Originally in American Thinker, May 15, 2011
By Chuck Rogér
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American philosopher Thomas Sowell wrote that “the vision of the anointed [has] achieved a sacrosanct status, hermetically sealed off from the contaminating influence of facts.” There are few places in America with as dense a concentration of anointed critters as Santa Fe, New Mexico. The city is famous for its art and food scenes, pueblo-style architecture, and skies rendered deep blue by a seven-thousand-foot elevation and crisp, clean air. But something decidedly unclean is happening in Santa Fe.
The venue is Monte del Sol Charter School. An eighteen-year-old demonstrates the use of condoms in class. The girl’s expertise comes courtesy of Planned Parenthood’s Peer Education Program. Santa Fe Planned Parenthood “health educator” Denise Jennings, who wants to “normalize sex,” trains teens to train other teens in “the five circles of sexuality.” According to a local newspaper, Jennings tours schools, teen trainees in tow, teaching about “sensuality, intimacy, sexual identity, sexual health and reproduction, and sexualization (…using sex to manipulate others).”
In class, a student asks about the “right time to have sex.” A teen trainee responds that people must be “emotionally and physically prepared to accept the consequences and accept responsibility” for having sex — no mention of the inadvisability of children having sex at all. A Monte del Sol health teacher appreciates that Planned Parenthood conducts the sex discussions. After all, “they are the experts and they have props.”
Planned Parenthood is shifting its “expert” skills into high-gear. Sex Ed Camps and Santa Fe-style programs are multiplying. (Go here and enter “Peer Education Program”, using quotation marks, in the seach field.) Traditional America is under siege by ideologues breeding if-it-feels-good-do-it narcissists. The Peer Education Program illustrates what happens when mission-oriented progressives take action. Thomas Sowell dubbed such ideologues, “the anointed.”
Planned Parenthood’s anointed sex missionaries received their first federal funding in the Lyndon Johnson administration. The sort of “sex education” now pushed in Santa Fe and elsewhere started in 1968 when the National Education Association Journal called for “sex education as an integral part of school curriculum beginning in early grades.” Planned Parenthood, the NEA, and herds of shrill progressives were following a behavioral pattern characteristic of the 1960s left.
An early example of the pattern emerged in the reactions to Rachel Carson’s 1962 Silent Spring scare-book, which got DDT banned and still enables the malaria deaths of about 3,000 children a day. Paul Ehrlich’s 1968 Population Bomb — turned dud — warned of mass starvations unless humanity curbs its reproductive enthusiasm. Then also in 1968, the NEA Journal demanded solutions to imagined problems.
Imagined, because calls for sex education were based on “problems” that lived only in the minds of anointed ones seeking to spread agendas. ”Contraception education” would allegedly reduce unwanted pregnancies and illegitimate births. A “crash educational program” would arrest out-of-control venereal disease, while general sex education would address “the emotionally disastrous results of irresponsible sexual behavior.” The claims shared a common thread: fictitious bases.
Not only were there no disease and illegitimacy crises, but indicators were solidly improving at the time of the alarmists’ claims. As Sowell documents in The Vision of the Anointed, teenage pregnancies and venereal disease declined during the 1950s and 1960s. Yet over skeptics’ protests that sex education would increase sexual behavior, Planned Parenthood and public schools forged ahead to curtail behaviors that were already fading. Sex-ed was off and running.
And results followed.
During the 1970s, pregnancies among fifteen- to nineteen-year-olds jumped 41 percent. Between 1970 and 1984, abortions among unwed fifteen- to seventeen-year-olds more than doubled and birth rates jumped 29 percent. By 1976, five years of data showed unmarried girls fifteen to nineteen having sex at increasing rates. And not only did venereal disease not subside, but teen gonorrhea rates tripled between 1956 and 1975.
In the 1950s, 13 percent of teen girls had been sexually active. By the late 90s, the figure had tripled. Premarital intercourse, approved by less than a third of women in the 1950s, was acceptable to 91 percent by the late 80s. By 2005, over two-thirds of Blacks and half of Latino high-schoolers were having intercourse, while over half of all teens fifteen to nineteen were performing oral sex. By 2006, babies born to unmarried women accounted for 37 percent of all births, 70 percent among Blacks. The Black illegitimacy rate reflected a 218 percent explosion over forty-five years.
Such realities have drawn dismissive responses from sex-ed advocates. Incredibly, the horrific trends of the 1970s and 1980s were offered as reason for more sex education. Yet amid cover-ups and excuses, the sex-ed crowd’s true motives were exposed in 1978, in of all places, Congress. One committee report noted that despite sex education’s stated objective of reducing teen pregnancies and sexually-transmitted disease, the real goal “of most sex educators appears to be encouragement of healthy attitudes about sex and sexuality.” “Healthy attitudes” is sex-ed code for super-sized libidos in already hormone-ravaged kids.
By the early 1970s, Planned Parenthood and sex educators were already doing what John Goodlad called for in 1971 when the educational theorist wrote, “Most youth still hold the same values of their parents… If we do not alter this pattern, if we don’t resocialize… our system will decay.” But in each instance in which progressive wisdom has been applied to “values”-based arguments, actions based on the wisdom have caused social decay. Sex-ed wisdom follows the pattern.
Planned Parenthood types in cobalt-blue Santa Fe and throughout red-white-and-blue America are cheapening America’s young — parents be damned. The Santa Fe health teacher’s appreciation for Planned Parenthood’s “expertise” plays into the organization’s hands. Sex-ed “experts” want parents to believe that sex has grown too complicated for amateurs to discuss with kids. And it’s certainly not clear that parents are bothered by Planned Parenthood “training teens to teach sexuality to their peers.”
Public schools are teaming with Planned Parenthood to perpetuate the myth that immorality and illegitimacy can be cured by showing high-schoolers how to use condoms. But for decades, sex education failed to achieve the originally-stated goals of reducing unwanted pregnancies and sex-related disease. Planned Parenthood-style sex education produces promiscuity and social decay. Teens teaching “sexuality” to other teens won’t stop the rot. Reversing our youth’s moral slide can only be achieved by parents with values despised by “experts” like John Goodlad and Planned Parenthood.
 Thomas Sowell, The Vision of the Anointed, Basic Books, 1995.
 United States Senate, Eighty-ninth Congress, second session, Family Planning Program: Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Employment, Manpower and Poverty of the Committee on Labor and Public Welfare (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1966), p. 84.
 Joanne Zazzaro, “Critics or No Critics, Most Americans Still Firmly Support Sex Education in Schools,” American School Board Journal, September 1969, p. 31.
 Robert P. Hildrup, “Why Sex Education Belongs in the Schools,” PTA Magazine, February 1974, p. 13.
 Sowell, p. 17.
 Jacqueline Kasun, The War Against Population, pp. 142, 144.
 Cheryl D. Hayes, editor, Risking the Future: Adolescent Sexuality, Pregnancy, and Childbearing (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1987), p. 66.
 Alan Guttmacher Institute, Informing Public Change, p. 30.
 Hearings before the Select Committee on Population, Ninety-fifth Congress, second session, Fertility and Contraception in America: Adolescent and Pre-Adolescent Pregnancy (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1978), Vol. II, p. 253.
 Mike Stobbe, “37% born out of wedlock,” Chicago Sun-Times, Nov 22, 2006. (No longer available online.)
 Sowell, p. 19.
 Fertility and Contraception in the United States: Report Prepared by the Select Committee on Population (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1978), p. 5.
 John Goodlad, “Report of Task Force C: Strategies for Change,” in Schooling for the Future, a report to the president’s Commission on Schools Finance, #9, 1971.