The Department of Health and “Human Services,” presided over by “Catholic” Kathleen Sebelius, recently completed the most extensive long-term study ever done of abstinence teaching (particularly by parents) and teen fornication. At first, the Obama Administration tried to resist publicizing the results (obviously having something to hide; that is Obama’s m.o., right?), but several appeals got the results released, and LifeSite News has a summary as well as the whole text.
As we all know, the “conventional wisdom,” pushed by the liberal establishment in the media and the educational system, is that “abstinence education” “doesn’t work,” that parents and schools alike need to teach teenagers about artificial contraception “because they’re going to have sex anyway.” I even heard these arguments in Catholic school–I heard these arguments in Catholic school from classmates whose parents were NFP instructors! (This led to my traditionalist bias against NFP). Of course, in the past couple years, Bristol Palin has been the poster girl for “abstinence doesn’t work.”
In a debate on this subject, an Internet friend of mine was responded to a comment of that sort by suggesting that the liberal in question count the number of people who are traditional minded Catholics, orthodox Jews or Evangelical Protestants whose teenagers getting pregnant compared to the number of secularist families whose teenagers are having sex and getting pregnant.
Indeed, the HHS study has shown, in summary, that abstinence education *does* work. Families with religious values or conservative attitudes are less likely to have teens who engage in sex. Teens who come from minority or less educated families are more likely to opposed sex before marriage. With the exception of African Americans, teens whose parents oppose fornication are less likely to engage in it.
In related news, here’s a nice little blog post on the link between oxytocin and the psychology of sex and promiscuity. The importance of oxytocin (and dopamine and endorphines, which are its predecessors) to human psychological development, relationships (sexual and otherwise), addictions and morality has been a big area of interest to me for the past year and a half or so. There’s really a lot of scientific evidence that validates traditional morality, yet of course the secularists ignore the moral implications of the research, and you don’t often hear Christians talking about it, so it was nice to see this piece.