So, How’s That Abstinence-Only Thing Working Out For Ya?

Not too good, in the case of a high school in Canton, Ohio, where 13% of the female students fell pregnant:

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.

The Ohio Department of Education doesn’t require schools to provide sex education, particularly when it comes to using contraceptives. The state curriculum calls for venereal disease education, which often is taught along with nutrition and the effects of drugs, alcohol and tobacco.

One does wonder what kind of venereal disease education can be done without discussing contraceptives.

Via Feministing.

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15 comments for “So, How’s That Abstinence-Only Thing Working Out For Ya?

  1. Mikey S
    August 17, 2006 at 10:07 am

    It’s like driver’s ed without seatbelts.

  2. August 17, 2006 at 10:32 am

    It’s like classroom-only driver’s ed without mentioning the word “car,” “brakes,” “accelleration,” or “seat belts.”

  3. j swift
    August 17, 2006 at 10:36 am

    any bets on how long it takes some fundie group to make some racist, classist comment about how the girls are all slutty, and/or poor and/or brown people and therefore all very understandable.

  4. August 17, 2006 at 11:16 am

    One does wonder what kind of venereal disease education can be done without discussing contraceptives.

    Oh, it’s simple, really:

    “Don’t have sex, you dirty slut!!”

  5. August 17, 2006 at 11:20 am

    It’s like classroom-only driver’s ed without mentioning the word “car,” “brakes,” “accelleration,” or “seat belts.”

    Hey, if you don’t tell kids about seat belts, they won’t drive. Because there’s no way they’d ever find out about driving other than through driver’s ed.

  6. bmc90
    August 17, 2006 at 11:33 am

    I’m not taking chances with the schools. Our kids already know what a condom is at 11 and 12, and I plan to get a plan B perscription, tell them what it does and where I keep it, and make it clear that if it ever disappears, no questions.

  7. August 17, 2006 at 12:46 pm

    zuzu darling, I’m a big fan, delurking to ask about your wording. You say “fall pregnant.” One falls ill. Teen pregnancy, while unfortunate (permit me to serve as your bad example), is not illness. It is the body’s healthy response to predictable conditions and, you know, sperm.

    I don’t have a better suggestion for the post, but I am conscious of ongoing efforts to convince the medical profession and insurers that pregnancy is not malady, well- or ill-timed.

    Whoosh, I’m off again –

  8. August 17, 2006 at 12:50 pm

    Jeff: In Philly, kids are shocked that a stop sign means that you have to actually stop your car, rather than slowing down (slightly) for the intersection.

    In sex ed classes, there are girls who are shocked that douching with Coke isn’t a good way to prevent pregnancy, or that you can get pregnant your first time, or that any other number of “you can’t if …” (you’re standing up, you’re on top, you have sex in a jucuzzi, etc) turn out to be untrue.

    bmc90 — Ultimately, this is none of my business, but I have to ask, would you really not engage your kid if she swiped the Plan B? I mean, maybe she needs your support and/or guidance–like help scheduling a dr’s appointment, or a trip to a rape counselor?

  9. zuzu
    August 17, 2006 at 12:51 pm

    Just a slightly ironic turn of phrase, Tata. Perhaps I should have linked it better with the whole idea of immaculate conception — what ? How could she be pregnant? She abstains!

  10. Roov
    August 17, 2006 at 1:22 pm

    I believe in Britain the phrase is, in fact, ‘fall pregnant.’ I noticed the turn of phrase too, but it just made me wonder idly if you were from the UK.

  11. August 17, 2006 at 1:37 pm

    The Ascetics Aura of Abstinence Accrues only to those who Accept and Acknowledge what they Are Abstaining from.

    sorry. couldn’t resist..

    I don’t really understand these programs. wasn’t everyone always told to abstain? How many of these folks (now parents) listened? Why do they think their kids will be different?


  12. August 17, 2006 at 2:05 pm

    Certainly, one hopes not to fall pregnant, what with the inevitable bruising…

  13. bmc90
    August 17, 2006 at 3:32 pm

    The kids are boys, ponygirl, so HOPEFULLY no trip to the rape counselor. Big lecture about how Plan B is not Plan A, you can’t coerce someone to take it, and I won’t be renewing the perscription if it disappears because there is not good excuse for making the same mistake more than once (or really even once). They should be swiping CONDOMS, not Plan B. I hope they would come to us for help, but I’m not going to let that false hope produce an unplanned pregnancy. I managed to be on the pill at 16 without my parents knowing, so why should I expect that I will find out what they are up to? I just don’t want them paying child support beginning at 17.

  14. August 17, 2006 at 5:10 pm


  15. Barbiturate Cat
    August 17, 2006 at 7:13 pm

    Mighty Ponygirl – a University professor in my city actually wrote a bunch of newspaper articles saying that “stop signs mean nothing. It’s just a suggestion!” and that no one should obey them.

    So yeah, I’m really not surprised when teenagers are honest-to-gosh shocked that ridiculous urban legends aren’t true. It’s all third-and-fourth-hand, word of mouth friend-of-a-friend anecdotes. To a kid who isn’t even allowed to say the words penis or vagina at home because their parents think it’s filthy, they’re going to latch on to any semi-plausible [in their mind] idea and tout it as God’s Truth.

    Because clearly, if your best friend had unprotected sex, shoved an ice cube up her vagina afterwards and managed to not become pregant, this is PROOF that ice cubes kill sperm. And in any given high school, I’m willing to bet that within a week it will be a Scienfitic Fact that ice cubes prevent pregnancy.

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