The sex–edhanky panky accelerates. A great column yesterday by Nicholas Kristof (who is, you’ll be pleased to know, a Cascadian from Oregon) tells the story: tripling the US federal budget for "abstinence-only" (aka, "ignorance-only") sexuality education.
"abstinence only" is a misnomer that in practice is an assault on sex education itself. There’s a good deal of evidence that the result will not be more young rosy-cheeked virgins – it will be more pregnancies, abortions, gonorrhea and deaths from AIDS."
"Other developed countries focus much more on contraception. The upshot is that while teenagers in the U.S. have about as much sexual activity as teenagers in Canada or Europe, Americans 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 H.I.V. as young Germans, and teenagers’ gonorrhea rate is 70 times higher in the U.S. than in the Netherlands or France."
In Cascadia, the disparity is equally stark. Teen birth rates in British Columbia are one third of those in Washington and Oregon, as we pointed out here.