Increase in STDs Among Teens Has Pro-Family Group Worried

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:05 PM EDT

( - Although recent statistics show a decrease in the number of teens having sex, a recent study shows an increase in sexual transmitted diseases among teens.

A study published in Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health revealed that 18.9 million new STD cases occurred in 2000 alone. Of those, 9.1 million or 48 percent were among 15 to 24-year-olds.

"This increase in STDs only confirms what we already know about condoms - that even when used in perfect conditions, condoms are unreliable at best in preventing pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases," said Focus on the Family Abstinence Policy Manager Linda Klepacki in a statement.

"Comprehensive sex-ed advocates continue to withhold vital information from our youth by assuring them that condoms provide security from the consequences of teenage sexual activity," she added.

"If condom use is responsible for the decrease in teen age sexual intercourse, as 'safe sex' advocates would have us believe, then why are STD rates among young people alarmingly high despite the increased condom use?" Klepacki asked.

She said the decrease in the number of teens having sex, from 54 percent in 1991 to 47 percent in 2003, is a sign that abstinence education is working.

"The decrease in teen sexual activity, teen pregnancies and teen abortions is an exciting development - but also a call for abstinence educators to renew their commitment to teaching our youth that the only 'safe sex' is that between a husband and a wife," Klepacki said.

She pointed out that despite the failure of condom-based sexual education, federal and state government spending in 2002 on "safe sex" education outstripped abstinence education by a 12-to-1 margin, but President Bush has proposed doubling abstinence education funding to $270 million.

"I'm pleased with the president's proposed budget increase," Klepacki said.

"But as important as schools can be in teaching abstinence, parents still must be their children's first and best sex educators. The number one reason teens give for abstaining from sex is to avoid their parents' disapproval. We must educate, equip and encourage parents to teach their kids what they know to be best: abstinence until marriage," she said.

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