Well ain’t that something? A new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health shows that teen pregnancy rates, which had been on a 14 year decline, have been steadily on the increase since 2006. The study attributes the rise to a decrease in contraceptive and condom usage. According to an article in today’s Washington Post:
Instead, the researchers found that there appears to have been a subtle decrease in contraceptive use, including a slight increase in the use of the withdrawal method and the proportion of teens reporting no contraceptive use. But perhaps most importantly there was a small but significant drop in condom use, which fell from about 57 percent to about 55 percent from 2003 to 2007.
The study did not examine why these trends occurred. But Santelli says it could be due to a number of factors, including rising complacency about the AIDS epidemic and safe sex to protect against HIV. But Santelli also says the recent increased focus on encouraging kids to remain abstinent until marriage instead of teaching them about contraceptive may also be at least partly to blame.
Uh, yeah. Numerous studies have shown that abstinence-only sex education is a joke and a total waste of the taxpayers’ money. (Click here, here, and here for the evidence.) I mean, just this month a study was released showing that abortions are actually higher amongst students who receive abstinence-only education. So thanks a lot, religious zealots, for throwing tax money down the abstinence-only rabbit hole and actually increasing the teen pregnancy rate.
Here’s the God’s honest truth: teenagers are going to have sex. College students are going to have sex. It would be great if people had accurate information about STDs and pregnancy. The withdrawal method doesn’t stop you from getting HPV, herpes, syphilis, or many other STDs. No one likes genital warts, ya’ll. And condoms are effective in preventing STDs and unintended pregnancies when they are consistently and correctly used. The Pill is effective. So lets give folks the information they need to make healthy decisions instead of lying to them about condom and birth control safety. Bristol Palin gets it. Why can’t the wingnuts?