A new study shows that providing free condoms to teenagers worsens the problem it purports to solve. The finding is unsurprising given that the programs are "propaganda for the Sexual Revolution," Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse says.
In an extensive working paper entitled "The Incidental Fertility Effects of School Condom Distribution Programs," University of Notre Dame researchers Kasey Buckle and Daniel Hungerman chart the effectiveness of distributing condoms to young students in order to curb teen pregnancy and reduce rates of sexually transmitted diseases. Their results reveal that both teen pregnancy and STD rates increased with the presence of such condom distribution efforts.
As noted in a June 15 Vox article about the study, the push to make condoms more accessible in school districts was largely in response to the alarming AIDS epidemic in the early 1990s. Such a push appears to have backfired.
The Notre Dame researchers focused on school condom distribution programs, some of which required counseling of some kind and other programs that did not. For those programs that required no counseling, they found a 10% rise in teen births and a notable increase in gonorrhea in women, an additional 2.43 cases per 1,000 women.
Writing at National Review, scholar Dr. Michael New hailed the study as an addition to the "impressive body of research which shows that efforts to encourage contraceptive use either through mandates, subsidies, or distribution are ineffective at best or counterproductive at worst."
Other scholars suggest a much more nefarious agenda is operating here.
In an interview with the Christian Post, author and Ruth Institute founder Dr. Morse said that she is not surprised at all that school-based sex-ed programs are ineffective or yield unintended consequences, adding that such programs amount to "government-funded propaganda for the Sexual Revolution."
The government's deliberate strategy is to "get the kids hooked on sex before they are old enough to have mature judgment," said Morse. They intentionally "convince them that self-command is impossible, and possibly unhealthy" and young people thereby "become participants in and supporters of the Sexual Revolution."
With condoms readily available, Vox's Sarah Kliff acknowledged in her piece that indeed "[i]t's possible that teens did engage in riskier behavior" but was quick to point out the effectiveness of birth control pills and wrote that the research paper is unable to answer why pregnancy rates rose in places where condoms were given out.
But as it also turns out, even as STDs rates continue to rise teenagers are forgoing contraception. And communities now tend to prefer sex education models that do not promote contraception.
An article in last month's Journal of Adolescent Health analyzed data from the Center for Disease Control's National Survey of Family Growth. The data showed that fewer communities are comfortable with the type of federally funded sex-ed programs, such as the Obama administration's Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) program, that normalize teen sex, demonstrate use of contraception, and make usage of contraceptives attractive.
The CDC data also revealed that despite such efforts even sexually active teens are not using contraception.
According to the CDC's National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, since Obama's TPP program began, sexually active teens, especially 12th graders, are demonstrably less interested in using contraceptives.
Additional findings in the CDC's survey portend good news for what is known as Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA) education, a model that promotes abstinence. To the surprise of some, approximately 60% of teenagers are waiting for sex, the highest percentage to date.
In a June 20 press release from ASCEND, a DC-based abstinence advocacy group, founder and CEO Valerie Huber said, "The research continues to reveal that the TPP program, while well intentioned, is not effective, and appears to actually increase risk for vulnerable teens."
"Taxpayer dollars would be better spent on SRA programs, which give youth the skills and information to avoid all sexual risk. The new data in the CDC's YRBS report discloses that the SRA approach resonates with an increasing number of teens, and it is uniquely able to help sexually active youth return to a place of health," Huber said.