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Column: Abstinence-only 'education' Makes No Sense

This story was written by Monique Cunin, The Daily Gamecock

Election 2008 has finally cast all of the actors. For the role of U.S. president, John McCain and Barack Obama are set to duel for the next two months, convincing their audiences they are both worthy of the title. In supporting roles, McCain's campaign chose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Obama chose Delaware Sen. Joe Biden.

Both sides have their strengths. McCain served during the Vietnam War and has experience fighting in a foreign nation. Obama is young and, by virtue of his youth, has a different outlook on life than any of his predecessors. Biden commuted over 200 miles a day to work on Capitol Hill so that his sons would have a parent with them at night. Palin is working hard to support a family that includes an infant with Down syndrome and a pregnant 17-year-old daughter.

Like most elections, there is at least one politician who has a skeleton in his or her closet and a stance that seems contradictory to his or her personal life experience.

The Republican Party stands for family values. They stand for everything that is religious and moral about the fabric of the melting pot we call the U.S. They stand for oil drilling and abstinence-only education.

Yet the Republican fighting to become the next vice president of this country has a pregnant 17-year-old.

Obviously her stance on sex education hasn't worked out too well.

In a utopian society, everyone would go to church on Sunday, wouldn't drink excessively and wouldn't have sex until they were married.

Unfortunately, we live in the real world. Because of this, we have to take stances on issues that foster what we have to deal with, not what we wish we were left. The stance of abstinence-only education in schools deals with the utopian society in which Palin wishes we lived.

If she expects to help lead this country, she will have to take her head out of the sand and realize that not educating kids on what their options are -- should they choose to have sex -- is asking for more teenagers to end up pregnant or with diseases.

That said, teenagers should not be having sex. Then again, students should always go to class and not drink until they are 21. In schools, they teach underage drinking is illegal and dangerous. But they stress that if you do drink, then don't drive. Why then, wouldn't they educate teenagers on the dangers of sex and tell them that if they do choose to have sex, condoms and birth control are their best friends?

Whatever platform wins the election will have to find the answer to this question. They will have to present it to the public in a way that shows that they are in touch with what happens in world outside of Washington, D.C.