A post at Atheism, Y'all (Maybe We Should Rethink This Whole "Abstinence-Only" Education, Y'a...) discusses a new study by the CDC that shows that, while the teen birthrates have fallen in the US overall, the Deep South still leads the rest of the regions and states - by a lot. The one of the main reasons, according to the report, is due to the stronger religious influences in the South than in the rest of the country.
I accept that, but I just do not understand WHY fundie xians are SO against teaching about contraceptives? I know I was a Southern Baptist, but I got out when I was still a younger teen, and besides my mom taught me about them from an early age. Plus we did learn about them in HS back then - the whole "abstinence only" push hadn't happened in the late 1970s/early 1980s.
I don't understand why fundies won't accept the teaching of abstinence as the primary focus, but also teaching about contraceptives. What is so evil about contraceptives? As the blog entry says - guns don't make people commit murder and beer doesn't make people drink, and likewise contraceptives don't make people have sex!
It just seems that, with all of THEIR kids having kids, the fundies would think twice about this whole "abstinence only" thing. What am I missing?
SEX (EXCEPT IN THE HOLY BONDS OF MATRIMONY) is a SIN!
Well, the theory is:
Sex outside of marriage is bad and anything that would make it easier to give in to temptation and have it is therefore bad. Negative consequences to sex therefore are a good thing. Contraception removes the fear of an unplanned pregnancy, therefore it makes it more likely sex will occur. Also the vaccine for HPV lessens the possibility of disease transmission, so with one more possible negative consequence of sex out of the way... well you know those teenagers, they'll just go rutting with anything that moves.
[not actually quoting anyone there, but I want to make it clear that's not my opinion.]
So that explains the deal with teaching about contraception, at least in some cases.
But there are still those who don't want even married adults to have access to contraception. Sometimes it's not really the contraception that's an issue with them because in some cases the contraception works (or could work) by terminating a fertilized egg, usually by preventing it from implanting, or is otherwise an abortifacient. In that case you've run afoul of "pro life" considerations. Someone with this attitude is not necessarily anti-contraception; they've got other forms of brain damage concerns.
At the most extreme though are the "every sperm is sacred" school of anti-contraception, e.g., the stricter observing Catholics who won't even let people use a condom to prevent disease transmission. Which is just sick.
Control, really. That and the fact that the type of believers who are adamant about these things have never been particularly concerned about facts where their beliefs are involved.