By T.A. '13
A friend of mine showed me this story concerning teen pregnancies at a Memphis High School.
Deborah Harrison, head of Girls, Inc., does indict the girls as individuals for not playing their part in preventing pregnancies:
"Right now, these girls don't know how to say 'no,' they're having sex when they don't want to, they just don't know how to say 'no,'" Harrison said.
She also points to the idea of pregnancy pacts (see Time article), claiming that they are at least in part to blame. According to local station WMC-TV, "Sutton said she believes some girls are making agreements with each other to get pregnant."
However, Harrison also blames what she describes as a 'sexually oriented' society for the 20 percent pregnancy rate at Frayser High School. And while personal responsibility is crucial in the decision to remain abstinent until marriage, Harrison is absolutely right. In a culture where sex is made casual, more and more teens will prematurely commit themselves to sex and potentially, pregnancy.
So often, critics of abstinence education point to statistics that suggest (perhaps unfairly) that "it doesn't work." Whether or not such statistics are convincing is in itself debatable, but these critics are correct in that abstinence education does not tackle the root of the problem. In other words, schools may continue to preach to students that having sex before marriage is wrong, but until society accepts such to be true, schools like Frayser High may continue to find their most sincere efforts confounded.