Bristol Palin has been appointed as a Teen Ambassador for The Candie's Foundation.
I visited their website to see what it's all about. Yes, you guessed, it's all about abstinence. They have loads of links to other abstinence preaching websites.
I also did some searching to find out how effective abstinence is in preventing teenage pregnancies and what their model for sex education contains.
The misinformation out there is truly frightening. Some examples:
Many abstinence-only curricula contain false, misleading or distorted information:
- A 43-day-old fetus is a "thinking person.”
- HIV can be spread via sweat and tears.
- Half of gay male teenagers in the United States have tested positive for HIV.
- Pregnancy can result from touching another person’s genitals.
- Condoms fail to prevent HIV transmission as often as 31 percent of the time in heterosexual intercourse.
- Women who have an abortion "are more prone to suicide."
- As many as 10 percent of women who have an abortion become sterile.
Other studies have shown that adolescents in abstinence-only programs were less likely to use contraception, perhaps because those programs emphasize only the failure rates of even the best methods.
I don't wish to discuss Bristol Palin's sexual behaviour, but I don't think she became a teenage mother by having sex only once and bingo, an accidental conception occurred. She's not the only teenager to be sexually active and by feeling guilty about engaging in sex, she was less likely to use protection, therefore more likely to get pregnant.
The combination of ignorance and guilt is the best way to ensure teenagers will become pregnant or contract sexually transmitted diseases.
Let's be realistic. Teenagers have sex. Abstinence only programs funded by the Bush administration didn't stop teenagers having sex, but left them woefully misinformed about their sexual health and wellbeing.
I believe Bristol is pushing her mother's agenda by becoming the poster girl for an abstinence only organisation. Bristol is living proof that these ideas don't work.
I would have a lot more respect for Bristol if she had joined Advocates for Youth, which have a much more honest and realistic approach to teenage sexual behaviour.
Story about sex education in Alaska