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Ray Haynes

Mr. Haynes is an Assembly member representing Riverside and Temecula. He serves on the Appropriations and Budget Committees. [go to Assembly Member Haynes website at California Assembly][go to Haynes index]

Simple Solutions and the Politics of Sex
The legislature's forbidden topics...
[Ray Haynes] 4/27/04

I am a simple guy. I have found, through my life experiences, that usually the best answers to a social problem are the simplest ones. They may not be easy to achieve, but they are simple to find.

Take, for example, the question of teen pregnancy. We know that teen pregnancy rates have been skyrocketing. What was once a rare, hush-hush, embarrassing family problem has now become so commonplace that people just don’t find it shocking any more. It is a problem, however, because young, single women (in many cases, girls) find their lives ruined because they didn’t expect to become pregnant when they engaged in sex with teen boys. These same mothers and their children frequently go on to burden the public health and welfare system as well. In the end, no one wins.

So—how do we solve the problem? In the seventies and eighties, the common wisdom was that if we provided these kids sex education, and showed them how the plumbing worked, they would figure it out, and not do the things that get them pregnant. Well, that’s not what happened. Pregnancy rates increased. Today, those in charge of the school system, and the cultural left in this country, think that the way to solve the problem is to instruct the children in appropriate birth control methods.

Except abstinence. The left thinks that abstinence education doesn’t work. I have always found their logic confusing.

I know that no woman gets pregnant (in nature, anyway) unless she has sex with a man. Simple enough. Abstinence teaches that young girls should say no to sex outside of marriage. That way—that young girl never has a baby unless some guy has already promised to take care of her in her greatest time of need, when she is pregnant or raising a young child. That is not so good for the guy, because he doesn’t get to “sow his oats” so to speak, but it is great for the girl, because she is not left on her own to raise the child. It is a good system, and it works really well.

The left doesn’t think so. So—this week—when the resolution for Teen Pregnancy Prevention Awareness Month was on the floor for action, the Republicans proposed a simple amendment. When teaching young women about sex, talk to them about not having sex (abstinence), and about talking to their parents first (parental involvement). You have to understand, we didn’t ask that the resolution address abstinence exclusively, but only that it be added to the list of strategies worth pursuing.

The Democrats went crazy. Don’t mention parents and abstinence, these left wing Democrats said, those things are bad for young girls! Talk about condoms. Of course, condoms are good for young boys, who get the sex they want, and they give the girl a false sense of security about pregnancy. You can talk about abortion. Of course, abortion is good for young boys, who get sex without the responsibility, but the psychological impacts on young women can be devastating.

According to their resolution (SCR 59) you can even talk about sexual orientation, though I’m not quite clear on the relationship between homosexual sex and unplanned pregnancy, unless becoming gay is part of their grand solution to prevent teen pregnancies.

But on the floor of the Legislature the Democrats were quite insistent: DON’T TALK ABOUT ABSTINENCE! Young girls just won’t say no.

Of course they won’t, if they don’t think they can. In fact, they will say no, if we teach them to say no—and equip them with the skills to make it stick. Young boys will always want sex, but boys don’t pay the price of a mistake like the girls do, so boys don’t have the same incentive to protect against mistakes. Girls do. Giving these girls the tools to fight off the young boys insistent demand for sex by letting them know that saying no is acceptable will actually protect us from the growing teen pregnancy problem.

It is also the only solution that is 100% effective against AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases. STD rates are increasing again in this country, especially among the youth. Condoms are partially effective against some of these diseases, but birth control pills are 100% useless!

So does abstinence work? Of course it does! But it only works when it is used, and it will only be used when it is seen as an acceptable alternative to rubbers and drugs. It is a simple solution, but it works. CRO


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