our children to conduct themselves in a variety of situations in order to keep them safe. Silence just gives Satan room to work.

I have an article about this at Mommy Monsters today. As a survivor of sexual assault, I believe it is important to teach our children to be both chaste ... and savvy.

Ed said...

Given I had some time this weekend to do some digging I dug into the study a bit and I must say, the study itself is a bit unreliable:

1. This study was done in public clinics. I would guess these are the kind that young teenage girls use when they're already having sex outside of marriage, and are wary about either being pregnant or having an STD.

2. They tested only 838 girls. Just over 210 of the 838 had an STD. Of course, they say that logically, this translates into 3 million teenage girls having STDs! There are an estimated 12 million teenage girls in this country! That means that they tested only .00006% of the population to arrive at that figure.

Even these numbers are quite sad, but the reporting of the results just doesn't hold up under a microscope. I have more faith in our young people than this study gives.

Dove said...

Thank you for seeking out the details on that study. So only the really promiscuous sorts were included, hopefully that means there are more groups choosing chastity than that study made it look like.

My Faith in our young people is in those who have chosen chastity over promiscuity. Perhaps perfection is not there in their execution of it, but my observation is that there are quite a few young women from all sorts of family and religious backgrounds who have chosen to wait on sex.