Abstinence Only Failure
a badge representing Abstinence club membership

“I’ll keep this short and sweet– It didn’t work.

My memory of middle school health education has definitely faded, however, the words abstinence, pregnancy, and STD have managed to stay… and probably not in the way that our teachers intended these words to stick. When we were in middle school, we didn’t talk to the guys we were dating, much less even think about having sex with them. Half of us (myself included) were pre-puberty at this point. When I learned about pregnancy and STD’s my thoughts were “ew gross” and “duh abstinence club forever”.

Then high school came along. I started dating a guy and really thought I loved him. Three years later, the words “pregnancy” referred exclusively to those “trashy losers” on the popular show 16 and pregnant because “obviously they weren’t careful”– thoughts of a 16 year old version of myself. Those people with STDs only got them if they slept with a million sleazy guys (cough) slut (cough). And abstinence only— girl, please. ‘I’m in love and I’ll marry him one day anyway.’ I was one month shy of 17 when I had sex.

So yes, you could say those words stuck, but they stick in the right way, and they sure as hell didn’t apply to me. Ignorance. To my close friend in college who had an abortion—‘I don’t even know how this happened. We were so careful.’ To my four friends (that I know of) who got an STD—‘I never thought this would be me.’ … oh yeah, we learned a lot in sex-ed. Abstinence only club, unite!?”