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Sarah Palin Style Abstinence Only Sex Education

As a member of the ultra-right wing religious sect The Assemblies of God, Sarah Palin does not support comprehensive sex-education. Asked in 2006, “Will you support funding for abstinence-until-marriage education instead of for explicit sex-education programs, school-based clinics, and the distribution of contraceptives in schools?” Sarah Palin answered Yes.

So, how well did Sarah Palin’s abstinence-only education approach work for her family? Not well, as it turns out. Sarah Palin’s 17 year-old daughter, Bristol Palin, has pulled a Jamie Lynn Spears. Bristol is five months pregnant. At age 44, Sarah Palin is going to be a grandmother.

Sarah Palin says it’s all okay, because Bristol Palin is going to get married – at age 17. I have a young daughter, and marriage and motherhood at the age of 17 are not among my hopes for her.

Maybe my daughter will get pregnant as a teenager. I understand that teenagers make mistakes, and families have difficulty. So, I don’t judge Bristol Palin and her parents personally. Hard things happen – I get that.

However, on the level of public policy, which is what matters in the race for the White House, Sarah Palin has some real problems when it comes to sex education. If Sarah Palin is wise, she will allow her personal experience with her daughter to bring her to a more mature position on public policy. The fact is that abstinence-education doesn’t prevent teenagers from getting pregnant, and it makes them more vulnerable to sexually-transmitted diseases.

Does Bristol Palin have a sexually-transmitted disease? We don’t know, but the chances are good. I know that, when it comes to my own daughter, I’d like for her to know all the facts about sex before she gets to the point where she is making the decision about whether she will have sex. I expect to be a part of that education, but our local school district needs to play a part in the process too, as I’m not so naive to believe that my daughter will always come to me or her mother to talk about her personal worries.

Our kids need all the facts about sex, because keeping them in the dark does not make them responsible. It just makes them ignorant.

39 thoughts on “Sarah Palin Style Abstinence Only Sex Education”

  1. jeff says:

    In her speech, she said, “We’re proud of Bristol’s decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents.” Sounds to me like there were some options discussed.
    That would’ve gone over like a lead lifevest.

  2. Esme says:

    The Media needs to question Palin and McCain on their views on sex education and teen access to birth control. The daughter should also talk about what information on birth control she had before she made the decision to have sex.

    1. Zenn says:

      Since the birth of her child,Bristol has stated that abstinence-only education does NOT work!Honestly,I don’t know why they don’t preach a PRO MATURBATION program! It’s TOTALLY safe,and there’s NO RISK of anything bad happening! Seriously,teens need protection.

  3. Ted says:

    This is a plus. As Mark Steyn points out in his recent best seller, America Alone, if our western civilization is demographically to survive in the increasingly “hostile to the west” islamic world — and not end up like the sinking European populations — these are the precise people (the Bristol Palins’) we should thank for increasing their progeny.

  4. Tom says:

    You KNOW if this had happened to one of the Democrats that the Republicans would have pounded on it day and night! (Just recall their swift boat bullshitters and think about it.)

    Where are the Republican “values” now?
    Where is the “religious right” now?


  5. J. Clifford says:

    Wait a minute, Ted – you’re saying that it’s good to get teenage girls pregnant because people of European descent are more desirable than other humans? Is that why people should vote Republican?

  6. Charlene says:

    Phalin what a great pick by McCain really shows how screwed up the republicans are. How the hell did she become Gov. of Alaska , oh crap I understand all you have to do is look at the rest of the Alaskan republican polticians they are all corupt, under investigation or about to go on trial.

  7. Ralph says:

    Gee, they’re “proud of Bristol’s decision to have her baby.” And they promise if elected to take the right to make that decision away from her. Nice. Sarah Palin may yet surprise me, but nothing I have heard from her or of her makes me think she is a thinking person.

  8. Harry says:

    Abstinence education isn’t 100% effective obviously, but it’s the best we have. The kids need the facts. They need to know that the decision to have sex with anyone before a lifetime committment is made is only going to make their life worse. More complicated. More difficult. Emotionally. Physically. Financially. And moreso for girls than boys (*ducking*). Worst of all is the loss of innocence. It isn’t wise to preach about the problems with alcohol use and finish with, “but in case you really, really need to drink here’s a bottle of whiskey” (or even an empty shot glass to carry in her purse if you like that analogy to a condom better). Palin is being consistent by not having her grandchild aborted and having the daughter marry. You can all get a good laugh out of it, but there is no hypocricy in getting pregnant here. Remember, more now than ever, love may be fleeting, but sex lasts forever.

