The boring 20s: No sex for you!

The feds want unmarried adults to keep it zipped.


Rebecca Traister
November 1, 2006 3:37AM (UTC)

Attention single adults above the age of consent and under the age of 30: The federal government does not think you should be getting any carnal lovin' and is about to drop a major chunk of change on programs that are aimed at keeping your jeans zipped and your chastity belts securely buckled.

That's right -- the feds, not content with spreading their silly abstinence-only message to teenagers, have decided to turn their attention to quashing the sex lives of unmarried American adults ages 19-29. The government has designed new guidelines by which states can apply for millions of dollars to set up abstinence-only programs beamed directly at 20-somethings. Last year, 46 states applied for abstinence-only money to fund programs in schools, clubs and religious organizations, and Congress appropriated $50 million for these programs. The numbers this year are expected to be similar.

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So, fan-freaking-tastic. We aren't spending enough money to educate children, to teach them to read or to make sure they have textbooks and computers and pencils. But we have millions of dollars to throw at programs that aim to keep adult human beings from copulating. As Yakov Smirnoff used to say: What a country!

But we haven't gotten to the good part yet. What has inspired this new prurient involvement in the private dealings of young adults? You might well wonder. It's the scourge of single women having babies.

As Wade Horn, the assistant secretary for children and families at the Department of Health and Human Services, told USA Today, abstinence education now includes 19-to-29-year-olds because more unmarried women in that age bracket are having children.

Hey asshats, maybe that has something to do with the fact that you're also chipping away at our ability to get birth control and safe and legal abortions. Maybe if you considered throwing some of that government money toward making sex education, birth control and healthcare more widely available, you'd have more luck in ensuring that each and every one of those pregnant unmarried women is pregnant because she wants to be.

"The message is 'It's better to wait until you're married to bear or father children,'" Horn told the paper. But I have another message: Go out and vote next Tuesday. It's the only chance we have to get these monkeys out of power, out of our government agencies, and away from our bodies and our children.


Rebecca Traister

Rebecca Traister writes for Salon. She is the author of "Big Girls Don't Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women" (Free Press). Follow @rtraister on Twitter.

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