A controversy is rising in America about the nature of sex education in the nation's high schools. Studies show that 81 percent of American adults support a joint program teaching abstinence and contraception as opposed to an abstinence-only program (Roper 0316946), and 79 percent support contraception education regardless of the level of sexual activity in teenagers (Roper 0340807). The sad fact is, contraception is society's attempt at a "quick fix" for a problem that runs far deeper than the issue of teen sex. In the debate over the "best safe sex," educators and parents must consider not only the health issues, but must also reevaluate the morality of the nation's young people.
Leafing through Planned Parenthood's literature on abortion, contraception, and teen sex, it becomes obvious that Planned Parenthood promotes contraception education, and opposes abstinence education: "These 'abstinence-until-marriage' programs are an unrealistic attempt to reduce the incidence of teenage pregnancy by using a 'just say no' approach" ("Reducing Teenage Pregnancy"). A good portion of American teenagers agree, illustrated by the fact that 77 percent of women and 85 percent of men will have sexual intercourse before the age of twenty ("Teen Sex and Pregnancy"). They are encouraged to use contraception. Interestingly, though, teenagers aren't given all the facts about contraception, as is illustrated by Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler:
Not too long ago, I attended a talk during "Safe Sex Week" at the school. The speaker opened with a statement that sent a rumble of discomfort through the crowd: "You've been brainwashed!" When the students settled down, he continued. "You've had an entire week of 'safe sex' indoctrination," he said, "speakers, experts, videos, films, classes, and symposiums. You've been challenged, motivated, encouraged, indoctrinated, and pressured about using condoms to ensure safe sex. To top it all off, you were given a 'safer sex packet.' But you've been lied to."
At that point the crowd was becoming a little indignant with the speaker. Then he asked the question: "After all the information on 'safer sex' you have received this week, how many of you heard this week the statistical failure rate of the condom?" Not one hand went up! Suddenly the auditorium was as quiet as a cemetery. We looked at each other with expressions of astonishment. We realized we hadn't been told the whole truth about "safer" sex (McDowell and Hostetler162).
The fact is, condoms have a failure rate of over 15 percent (Dobson 207). "One researcher, Dr. George Grant, puts it in these terms. . . . : 'A fourteen-year-old girl faithfully using the pill . . . has a 69 percent chance of getting pregnant at least once before she finishes college . . . Using condoms, the likelihood of unwanted pregnancy while she is in school rises to nearly 87 percent' (McDowell and Hostetler 142). Perhaps this is why over one million...