Running for governor of Alaska in 2006, Sarah Palin said she was against “explicit” sex education in schools but said she favors teaching about contraception and condoms, reports the LA Times.
. . . (In July 2006) she completed a candidate questionnaire that asked, would she support funding for abstinence-until-marriage programs instead of “explicit sex-education programs, school-based clinics and the distribution of contraceptives in schools?”
Palin wrote, “Yes, the explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support.”
But in August of that year, Palin was asked during a KTOO radio debate if “explicit” programs include those that discuss condoms. Palin said no and called discussions of condoms “relatively benign.”
“Explicit means explicit,” she said. “No, I’m pro-contraception, and I think kids who may not hear about it at home should hear about it in other avenues. So I am not anti-contraception. But, yeah, abstinence is another alternative that should be discussed with kids. I don’t have a problem with that. That doesn’t scare me, so it’s something I would support also.”
I wonder what “explicit” means to her? It must be what “is” meant to Bill Clinton.
Who knew the ’08 presidential campaign would focus on the particulars of the sex education views of a candidate for vice president?
Update: It’s hard to change teens’ behavior, but some sex education programs have some success, reports USA Today. In the September issue of Sexuality Research & Social Policy, researcher Douglas Kirby analyzed studies of nine abstinence programs and 48 comprehensive sex education programs.
He says a couple of the abstinence programs showed “weak evidence” for delaying sex, but most did not delay initiation of sex. Nearly half of the comprehensive programs delayed first sex, reduced the number of partners and increased condom or contraceptive use. One-quarter of the 48 programs reduced the frequency of sex.
Overseas, there’s no correlation between sex ed and teen births: Countries with comprehensive sex ed and those with none at all have much lower teen birth rates than the U.S. Of course, they also have lower birth rates for adult women. It’s the culture.