Meghan McCain: The Follies of Abstinence-Only Education

Meghan McCain has a great column up at the Daily Beast where she airs her frustrations with the Republican party’s support of abstinence-only education.  Here’s a little bit of her critique:

"Here’s what I’ve never understood about the party: its resistance to discussing better access to birth control. As a Republican, I am pro-life. But using birth control and having an abortion are not the same at all. Actually, the best way to prevent abortions is to educate people about birth control and make it widely and easily accessible. True: abstinence is the only way to fully prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Still, the problem with abstinence-only education is that it does not make teenagers and young adults more knowledgeable about all the issues they face if or when they have sex—physically and emotionally."

She also discusses the media’s treatment of the sex lives of Republican daughters.  She uses herself and Bristol Palin as examples of women who have had their sexual choices monitored and scrutinized by the media and the nation as a whole.  McCain is especially concerned that Republican daughters who make their own choices about their bodies are treated as liabilities to their parents’ political careers, and rarely allowed to have their own voices heard.  McCain again:

"Let me get something straight: Bristol Palin, as an eighteen-year-old adult, is free to make her own choices and decide how she wants her life to unfold. But for whatever reasons, the American public and media remain overly engrossed in our politicians’ sex lives and, as in this case, those of their families. There’s an especially unhealthy attitude among conservatives. Daughters of Republican politicians aren’t expected to have sex, let alone enjoy it—as if there were some strange chastity belt automatically attached to us female offspring. God forbid anyone talk realistically about life experiences and natural, sexual instincts. Nope, the answer is always abstinence."

It almost seems like McCain is channeling Vanessa in this column!  To me, Meghan McCain is emerging as one of the most interest political personalities of our generation.  In a lot of ways she deserves the title of Maverick even more than her father.  Although a lot of her opinions do fall within party lines, she’s distinguishes herself in her views on social issues like abstinence-only education and gay marriage.  I don’t know about you, but I think I’ll be following Meghan McCain’s work more closely.

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

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