Perry’s logic doesn’t surprise me. Although his answer is inarticulate, his characterization of comprehensive sex ed as a teen sex free-for-all is a pretty standard conservative position. He appears to have no clue that actual sex education teaches abstinence in addition to other methods of preventing pregnancy and STDs. His policies and positions indicate a complete lack of understanding of sexual health, and he’s far from the exception.
There’s something that frustrates me even more than Perry’s skewed logic, though: the reporter’s missed opportunity. He fails to point out that teaching safer sex and abstinence are not mutually exclusive. He doesn’t remind Perry that while, yes, abstinence itself works, abstinence-only education does not. And he doesn’t even really explain why teen pregnancy rates would be affected by keeping information away from students; he just cites the two facts side-by-side.
This reminds me explicitly of a conversation I had on facebook recently in response to Slutwalk DC. I had to defend the concept of primary prevention as opposed to risk reduction (and, inherently, victim-blaming) in response to sexual assault.
I assure you, I felt just as exasperated as this blogger. Rick Perry is the new Dubya and, God/Allah/Buddha/Britney willing, he won’t go much farther in the campaign.