Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Sex and religion-fueled death in the United States

I try not to blog too much about political matters, but sometimes I can't help it. Events around me compel me to speak.

Today, I was reminded by this column in The New York Times that W and his religious zealot supporters continue to use their view of morality as the measuring stick for government programs. In doing this, they're throwing away the lives of Americans. This particular column discusses the heavy funding for "abstinence only" sex education programs. This is as opposed to the more logical, more sensible "abstinence plus" programs that advocate abstinence but also teach young people to practice safe sex if they're going to have sex.

These "abstinence only" programs are nothing new. They're fueled by the Reagan-inspired neo-conservative religious fundamentalists who turn a blind eye to reality, because it doesn't fit their view of the world. So intelligent, logical approaches to important issues are cast aside, in favor of what the right wing thinks God would want them to do. Let's not bother with separation of church and state (or the fact that God can make anything he wants happen—he doesn't need these yo-yos).

Now, since this approach has been used for years, we must have made big inroads with America’s young people. So where do we stand?

Quoting from the column, "while teenagers in the U.S. have about as much sexual activity as teenagers in Canada or Europe, American girls are four times as likely as German girls to become pregnant, almost five times as likely as French girls to have a baby, and more than seven times as likely as Dutch girls to have an abortion. Young Americans are five times as likely to have HIV as young Germans, and teenagers' gonorrhea rate is 70 times higher in the U.S. than in the Netherlands or France."

Yes, this is what our puritanical approach to sex has gotten us. When will people wake up? Nothing they say can stop teens (and adults!) from thinking about and wanting sex. Nothing! How about an approach that puts aside the gasps of horror over teens having sex and gives them the wherewithal to do so safely, if they decide that abstinence isn't for them? People are dying! Wake up, America!

1 comment:

Jase said...

Great post!

I'm wholly in agreement that 'abstinence only' is teaching ignorance.

If people wanted to play with fire, they will. Why not teach them to wear fire-proof suits and gloves instead of just screaming 'no' at them.

Europe has less problems because the society's attitude toward sex is lassiez faire. Parents let their children drink wine and they show nudity on broadcast TV.

Someone stop this Puritan America!