An article in New York’s Village Voice critical of teaching youngsters sexual abstinence drew this pointed letter from League president William A. Donohue. It was published.

Marc Cooper’s slam against the abstinence-based Sex Respect program (“The Christian Right’s Sex Machine,” June 7) shows how jittery the left gets when sex talk turns right. My God, the piece sounds like “the Commies are coming,” but this time it’s those damn Christians exercising their First Amendment rights again,. Ever hear of diversity, Marc?

For some of us, facts still matter. Among 3500 students in Midwestern schools that adopted the Sex Respect curriculum from 1985 to 1990, there was a dramatic decline not only in attitudes regarding sexual experimentation but in teenage pregnancies as well. In a federal pilot study, it was revealed that only 5 percent of female students had become pregnant one to two years after participation in the Sex Respect program, compared to 9 percent of girls who had not participated. For boys, only 4 percent had caused a pregnancy after one year of completing the course, compared to 7 percent in the control group. There is not one Planned Parenthood “Let ’em use condoms” program that can even come close to these results. Indeed, more typically that approach yields higher pregnancy rates.

The shame of it is that the left isn’t only against kids learning abstinence, they can’t resist attempts at book banning either. In 1991, the ACLU filed suit in Wisconsin to get the book Sex Respect banned from the curriculum. Isn’t this what fascists are accused of doing?

If unwanted teenage pregnancies and AIDS are a problem, so too are those measures that purport to check these problems while unwittingly giving rise to them. We tell kids to abstain from smoking, drugs, and booze. But not sex. That’s worse than hypocritical. It’s downright irresponsible .

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