Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Mississippi has highest teen birth rate

Mississippi has highest teen birth rate, CDC says
By MIKE STOBBE, AP Medical Writer

ATLANTA – Mississippi now has the nation's highest teen birth rate, displacing Texas and New Mexico for that lamentable title, a new federal report says. Full story

Good to see that 'abstinence only' sex education policy is working SO well for them!

Ironic that the south, bastion of 'family values' and leading the country in refusing to teach kids the specifics about condoms and birth control, always seems to lead when it comes to the teenage birthrate.


Two Dogs said...

Roland, only one LITTLE problem with your assumptions regarding sex education in Mississippi. Our state is run by Democrats, they control both sides of our state house, and 95% of county government, including school boards. There is government mandated sex education teaching the use of condoms in the fourth grade in our public schools.

Oddly enough, there were ZERO pregnancies in my son's private school, the entire time that he was high school. With abstinence taught as the only way to avoid pregnancy and STDs, which it is. It was a Christian school as well.

So, your whole argument? Contradictions cannot exist in reality. Check your premises.

(Had a typo in the above comment, ditch that one for me, please.)

Roland Hulme said...

Hi Two Dogs

I've actually found quite a few documents that contradict what you just claimed, including this one:

Mississippi received $1,647,038 in federal funding for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs in Fiscal Year 2003.

Mississippi Sexuality Education Law

Schools are not required to teach sexuality education or sexually transmitted disease (STD)/HIV education. If schools choose to teach either or both forms of education, they must stress abstinence-until-marriage. In addition, monogamous heterosexual relationships must be presented as the only appropriate place for sexual intercourse.

Local school boards must authorize sexuality education instruction and each school must be in compliance with local regulations. If the school board authorizes the teaching of contraception, state law dictates that the failure rates and risks of each contraceptive method must be included.

Mississippi sexuality education law also dictates that if homosexuality is taught, it must be presented as "unnatural and dangerous" and be discussed within the context of Mississippi's law outlawing sodomy.

The last person who boasted of their being zero teenage pregnancies in their child's religious school failed to mention to me that it was an all boy's school!

Two Dogs said...

However, Roland, unlike you, I live here and protested with my philosophical brethren at the state house in 1996 when they passed the state law.

And so far, there is not one single abstinence only program in the entire state at a public school that I can find.

So, your research and words spoken/written by someone that you don't know do not trump reality. I do understand that is a hard concept for the Left to comprehend, but words mean nothing to those of us that fought the government on the issue and LOST.

Coffee Bean said...

First of all, the highest teen birth rate is most likely coupled with a lower (if not the lowest) abortion rate. I seem to recall hearing something on the radio within the last year or so about Mississippi only having two abortion clinics in the state. It was a liberal program hyperventilating about it.

Secondly, I worked as a substitute teacher when living in Mississippi. When I subbed for a high school social studies or science (I can't remember which) class I was instructed to show a rather graphic video on sexuality. That was back before 2000 and it was a 9th grade class. I was mortified.

We had a lot of misconceptions about Mississippi when we moved there. Statistics don't always paint an accurate picture. There are also some cultural differences. I was an Army brat so I've lived all over the United States, although, mostly on the West Coast and my parents were raised in San Diego. People tend to marry early in the south. People were never shocked by the ages of our children down there. Here... we look like babies compared to a lot of the parents at our son's school.

I really hate to even bring this up... but, it is the truth. There is also a racial divide. The worst poverty I have personally seen is in Mississippi. Many little towns in the Delta area resemble third world countries. There are predominately white areas, mixed areas, and black areas. It is sort of a natural segregation. If these statistics were to be taken on race, you would see a much clearer picture.

Roland Hulme said...

Hey, you live there, so if you say I'm wrong, I can't really argue - although I wonder where that $1 million for abstinence only sex ed went (well, it could have gone anywhere. You did say Democrats rulled the state government, after all.)

However, even you can't argue that it's state law in Mississippi to teach that abstinence is the only way to prevent pregnancy and STDs - even if they include information on the use of condoms etc.

That being admitted - clearly the 'abstinence' part of that education is being ignored as much as the rest of it.

Roland Hulme said...

Coffee Bean - the abortion comment does raise a significant point. In more liberal states, where abortions are more freely available, perhaps that's one reason why teen pregnancy rates are lower (although teen impregnantions might not be!)

Fair enough - I will rein in my bile because that's a VERY good point you've made.

Two Dogs said...

Roland, you are correct, the abstinence part IS ignored in Mississippi. It is NOT taught in any one that I can find of the 155 public school district in the state. Since it is NOT taught, it cannot be the problem with numerous teen pregnancies.

Again, most of the bigwig elected Democrats are heading to jail or are already there, so maybe we shall find out where they directed that money. It was probably either for bribes for judges or pay-offs to beef plant companies. It was certainly not used for anything of any substance other than trips to the Bahamas for their buddies.

My son attended a private school where abstinence was the only method taught and they had ZERO pregnancies. Can your moral relativism explain that obviously bizarre occurrence?

Roland Hulme said...

By your logic, I CAN explain that, Two Dogs!

Mississippi state law says:

Schools are not required to teach sexuality education or sexually transmitted disease (STD)/HIV education. If schools choose to teach either or both forms of education, they must stress abstinence-until-marriage.

If what you are saying is correct, and schools are NOT teaching abstinence-only sex education, which they legally MUST do if they choose to teach any form of general sex education, the only logical conclusion is that they're NOT teaching sex education, otherwise they'd be legally required to teach abstinence-only.

Or else 155 public schools are deliberately breaking the law - and nobody in Mississippi is outraged enough by this to even write a blog-post on the topic.

Ahem. Again, if you live there, I don't really have much authority to contradict you... But I find that assertation more difficult to swallow than creationism!

Coffee Bean said...

I wanted to come back and clarify what I meant by the racial divide. It would have been more accurate for me to say there is a divide between those in poverty and those not. It is not just a racial thing... it just so happens that there is the greatest concentration of blacks living below the poverty line in the south.

Things are greatly taken out of context with statistics. It is really best to look at the whole picture. You cannot look to sex education as the answer. It is much more involved than that. For generations there has been an apathy among those raised in poverty. The welfare system is just another form of enslavement. I've known personally of many people (within our own family even) that do not marry so that they can get assistance... whether that be through housing, food stamps, medical, and/or a check. They can get more from the government than they can make on their own. So why not just have a baby and get a check?

The problem is the break down of families and values. The blurring of what is right and what is wrong. Pure and simple.

Sarah said...

I didn't read all the comments, but I think all this says is that there are less people choosing abortion there. Or maybe the abortion rate is the same, there are just more pregnancies. I've not done any research, so I wouldn't know.

Sasha Sappho said...

Thanks for the comment, Roland. I promise I haven't entirely fallen off the face of the earth... just the face of the blogosphere. But I'm headed back to school and will do much updating on the escapades that were my weeks at home.

And by the way, my email is on my blog, but just in case, it's sashasappho at gmail dot com.

Thanks for thinking of me, and we'll catch up soon!

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