The issue of Sarah Palin’s pregnant teenage daughter is not the fact of her pregnancy but Gov. Palin’s perspective on sex education. From Charles Blow’s OpEd in today’s NY Times we hear more about the real issue.
If there is a shame here, it’s a national shame — a failure of our puritanical society to accept and deal with the facts. Teenagers have sex. How often and how safely depends on how much knowledge and support they have. Crossing our fingers that they won’t cross the line is not an intelligent strategy.
To wit, our ridiculous experiment in abstinence-only education seems to be winding down with a study finding that it didn’t work. States are opting out of it. Parents don’t like it either. According to a 2004 survey sponsored by NPR, the Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, 65 percent of parents of high school students said that federal money “should be used to fund more comprehensive sex education programs that include information on how to obtain and use condoms and other contraceptives.”