Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bristol Palin: Abstinence is unrealistic

Bristol Palin, daughter of Sarah, says it is "unrealistic" to expect as her mom does that teenagers will abstain from sex.

I guess she would know.

Teen pregnancy? Not really a good idea.

Stopping teen sex? Ain't gonna happen.

So says Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's 18-year-old daughter, Bristol, who told Fox News' Greta Van Susteren Monday night that the abstinence her mom preaches is "not realistic at all."

Bristol Palin's pregnancy, revealed shortly after Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) chose Sarah Palin to be his running mate, shook up the last presidential campaign.

Bristol Palin, who gave birth in late December, described the rigors of being a teen mom, and while she wouldn't go into detail why it isn't realistic for guys and gals her age not to have sex, she did say it isn't smart to get knocked up.
She didn't have to "go into detail" about why it is unrealistic to expect teenagers to abstain from sex just because their parents tell them to. This is why the Abstinence Only movement is not just a fraud, it is a threat to public health. Deliberately keeping teenagers from learning how to avoid pregnancy and prevent disease is practically guaranteeing that many of them will contract STDs and/or end up caring for children before they can take care of themselves.

This is what I meant with my sarcastic comment about abstinence earlier in reference to Alfie Patten, the 13-year-old father (maybe) in Great Britain.

The idea that teens do not need access to comprehensive sex education is absurd. They need to know how their bodies work. They need to know how to reduce the risks of pregnancy and disease if they engage in sexual activity. They need to know these things. Giving them the information will not, as the abstinence-only crowd insists, make teenagers more inclined to have sex. As sexually mature human beings, they are already inclined to have sex. Providing them with the information simply gives them a greater chance of living healthy, fulfilling lives.

Is it better for people to delay sex until they can manage the consequences of it? Absolutely.

But he failure of abstinence-only sex education and behavioral intiatives like virginity pledges is well documented. It is foolishness to assume that such programs can serve as an effective substitute for knowledge.

But don't take my word for it. Ask Bristol Palin.


Interview clip, via ThinkProgress:

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