Pushing abstinence only ignores reality of teen sex
I read the Sept. 29 letter, “Teaching abstinence is the only solution” and have come to the conclusion that the writer has had no contact at all with teenagers. Oh, I agree teen pregnancy does go with poverty, but forbidding behavior? Ask a few actual parents how “forbidding behavior” works with their kids. Most will laugh at you and say, “not very well.” When I was a kid nobody approved of teen smoking, but outside of most schools were groups of teenagers puffing away. The only thing that put a dent in that was that it became very expensive.
In the 1980s, during the “just say no” era, there were plenty of testimonials by recovering drug addicts relating horrible stories of their experience with drugs. Those testimonials stopped when studies showed that what kids were getting out of those ads was: “It won’t happen to me.”
The writer claims that “contraception and condoms consistently fail.” If that were true, the companies that make both would be bankrupt due to lawsuits.
In states where abstinence only has been in practice, it has been an absolute failure. It has not only failed to reduce teen pregnancy and STDs, but in most cases both have gone up when abstinence only is the only practice.
“Hope for the best but prepare for the worst,” an insurance man once told me. Abstinence only is just hoping for the best.