We’re constantly being told that defunding sex education programs will lead to an increase in teen pregnancies. But a new study out of the United Kingdom has found that the complete opposite may be true.
Researchers David Paton of Nottingham University and Liam Wright of the University of Sheffield found that in 194 localities across the U.K., the rate of teen pregnancy has reached its lowest point since 1969. Paton and Wright told the London Times that they were so shocked by the initial findings that they looked for alternative answers before concluding that it was government cuts to sex-education funding and contraception access that caused the decrease in teen pregnancy.
“There are arguments to suggest that the impact [of the budget cuts] on teenage pregnancy may be not as bad as feared” the researchers write in the study. They added that it may even be “counterproductive” for governments to attempt to halt teen pregnancy by spending on more sex education. In fact, researchers found that between 2008 and 2013, as budget cuts by central and local governments rose, teenage pregnancy fell by 42.6 percent.
Other studies, one in 2009 by the Teenage Pregnancy Unit and another in 2016 by the Cochrane Review, had similar findings. The reason?
“Sex-education programs serve to normalize teen sexual activity for unmarried teens and young adults,” suggested Scott Phelps of the Abstinence and Marriage Education Partnership to Life Site News.
But you won’t see these studies broadcast in the mainstream media. Just this morning, NPR ran a story citing a study that says “clusters” of teen pregnancy still exist in the United States, despite the overall decrease. The story focuses on Texas -- a popular target for pro-abortion, anti-abstinence-education proponents due to the state’s several attempts to defund programs like Planned Parenthood.
We are warned over and over that if we cut sex education funding to Planned Parenthood -- which receives about half a billion in taxpayer dollars every year -- the result will be an increase in teen pregnancy. But studies like this one by Paton and Wright indicate that this scaremongering may be far from the truth.