WASHINGTON, D.C.—Some facts just seem to have a mind of their own. Case in point—teen pregnancy. The damn numbers just keep falling when they should be going up. After all, porn's footprint is larger than ever, the scourge of porn addition is greater than ever, and the threat to family and culture from the proliferation of porn is definitely as dire than ever. So why the heck are fewer teens getting pregnant?
Something is definitely wrong. The anti-porners have been arguing for years that our kids are experiencing porn at ever younger ages, and that the fallout from such intense exposure to this brain poison is having a devastating impact on young boys especially, who the experts say are acting out on what they see in porn by forcing themselves on girls in increasingly violent ways, just like they do in porn. In the process of aping the porn sex, they are rewiring their brains so that they will never be able to have normal sex with a woman, and may never be able to relate to them as anything other than a receptacle for sex. Basically, we're talking sexual End Times, with the only salvation being abstinence.
Only, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that is pretty much the trend line, toward less frequent underage sex and fewer underage pregnancies—in fact, as of 2010, fewer than at any time since 1940, when the agency began tracking the prevalence.
"In 2010," reported the government agency, "a total of 367,752 infants were born to women aged 15–19 years, for a live birth rate of 34.3 per 1,000 women in this age group. This is a record low for U.S. teens in this age group, and a drop of 9 percent from 2009. Birth rates fell 12 percent for women aged 15–17 years, and 9 percent for women aged 18–19 years. In addition, teen birth rates declined for all races and for Hispanics in 2010. While reasons for the declines are not clear, teens appear to be less sexually active, and more of those who are sexually active appear to be using contraception than in previous years."
Now wait a second here. What about the success of social conservatives in state legislatures around the nation forcing abstinence-only sex ed curriculums on their citizens. Do the positive numbers mean that those programs are working?
According to Think Progress, a look at the states with the highest and lowest teen pregnancy rates tells a pretty compelling story.
"Mississippi does not require sex education in schools, but when it is taught, abstinence-only education is the state standard," reported Amanda Beadle. "New Mexico, which has the second highest teen birth rate, does not require sex ed and has no requirements on what should be included when it is taught. New Hampshire, on the other hand, requires comprehensive sex education in schools that includes abstinence and information about condoms and contraception."
In a similar vein, one could also questions the validity of arguments that the porn industry needs to be a responsible citizen and send the right message to vulnerable teens that condom use is smart by forcing all performers to use condoms, when teens already seem to be getting the message.
In fact, the real message seems to be that the influence of porn—and by extension our "hyper-sexualized" culture— is so overblown as to be fatuous, and that the claim that comprehensive sex education in school, which has been under severe attack from the right for years now, remains an effective way to address underage sex in all its manifestations is no longer refutable. Indeed, it is fast becoming apparent that the only rationale for insisting on abstinence-only education is a religious one, and that states who cater to theocrats in state houses are doing a serious disservice to their citizenry in order to placate an unconstitutional form of religious tyranny.
Using porn, Hollywood, the media or any other excuse to enact these laws is simply a convenient lie that does little to mask the real objective of these groups, which is to keep or put into place a religiously directed moral code that is mandated through the power of the state. Caesar supposedly doing Christ's bidding.
It would be inappropriate for minors, though not for their parents, to respond to these efforts with a resounding FUCK YOU.