Catholic Culture Dedication
Catholic Culture Dedication

Fasting from abstinence

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Mar 21, 2004

A generation of classroom sex-education has produced a steady rise in teen pregnancy (partially masked by teen abortions), and a quiet epidemic of venereal diseases. Meanwhile abstinence-based programs are encourging young people to avoid sexual activity.

This, in the eyes of the sex-ed lobby, is a crisis. They need their government subsidies! How can they counter the threat of teen chastity!

Now we have the answer. The sex-ed lobby (which, you'll notice, claims to represent a "traditional" approach, although our grandparents would find it appalling) points out that when abstinence programs don't have a 100% success rate; some kids will still lose sex. And when they do, they're less likely to use condoms than their neighbors who have been battered for years with the safe-sex message. All perfectly true, I'm sure.

But the safe-sex approach is also considerably less than 100% effective. Some kids don't use condoms, despite the constant harangues. And condoms often fail.

So let's cut to the chase: Teenager A has been told that he can and should control himself, and avoid all extra-marital sexual activity. Teenager B has been told that he probably can't control himself, so he should use a condom. (But sometimes there won't be a condom handy when the urge strikes, and sometimes the condom won't work.) All things considered, who is more likely to engage in "unsafe" sex: A or B?

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a current donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.