  9. Jim says:

    “Abstinence education isn’t 100% effective obviously…”

    You’re right. It’s 0% effective.

  10. J. Clifford says:

    Abstinence education is NOT the best we have. It’s the WORST we have. Abstinence-only education has been shown to be ineffective in reducing teenage pregnancy, and students who are subjected to abstinence-only education are more likely to get sexually transmitted diseases. Abstinence-only information is full of misinformation. It’s dishonest and it just doesn’t work.

  11. Mark says:

    Bristol Palin did NOT receive abstinence-only education in school. Sex ed is usually taught in about the 6th grade, or age 12. that would have been 2003. Since 1995, Alaska has been teaching a comprehensive sex education curriculum, which includes information about condoms and safe-sex practices. it is true that Sarah Palin supports an abstinence-only curriculum, but this is not currently the teachings in the State. Regardless, statistics have shown that there is NO SIGNIFICANT difference in teen sexual activity and teen pregnancy, whether the curriculum is abstinence-only or comprehensive. The only significant difference is that the abstinence-only crowd seem to be a bit more loving and accepting if a pregnancy does occur.(study by UCSF in 2002). So, although most liberals attribute the abstinence-only curriculum to one of the President Bushes, it was actually enacted in 1995, under Clinton. Starting in 2002, under bush 43, some of the States began switching to a comprehensive sex-ed plan. As far as I can tell, Alaska was one that switched. Finally, the Christian-right, while firmly holding to certain values, does NOT expect that everyone else has the same values, including their children! I am really offended by comments that seem to think that everyone on the Christian right is arrogant and judgmental! is it not possible that some might simply be loving, humble people who believe certain truths? Is it others might simply be feeling some guilt and shame about their own behaviors?

  12. Rten says:

    No, that’s not the only difference. A very significant difference is that abstinence-only education increases the rate of sexually transmitted diseases. Is it possible that you’re feeling some guilt and shame about your own behaviors and religious ideology?

    The point of this article is NOT what Bristol Palin’s education was in the schools, but what Sarah Palin’s agenda is – not just for her home, but for the entire country.

  13. Pinkerton says:

    “The Christian-right, while firmly holding to certain values, does NOT expect that everyone else has the same values.”

    That is a lie.

    The Christian-right wants to use the United States government to force other people to live by its values in all kinds of areas–marriage, reproductive medicine, “science” education, you name it.

    You are aware, aren’t you, that lying is specifically forbidden in the Ten Commandments? Repent or burn forever–your beliefs, not mine!

    “I am really offended by comments that seem to think that everyone on the Christian right is arrogant and judgmental!”

    I’m offended too. I mean, when a teenage kid is murdered by gay bashers and Christian right wingers show up at the funeral waving “GOD HATES FAGS” signs at a greiving family, yeah, I’m offended.

    Oh wait, you’re offended that someone would call those assholes waving “GOD HATES FAGS” signs at parents burying their child arrogant and judgmental!

    Take all the offense you want, pal. Turn your other cheek and take some more if you’re a REAL Christian, but do shut up and be meek and humble like Jesus told you. OK?

    And while you’re at it stop fucking up American democracy. I like American democracy. If you want to live where kissing God’s ass is mandated by the government, I’ll buy you a one-way ticket to fucking Iran already.

  14. Jason The Saj says:

    How about we be intelligent and do the best of both worlds…

    We encourage abstinence and also teach preventative methods such as safer sex.

    @13 “Christian right wingers show up at the funeral waving “GOD HATES FAGS” signs at a greiving family, yeah, I’m offended.”

    First off get yourself education, pretty much all Christians found those actions offensive. The group that does that is a church composed up almost entirely of one large family and the related relatives.

  15. J. Clifford says:

    Jason, you might educate yourself. The comprehensive sex education that Sarah Palin opposes does exactly what you suggest – encourages abstinence, and teaches preventive methods of safe sex.

  16. Pinkerton says:

    Don’t tell me to “get an education.”

    That’s rude and arrogant. See? That’s why I think you’re arrogant and rude, because you’re arrogant and rude.

    If the “GOD HATES FAGS” incident were the only instance in which the Christian right had been arrogant and pushy and attacked American democracy, I’d agree with you.

    Unfortunately, you’re wrong.

    How many states wrote discrimination into their constitutions at the behest of the Christian right, organized by Republican operatives, in 2004?

