It Depends What Your Definition of ‘Safe’ Is

Conn Carroll /

It’s rather ironic that “safe-sex” advocates blame abstinence education for the teen birth rate increase or for the high prevalence of STDs among adolescent girls when decades and billions of taxpayers’ dollars have been spent on promoting condoms to teens and we see results like the CDC report shows.

When one in four adolescent girls is infected with at least one sexually transmitted disease, and one in two report ever engaging in sexual activity, the problem is obviously more than just about contraception and the consequences go beyond STDs and teen pregnancy. For example, engaging in early sexual activity — and for teenage girls, even experimenting with sex — puts adolescents at an increased risk of depression.

What adolescents need and what would truly help them are decision-making skills and character-building (along with accurate information on STDs and contraception) that will equip them with the necessary skills and intent to avoid engaging in risky behavior and to navigate successfully social and peer pressure during those critical teenage years. And abstinence education, taking a holistic approach to youth risk behavior prevention, does exactly that. In our “sex-obsessed culture,” as author Carol Platt Liebau has referred to it, cultural supports for teens to delay sexual activity until marriage are rare — and ever more necessary as the CDC report reminds us.