But it's so much more fun to make young pregnant women live in fear!
Breaking news! According to a soon-to-be-released study from the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), sex education totally works when it is mandatory and integrated into school instruction. This study comes as a surprise to absolutely no one who understands thing one about public health or educational policy.
The study included 6 different country sites around the world, nations as diverse as the Netherlands, Indonesia, and Nigeria. The programs were not abstinence based. Previous studies on the face-palmingly obvious ineffectiveness of abstinence education have been done in the US but have somehow failed to convince conservatives looking to keep poor people poor that teaching basic information about contraception and disease prevention is a good idea.
From UNESCO's press release:
The study highlights the cost-effectiveness, and potential cost savings in a context like Estonia, where a national sexuality education programme was rolled out alongside youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services. Between 2001 and 2009, an estimated 13,490 health events were averted, including 1,970 HIV infections, at a potential lifetime cost of US$67, 825 per patient.National sexuality education "programme"? "Youth-friendly" sexual and reproductive health services? This is socialism, obviously, and Not Right For America.
Mandating effective sex education and providing equal access to reproductive and sexual health services is all well and good if your goal is to increase the social status and economic prospects of women in your nation.
But if what you want is to keep vulnerable young women in poverty by denying them information and services that could prevent pregnancy and changing the laws to make abortion impossible to get so that the ones who do get pregnant have nothing but "Pregnant? Scared?" billboards to look at as they descend into unending economic despair, then the American approach is totally FTW.
Obviously UNESCO hasn't given any thought to the Texas approach, which includes teaching abstinence and eliminating cost-effective family planning services to fund crisis pregnancy centers instead. Rick Perry knows abstinence works from his "own personal life." Come to think of it, abstinence is fantastic cover for staying in the closet.
Furthermore, we don't have much use in Texas for an organization dedicated to promoting "education, scientific, and cultural" studies anyway. We're pretty busy promoting Tex-Western Civilization and Traditional Family Values, thank you very much.
The complete study will be released in May.
Watch live video from texastribune on Justin.tv