Two days ago, the state of Michigan accepted $1.4 million (USD) in federal money to promote abstinence-only sex education (hat tip). It will be going to nine community groups spread through three cities and eight counties. As usual, this is mostly going to cause teenagers to have unsafe sex as abstinence-only sex education does not work, as has been shown. Abstinence is great, if people actually do it. Since 95% of Americans have premarital sex, telling them not to do it is not going to discourage sex, it is going to discourage safe sex. This will cause more teenagers to get sexually transmitted diseases, and more girls to get pregnant.
This statement by James McCurtis, a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Community Health, is particularly stunning (emphasis added):
“What we know is that there are [sic] study after study that shows this stuff (abstinence-only) doesn’t work,” said Lori Lammerand, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Mid and South Michigan.
“Well, I disagree with you that studies show that it (abstinence-only education) doesn’t work,” said MDCH spokesperson James McCurtis when asked about the studies. “I challenge you to cite one study that shows that.”
When presented with a study from the Guttmacher Institute web site, McCurtis responded, “I am not going to amend my previous comments. Thank you for the study.”
In other words, McCurtis has a conclusion and rejects evidence that does not support it, rather than rejecting his conclusion in favour of one supported by evidence. By promoting ignorance-only education, he will contribute to an environment where pregnant teenagers deliberately ask their boyfriends to beat them with a baseball bat so they can get an abortion rather than tell their parents.