Couric Shocked, Shocked! That 50% of Teen Girls Are Sexually Active, and 25% Have STDs

The “experts” long since gave up on teaching teens to abstain from sex, and they've been tossing condoms at teens for thirty years.  Now they're surprised that sexually transmitted diseases not affected by condoms are spreading like wildfire?

Covering the appalling CDC report that one in four American girls aged 14-19 is infected by an STD, CBS Evening News interviewed a doctor who couldn't understand why STDs are on the rise “with all the sex education, HIV education” American schools are providing to teenagers.

Dr. Elizabeth Alderman of The Children's Hospital at Montefiore told CBS medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook, “You'd think in this day and age with all the sex education, HIV education that we've put out to the kids and to adults in this country, that these preventable types of infections would be on the downturn.”

Hello? Doesn't anybody understand that condoms give only partial protection, or none at all, to certain STDs?  That two such STDs are human papilloma virus (HPV) and chlamydia, identified by the CDC study as the two most prevalent STDs among teens? 

Dr. LaPook himself opined that “According to today's study, a lot of American teenagers are not getting the message about safe sex.”  Is LaPook serious?  Condom-preaching sex ed classes, the classes teens are least likely to cut, have been taught almost universally in American schools for three decades.  Doesn't LaPook realize that so-called “comprehensive” sex education, not accompanied by moral admonitions to abstain, encourages many teenagers to have sex before they're responsible enough to protect themselves?

CBS anchor Katie Couric began the segment by describing the news about teen STD infection rates as “pretty shocking.” At the end of the segment, she said “I'm still shocked that half of teenage girls are sexually active.” Note to Katie: read CMI's latest Eye on Culture, just released today, which reviews Carol Platt Liebau's book Prude: How the Sex-Obsessed Culture Damages Girls (and America Too!)  Liebau documents the blizzard of media messages deliberately encouraging teens to become sexually active.

NBC did a better job of assessing the CDC study.  Reporter Savannah Guthrie noted the heartbreaking statistic that “nearly 50 percent” of African-American teen girls are infected by STDs.  She also acknowledged the “…potentially life-long consequences. Some of the most common sexually transmitted infections can cause infertility or cervical cancer.”   

At least NBC and CBS covered the profoundly significant story.  ABC's World News with Charles Gibson ignored it, but found time to quote a prostitute defending New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and to cover a rash of farm tractor thefts in England.

Brian Fitzpatrick is senior editor at the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the MediaResearchCenter.