The teen pregnancy rate is down across the country at the lowest levels since World War II. This is a good thing and it is not clear to me what the explanation is. Abstinence based sex education programs have been proliferating and I wondered if they were contributing to this finding, but Reuters reports on a study in Texas which found that abstinence based programs had no effect on the teens in Texas and may have actually increased sexually activity.
I favor abstinence based education but I am against programs which advocate for abstinence only. Kids also need information about contraception and other sexual practices. For example, there is evidence that kids now days engage in more oral sex to avoid genital intercourse because they believe this protects their virginity and is not "real" sex.
Governmental policies shaped by religious agendas rather than public health science is bad practice. It bothers me, and I believe it should bother every intelligent American, that increasingly public health and human service programs are being run by "faith based" organizations which have religious agendas with governmental tax dollars rather than by health care and human service professionals who base their practice, as best they are able, on science rather than religious ideology and dogma.
While we castigaged and drove the Taliban from power in Afghanistan, it appears that we, increasingly, have our own home grown version here in the United States.