But what abstinence only does is keep teens from learning real consequences of teen sex (like STIs). So it is no surprise at all that a school in a Texas district that shuns sex-ed has a chlamydia epidemic affecting nearly 10 percent of its students. (also here and here)
Interestingly, after the district adopted an Abstinence Plus curriculum in 2012, the Dallas County Health and Human Services records recorded a 31 percent spike in syphilis diagnoses between 2012 and 2013.
It is one thing to promote abstinence as a good idea, but it really should be done with the realization that it will not make much of a difference in teen's sex lives (1/3 delayed first sex at least 2 years after abstinence-only vs 1/2). The continued push of abstinence-only merely perpetuates an already bad problem and does not equip teens with the information they need in the event that abstinence-only is not the path they follow.
“If kids are not having any sexual activity, they can’t get this disease … That’s not a bad program,” Rumage said.
Except it ignores the fact that not all kids are going to listen or follow the abstinence only plan.
Perhaps this outcome is not accidental. It could be that the pregnancy and STIs are seen as a just outcome for not following the rules. In this view, teens who stray deserve what they get and serve as a reminder to others to stay on the path.
This view fits with the modern far right authoritarian view. So perhaps wingnuts are celebrating that it is only 10% of the school, since that means at least some of the students are following the rules.
UPDATE 10 May 2015
Reports now indicate that the “epidemic” was actually much smaller. The Texas Department of State Health confirmed 3 cases in Crane County so far this year.