    The Christian right has been attacking the First Amendment, science, civil rights, reproductive medecine, and all kinds of other things that make America great for decades now. They’re nasty arrogant anti-American bastards–get as offended as you want.

    They belong in medieval Europe or present-day Iran, not in a free and democratic America.

  17. Chris D says:

    Well according to Dr. Phil on the Early Show this morning the increase in teen pregnancy rates in this country is due to the “influence of TV.”

    Can’t you people see that it is all Hollywood’s fault and has nothing to do with people in power that demand abstinence only education. If Bristol Palin hadn’t been watching the OC, The Hills and whatever else it is that teen girls watch she would have never had sex and gotten pregnant! DUH! It has nothing to do with policy or parental responsibility!

    It’s not Sarah Palin’s or her husband’s fault. I’m sure that they have learned their lesson now and will restrict those hedonistic TV shows, especially the new 90210 which will have all our teen girls rushing out to get knocked up! maybe if she gets into office she can censor what it is we as Americans are allowed to watch. She seems to know what God’s plan is, just like the war in Iraq! Thank God we have a couple maverick visionaries that will continue the oblivious hypocrisy that has got us where we and Bristol Palin are today, totally screwed!

  18. J. Clifford says:

    Whoah. Dr. Phil says? That’s the best defense for Sarah Palin there is?

    A television show blaming television shows for teenagers having sex. I love it.

  19. Dave says:

    All of the changes in state Constitutions are voted on by the people of that state. A majority have to agree before the changes are made.

    Isn’t that part of a democratic America?

  20. mom2three says:

    As teen birth rates are at an all time 15% high (The Today’s Show. Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2008), I am so disgusted by the fact that women of our day and age continue to believe that teens are truly practicing the “abstinence policy” shoveled down their throats in weekly bible studies and youth groups. Condoms work folks. Keep in mind that the next president will be appointing 3 supreme court justices. Personally, I think she is blinded by her personal religious beliefs (yet is all for lessor gun control). I am terrified of this woman and I would urge all mothers to think twice. PS–I am a weekly church attendee so don’t play the atheist card when replying to this comment. But I am also a realist with 3 daughters, a teacher of teenage girls, and I KNOW what is out there! Teens see sex and glamor, acceptance, popularity, and finally, pregnancy as an easy out and attention! Let’s get a grip moms!

  21. Mark says:

    To Pinkerton:

    “The Christian-right wants to use the United States government to force other people to live by its values in all kinds of areas–marriage, reproductive medicine, “science” education, you name it.”

    not true. A society DOES need to make laws to protect its people. Laws such as not murdering, not stealing, laws on marriage….a lot of them sound like the 10 commandment, don’t they? Gosh, I wonder where we got the ideas from in the first place? I mean, where did humans get this odd conscience, where we instinctively “know” that some things are just “wrong?” I guess the judgment calls come in the interpretation of the laws. I think everyone would agree that killing someone innocent is wrong. It’s just that some see the unborn as human, and others see it as tissue. Scientifically, it is completely, 23 chromosomally, unmistakebly human. Any sex-education should include that.

    “I’m offended too. I mean, when a teenage kid is murdered by gay bashers and Christian right wingers show up at the funeral waving “GOD HATES FAGS” signs at a greiving family, yeah, I’m offended.”

    I’m offended by that, too. There are many, many so-called Christians out there giving Christianity a bad name. I’m really sorry that’s all you think of when you hear the word “Christian”. Jesus would NOT have been involved with the gay-bashers, but would have be-friended the teenager. Jesus would NOT have been waving the signs, but would have been grieving with the family. Those types of “Christians” are indeed arrogant and judgmental, not at all what Jesus’ example is.

    Take all the offense you want, pal. Turn your other cheek and take some more if you’re a REAL Christian, but do shut up and be meek and humble like Jesus told you. OK?

    Jesus did NOT tell me to shut up! Jesus was meek and humble, but also strong. He yelled at idiots and actually whipped some people when he needed to. Matthew 15:16, “Are you still so ignorant?”

  22. Mark says:

    to mom2three:

    There are still those who do wait for sex. Statistics show that that is best. Condoms do not prevent all STDs or pregnancy. if you expect your daughters to be sexually active before marriage, and you expect the boys to also be sexually active, aren’t you the least bit concerned about STDs? Wouldn’t you prefer it if your daughters weren’t exposed to diseases that could make them infertile and cause cancer? I’m a realist, too, but that doesn’t mean I don’t teach my daughters what the best thing is, hoping they make wise choices, but respecting and loving them no matter what.

