Writes C-Fam's Samantha Singson:
In its new report "Stand and Deliver," the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is demanding that governments, religious institutions and society at large provide "comprehensive sexuality education" for children as young as ten years old.All this, of course, because parents -- burdened no doubt by "psychological, attitudinal, cultural or social factors" -- cannot be trusted to provide the full range of options that their 10-year-old children so desperately need. Again Singson:
In a foreword, Bert Koenders of the Development Cooperation of the Netherlands, which helped fund the publication, asserts that, "Young people have the right to be fully informed about sexuality and to have access to contraceptives and other services. These rights are enshrined in various internationally agreed human rights convention and treaties, but – unfortunately – they are still not universally respected."
According to IPPF, as "young people are sexual beings," it should be self-evident that "sexuality education promotes individual well-being and the advancement of broader societal and public health goals." IPPF argues that "comprehensive sexuality education" must be mandatory in school, and governments must also ensure that this education is delivered to those young people who are out of school.
IPPF targets religion and religious groups as one of the main barriers to adolescent access to sexuality education and sexual and reproductive "services." IPPF criticizes that many religious teachings "deny the pleasurable and positive aspects of sex and limited guidelines for sexual education often focus on abstinence before marriage," which IPPF claims has been ineffective in many settings.Those who still labor under the illusion that "sex education" is about human biology and reproduction have not been paying attention. The assault on sexual morality is aggressive and unapologetic.
AIDS and teenage pregnancy still serve as the boiler-plate excuses for these programs which -- by destroying traditional forms of sexual morality -- compound both the crises they ostensibly exist to ameliorate. I'm sorry to say it, but for IPPF, AIDS and teenage pregnancy are gifts that just keep on giving.
Gil, I noticed that the IPPF publication you cited was partly funded by the Development Cooperation of the Netherlands. The Netherlands is one of the world's most secular countries, and it also has some of the most liberal sex education programs to be found anywhere. You would expect that the results of this witch's brew of sex and secularism would be more teenage pregnancies and more abortions. Instead, the Netherlands has one of the world's lowest abortion rates and one of the world's lowest rates of teenage pregnancies.
I don't have the most recent figures, but the "report card" I'm looking at dates from 2001. It is called "A League Table of Teenage Births in Rich Nations," and it is published by UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund, Innocenti Research Centre in Florence, Italy.
UNICEF's findings are very revealing. Here are three that caught my attention:
--The five countries with the lowest teenage birth rates are Korea, Japan, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Sweden--all with teen birth rates of fewer than 7 per 1,000.
--The United States teenage birth rate of 52.1 is the highest in the developed world, and about four times the European Union average.
--Rising levels of education, more career choice for women, more effective contraception, and changing preferences, have increased the average age at first birth in all developed countries.
Another study, published by the Guttmacher Institute, finds that the incidence of abortion is highest in conservative and religious societies. In the mostly secular nations of western Europe, the average rate is 12 abortions per 1000 women. In the U.S. (more religious), the average rate is almost double that, at 23. It climbs even higher in Central and South America (25 and 33, respectively), and in East Africa, the rate is 39 per 1000 women. The highest rates occurred in the former Soviet Union, where contraceptives were almost impossible to obtain. When contraceptives became available, there was a rapid decline in abortions.
More contraception means less abortion.
More sex education means less teenage pregnancy.
Come on, Doughlas!
The Netherlands has a fertility rate well below replacement, is dependent on immigration to keep its economy going, thereby exacerbating the brain drain from poorer countries, and is now experiencing severe tensions due to the rapid change in the ethnic-religious make-up of the country.
Besides that, I suspect that the Netherlands has fewer unwanted pregnancies because the guys there are just too doped up to be interested in sex.
This is a powder keg waiting to explode. Even if one ignores the moral ramifications of their choices, on the social level, the Netherlands is not a good example to emulate.
Ignatius, my comment was about ways of reducing the rates of abortion and teenage pregnancies, not about the Netherlands' population and immigration problems. And the Netherlands wasn't the only country I cited.
I guess your comment about Dutch guys being too "doped up" to care about sex was just a crack.
Catholics seem interested in ways of reducing abortion and teenage pregnancy rates. The research I cited seems to be showing a correlation between contraception and reduced abortion rates, and between sex education and reduced teenage pregnancy. Notice, again, that the predominantly Catholic countries in Central and South America have abortion rates approximately two to three times higher than the mostly secular nations of western Europe.
Our planet is currently carrying about 6.5 billion people, which is about 6.5 times more than it can sustain. By 2050, the world's population is expected to reach 9 billion. Obviously, this growth is exponential and must be not just stopped but reversed. This is not going to happen without economic dislocation and cultural stress, so I think we had better be looking for ways to realistically address the problems that come with downsizing. We cannot afford to keep our heads in the sand about population, and the solution will not lie in "matching" our growth in Europe and the U.S. to that of countries like Liberia and Niger. The solution is to help them reduce their populations through education, contraception, empowerment of women, and sex education, as Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and Korea have done.
It is not about simply reducing abortion rates and teenage pregnancies. It is about sexual morality as a whole, and teenage sexuality in particular. Simply reducing the consequences is not the same thing as reducing the cause. Which is what I think was the point of Gil's Post.
I think you are right in saying that women's empowerment is one of the large factors to decreasing teen pregnancies and abortions. but I do not think the right way to get it is through sex ed as the IPPF advocates. There are other way too, for example moral education and while this gives less bang for your buck it has better and longer societal implications.
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