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Gender + Sexuality

New Teen Pregnancy Policy Unveiled

'Abstinence Plus' keys off latest research findings, pioneers innovative iPhone aps.

Chris Cannon 1 Apr

Chris Cannon is a Vancouver writer. Read his previous Tyee pieces here.

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'But I abstained like they told me!'

"After more than a decade of declining teenage pregnancy, births to young women ages 15 to 19 [in the U.S] rose from 2005 to 2006, and again from 2006 to 2007. The rise in teenage pregnancy might be partly attributable to the $150 million a year of federal financing for sex education that emphasized abstinence until marriage, avoiding all mention of the possible benefits of contraception." -- The New York Times


From: The National Abstinence Education Association

To: Members

The recent rise in teen-pregnancy rates has been cause for great concern to the NAEA. Despite the success of our abstinence-only education program, teenagers are still getting pregnant, even though they are not having sex. In response to this new data, the NAEA is pleased to announce our new program, "Abstinence Plus!" -- a comprehensive strategy to battle all proven and suspected causes of pregnancy. Please note the following additions to our abstinence protocol:

1. Prohibitions against sexual contact between teenagers should be extended to other risky behavior, such as tandem bicycles, piggyback rides, and doubles tennis. Should a situation arise in which teenagers need to hold hands -- a rescue attempt from a burning building, for example -- they should be wearing gloves that have been blessed by the local parson and retain physical contact only as long as it takes to hum the national anthem.

2. To appeal to modern youth, our "Purity Ring" campaign will be renamed "Purity Bling," and expanded to include purity haircuts, purity piercings, purity sock puppets, and purity sandwich boards. Additionally, our friends at Nike have agreed to launch a line of purity hightops in time for the Christmas shopping season.

3. The rash of teen pregnancies following Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction at the 2004 Superbowl (a.k.a. "Nipplegeddon") proved the deleterious effects of sexualized programming on adolescents. Last week, a 15-year-old Chicago youth spontaneously gave birth to twins after watching a Gossip Girl marathon. Henceforth, we recommend teenagers use the calendar method to inform their viewing habits.

4. We encourage parents of teenage girls to download our new iPhone application, "iBod," to their teenager's cell phone. The iBod monitors your daughter's cycle, emitting a tachyon pulse at the moment of ovulation, bending the space-time continuum to lock her into a state of permanent menses. A version for teenage boys -- the iMpotent -- is still in the testing stage.

5. Despite our long tradition of abstinence-only education, we have decided to look into the advantages of condom use. Please note our new recommendation that boys of reproductive age wear condoms at all times while they are being abstinent.  [Tyee]

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