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Jordan Candler / May 8, 2018

STD — Sexually Transmitted Discrimination?

Reports indicate a rise in STDs, and some are blaming — you guessed it — racism.

The Los Angeles Times on Monday published an article chronicling the rise of sexually transmitted diseases. According to the author, “Officials think racism and stigma may be to blame.” In other words, the acronym STD might as well stand for “sexually transmitted discrimination.” But make no mistake: The details included in the Times’ account make it obvious that the government is what’s making a bad situation even worse.

“In just the past five years, the number of gonorrhea cases in Los Angeles County doubled, with minorities suffering more than most,” the Times reports, later adding: “Nationwide, STD rates have been climbing for the past five years. More people were diagnosed with syphilis, chlamydia or gonorrhea in 2016 than ever before.” That’s troubling, for sure, but what’s the catalyst? And how is it effectively mitigated?

“Many health experts,” the Times claims, “say that public health problems are best tackled outside the doctor’s office — that fixing the culture that perpetuates them is more effective than changing a single patient’s behavior. For sexual health, that means combating the stigma around sex.” Yet the Left’s idea of “fixing the culture that perpetuates” illnesses and the “stigma around sex” is Spring Into Love, described by the Times as “the brainchild of a coalition of L.A. County health advocates trying to bring down STD rates.” These health advocates argue that the STD problem is directly linked to a lack of contraceptives, ostensibly because they’ve been stigmatized.

Some of the grossly mislabeled “sexual education” activities that Spring Into Love sponsors are quite disturbing. For example, the Times says an 18-year-old “showed a group of students how to safely open a condom wrapper,” which took place inside a church auditorium. A church is supposed to discourage debauchery, not cultivate it. You can chalk up the lack of moral certitude among even some of our supposedly Christian institutions as one reason for today’s STD environment.

Adding insult to injury, the Times “went there” by playing the race card. It’s story promotes the idea that “officials need to evaluate what’s called structural or systemic racism, the way housing or education policies may negatively impact people and their health.” The report continues: “Studies have found … that people with HIV who had low levels of literacy were less likely to follow their treatment, and that poorer Americans were more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior, increasing their risk of STDs.” Furthermore, “Poverty or a lack of opportunity may be forcing women to exchange sex for resources, leading to the spread of STDs. … There also tends to be a mistrust of the medical system among African Americans, making them reluctant to seek care.”

Consider the irony: The same statist government system that perpetuates poverty — and by extension STDs, using the Left’s argument — among minorities is the same system leftists allege can mitigate STDs. That’s paradoxical, but there’s also a parallel. The same person who thinks more government is the solution to minority well-being is just a likely to think government-led sexual education that promotes contraceptives, not abstinence, is the answer to our STD problem.

Because it can be awkward, many parents have delegated the discussion about physical intimacy to the government. And that’s where the 18-year-old from the church auditorium has a point. She said, “Sexual health was something in my household that was taboo. All I heard was, ‘Don’t get pregnant.’” That’s not good enough. Parents have to have a detailed and prolonged dialogue about sex and the importance of premarital abstinence with their children, not leave it to the state. Otherwise, STDs will continue rising, and the government’s only response will be to demand more control of your lives and education — while blaming racism, of course.

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