Why Abstinence Focused Sex Ed Hurts Black Girls
9 months ago
The GOP thinks telling girls to wait until marriage to have sex is effective—here’s why their gamble makes us all losers.
I became a mother a few months after my 30th birthday. It wasn’t until I was pregnant that I found out my family didn’t think I was ever going to have a baby. Why? They figured I was just getting too old! I thought that was nuts at the time, but the more I reflected on it, the more I realized that I come from a time and place where teenage pregnancy was the norm. Growing up in Cleveland, Ohio in the 80s and 90s, many of my friends and family members had cutie-patootie munchkins before they turned 18. We all know that babies are a blessing, but I also know how hard some of these young ladies struggled to be amazing moms to their kids.
That’s why it was heartening to hear that in 2010 (the latest year for which data is available), teen pregnancies dropped nine percent nationwide to 34.3 teenage births per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 to 19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that this is the lowest rate reported since 1946. But while the number dropped across all racial groups, it’s still higher than average for black girls, with 52 pregnancies per 1,000 teens. Why? Well, education seems to have a lot to do with it.