Unlike Utah’s Eagle Forum, I Can’t See Teen Ignorance as “Good News”

In yesterday’s Salt Lake Tribune, Lisa Schencker reports that Utah ranks dead last in knowing about safer sex among the states surveyed:

Utah has the lowest percentage of high schools teaching teens about condoms among 45 states, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2010 in Utah, 11.3 percent of public secondary schools taught kids about the efficacy of condoms, how to get them and the importance of using them consistently and correctly, according to the report. That was the lowest percentage of schools teaching teens about all three of those topics out of 45 states surveyed.

To be even more disturbing, this is the case of Utah’s current sex education program, which critics said gave too much information to teens; the push to keep kids even more ignorant about sexuality and health led to the narrowly avoided anti-education bill the governor only recently vetoed.  That there were those lobbying to push us even lower than we obviously are in education (how do you get lower than last fucking place?!) thought our current education needed to be eliminated shows just how neglectful our curriculum standards and priorities are.

Utah’s rates in diseases like chlamydia are shameful, and our highest infected populations are aged 15-19.  Yet somehow, conservative groups see all this as a good thing.  Even great news:

But Dalane England, vice president over issues for the Utah Eagle Forum, called the numbers, on the whole, “great news.”

“The more you talk about sex — as something so sacred and so intimate and personal — when you talk about that in a public setting you’re going to get more of it,” England said. “When you talk about abstinence-only … you get more abstinence.”

What’s more, England suggests that the small minority of students that have some idea about condoms and how to get them is actually a terrible threat to the state, indicating that teachers must be doing something illegal.  (Not actually sure if any portion of the population discussed includes private schools, but they actually teach and test on contraception, even the private Catholic schools.  And the state legislature can’t force them to keep kids ignorant and put them in danger.)

Seriously, WTF?  I think I need to have a nice long scream over here in the other room.

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