Wisconsin Passes Abstinance Law for Unmarried Couples
Wisconsin has passed a law requiring schools to teach abstinance as the preferred behavior for unmarried couples. AP notes that “The legislation means teachers must emphasize that refraining from sex before marriage is the most effective way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.” and that “Republican Sen. Mary Lazich, a bill’s sponsor, said sex education teachers can still teach about birth control, but must emphasize that abstinence is the only 100 percent effective method to avoid health risks.”
That those things are objectively true is not in dispute. Whether sending that message is an appropriate use of school time is a debatable question. Moreover, it’s not clear whether we’re going to actually modify the behavior of adolescents with the message that “Sex is bad, m’kay?”
This is interesting:
The birth rate among Wisconsin teens ages 15-19 decreased by 27 percent between 1993 and 2004, from 41 to 30 births per 1,000 females, according to the most recent government survey. But the overall infection rate of the four top sexually transmitted diseases increased by 3 percent among teens during that time.
I continue to wonder why this statistic always includes the 15-19 range, which combines people we now consider children (15-17) and those who are legally adults (18-19). Certainly, the emotional reaction to seeing that stat is that 3 percent of teenage girls are getting pregnant; most likely, the preponderance of the births in this range are to 18- and 19-year-olds.