The Case for Sex Education

Sarah Palin and Bristol Palin
Sarah Palin and her daughter Bristol

Republican presidential candidate John McCain has picked Sarah Palin as a running mate, and everybody is talking about Sarah’s 17-year old pregnant daughter, Bristol.  Sarah and her husband Todd Palin made a public disclosure about the pregnancy saying:  “Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned.  Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child.”

There have been reports that Levi Johnston, the 18-year old boy who made Bristol pregnant, does not want to get married, but this is probably beyond his control.  Republicans have sought the support of religious groups and it would not look very good for the Vice President’s daughter to be an unwed mother with a bastard son.  It will be a shotgun wedding and probably an unhappy marriage.  Poor kids.

You reap what you sow.  Republicans have been against sex education for a long time and have withdrawn money from programs that teach about contraception.  According to the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, half of Americans have lost their virginity by age 16.  If children are not educated about sex, they will follow their instincts and make more babies.  It is well known that only teaching sexual abstinence is not an effective way of preventing teen pregnancies.  Today’s world is filled with many sexually alluring images in fashion magazines, movies, videos, and the internet.  Many teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases are the result of ignorance, lack of effective communication with parents, and not knowing how to deal with temptations.