  23. F.G. Fitzer says:

    STDs are higher among teenagers who get abstinence-only education, Mark.

    Jesus told me to pray to a grilled cheese sandwich.

    Jesus told me that I would find a five dollar bill if I looked in the couch.

    Jesus told me that Sarah Palin is a freaking psychotic, OK?

    Jesus did NOT tell me to eat ice cream! But, I like ice cream, so I ate it anywhere. So there!

  24. Mark says:

    Where did you find the statistics that STDs are higher among teens who have abstinence-only education? I couldn’t find it anywhere, but would be happy to be educated. The rest of your comments are just silly and immature.

  25. What? says:


    And while you’re at it stop fucking up American democracy. I like American democracy. If you want to live where kissing God’s ass is mandated by the government, I’ll buy you a one-way ticket to fucking Iran already.

    This is about the best thing I’ve read all week. Seriously. Thank you for saying that.

  26. Dave says:

    Profanity is is the crutch for conversational cripples.

  27. Jim says:

    Heh, heh. You said “crutch.” Heh heh heh.

  28. Dave says:

    You mean you don’t know what a crutch is? WOW!

  29. Jess says:

    I’d like to know, too, where are the statistics that say abstinence-only education produces more STDs? I think Mark asked that. I saw it mentioned twice on this site. That would be a reason to be against it. Is that the only reason you are all against Sarah Palin? I really don;t think she will have the power to create a sex-education program for the entire nation, will she?

  30. Jim says:

    Heh, heh. You said “crutch” again!

  31. Jim says:

    To be serious, the research on abstinence-only programs that I’m familiar with (Bruckner and Bearman, Mathematica Policy Research) find that abstinence-only programs have no effect on std rates, either positive or negative.

  32. Bob says:

    You’re all missing the bigger story. Look at when Sarah and Todd eloped to the Palmer courthouse and married with no family or friends in attendance. Then look at the date of Track’s birth. OK, maybe he was two months premature…

  33. Dave says:

    Or maybe she was pregnant, and they decided to get married, stay married for almost 30 years and have 4 more kids, which it seems they raise in a loving environment.

    Maybe Track was premature.

    Maybe the Palins made a mistake and conceived a child out of wedlock,and decided that the best thing was to teach thier children not to make the same mistake.

    Maybe Sarah Palin changed her mind at some point between the time she was 24 and now.

    One thing is for sure, if the Palins would have praticed abstinence, she wouldn’t have become pregnant before her marridge.

    Those speculations being said, I disagree with Sarah Palin if her stance is “Abstinence Only”. I think that abstinence is the safest practice, but it takes a very disciplined individual in our Society today to commit to it. Abstinence should be taught along with information on Birth Control, STDs, and Aids.

    I was opposed to the “Abstinence Only” program when it was introduced during the Clinton Administration. ( I’m fairly certain he was too!) And I oppose it now. But even if our school district adopted that stance, I’m still capable of teaching my kids at home.

    No matter, a candidates’ stance on what type of sex education they endorse seems very trivial compared to the major problems facing our country. It would play only a very small part in my decision making process, if at all.

    I’m sorry Bob, even if it is true that the Palins had sex out of wedlock, I don’t see this blowing up into any type of scandel, except maybe for the readers of the National Enquirer.

    That’s my crutch and I’m sticking to it.

  34. Mark says:

    Obama’s mom was three months pregnant with him when she married as well. Come on! Pregnancy out-of-wedlock is a non-issue! Maybe she came ot her abstinence position BECAUSE of her experiences, did you think of that? Why is it that the right-wing is held in much higher scrutiny than the left-wing? Newsflash…Democrats AND Republicans both have sex! And how many parents tell their kids not to do drugs, when they have tried them? That doesn’t make you a hypocrite, it makes you a human being who learns and grows from experiences!

  35. Jim says:

    If the right wing stopped trying to control what consenting adults do in their bedrooms, then maybe people wouldn’t be so curious about what right-wingers are doing in their bedrooms.

  36. Dave says:


    I don’t believe that is the problem.

    14 year olds are not consenting adults. As adults, we have the responsibilty to teach our children.

    The question is what do we teach them no matter what political party we belong to.

  37. teen4sex ed says:

    Everyone agrees Jesus wants christians not to gay bash, kill people, lie, etc. right?

    So then why do sooooooooo many of our fellow christian do all those things?

    just sayin.

  38. teen4sex ed says:

    Ah Dave, just wanted to say your the one who makes the most sense.

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