The Female Factor
A timely series of news bytes from the Independent Women’s Forum
The Female Factor #4
An Erroneous Sex Education Debate
Opponents of abstinence education have attempted to use Bristol Palin’s pregnancy to claim such an approach is a failure and push for comprehensive sex education curriculums. For example, National Organization for Women (NOW) President Kim Gandy wrote: “May I point out that this apparently unplanned pregnancy only highlights the right wing’s foolish and dangerous abstinence-only education stance?” Yet this logic suggests that whoever taught Ms. Gandy educators should have taken a different tact when teaching mathematics and statistics.
“One unplanned pregnancy tells us absolutely nothing about the relative effectiveness of one educational theory over another,” said IWF vice president for policy and economics Carrie Lukas. “I don’t know whether Bristol Palin was taught abstinence-only sex education or not. But regardless of her schooling, her pregnancy doesn’t prove that abstinence education doesn’t work just as it wouldn’t prove that sex education emphasizing contraception doesn’t work if that is indeed what she was taught.”
“This debate about the content of sex education is a perfect example of why we need greater school choice,” added IWF’s Allison Kasic. “Ms. Gandy should be free to enroll her children in a school that teaches in the way that she wants, and other parents should also be free to choose schools that reflects their values. There are no one-size-fits-all answers in education, which is why we need to encourage a diverse education marketplace.”
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