Texas, which has some of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the country, is ready to put a stop to all that: at a cost of only $1.2 million, it has unveiled a brand new website, www.ourtown4teens.org, that promotes abstinence but doesn’t include a single word about contraception. Problem: Solved! As everyone knows, once you explain to teenagers that they should not have the sex, they will say, “Aha! That is perfectly logical! I shall now keep myself pure!” And once that’s happened, they will also be too busy to even think about having sex, because they will all be chasing down the millions of monkeys flying out of their own butts. Which, once they catch, they will probably have sex with.
The Texas Observer has the skinny on this here website and its inevitable Huge Success in curing teens of horniness:
The [Texas Department of State Health] blitzed the radio and TV with ads for the site, claiming that it will help local communities reduce teen pregnancies. Although the site offers reminders why adolescent pregnancy is to be avoided—girls don’t finish school, babies have worse health outcomes, taxpayers foot the bill—it seems primarily to be a home for buzzwords like “community mobilization,” “strategic action” and “conceptual framework.”
These Texans are pretty cagey! They are going to steer teens to a website that bores them out of their hormonal urges!
Ourtown4teens is a very, very effective website. We know this because Texas health department spokesperson Christine Mann explained that the site is a “hub of coordinated information” that just doesn’t happen to include anything on contraceptives. But it’s a hub, and it’s coordinated! Surely this will reduce teen pregnancy. Especially now that Texas is also busy shutting down women’s clinics and doing everything it can to limit access to birth control.
The Observer notes that the omission of information on birth control is actually the whole point, because money:
Ourtown4teens.org is paid for with federal money from a program called the Title V State Abstinence Education Grant Program. Its sole purpose is to promote abstinence from sexual activity. Title V recipients must use the money to support abstinence from sex before marriage, and teach that sex without marriage could have harmful psychological and physical effects. Birth control doesn’t fit into that world.
Indeed, when asked why ourtown4teens.org doesn’t mention contraception, Mann replied by email: “The campaign focuses on the delay of sexual activity as a way to decrease the teen birth rate and the rate of sexually transmitted diseases. State laws guide the agency, and as a general strategy Texas is an abstinence-first state. Abstinence is our first choice for teens.” She didn’t answer the question about contraception.
And as ThinkProgress adds, despite study after study showing that abstinence-only sex ed does not work, and the consistently higher teen pregnancy rates in Bible-belt states what mandate it, Title V keeps getting funded:
The Obama administration has attempted to backtrack from abstinence-only programs – and the president actually eliminated the Title V fund in his 2010 federal budget – but social conservatives in Congress have fought back. The restoration of the abstinence grants was ultimately a concession to get Obamacare passed.
You just gotta BELIEVE, and if there’s anything the R’s love, it’s faith-based programs. They’ve got faith-based charities, faith-based economics, and faith-based teen pregnancy prevention. Do not trouble them with data, because science is Of The Devil.
And the beautiful thing about abstinence-only is that, of course, it is 100% factually true that if teens never fuck, they will not get pregnant or contract a STD. Like Perfect Socialism, Libertarianism or any other thought-experiment, it could really truly work, assuming perfectly spherical human beings operating in a frictionless, gravity-free environment.
Have fun, Texas. Who knows, maybe the economic boost from all those teen baby showers will help a bit.