Superbug: Gonorrhea soon untreatable

Guest post by Dustin Siggins

Over the last two generations, the political and cultural left has changed the way many Americans view relationships, sex, and children. With about 1.2 million abortions per year, divorce rates at around 50%, and out-of-wedlock birth rates at record highs, one could easily believe they are winning.

However, even humans can’t beat natural law and reality. Marriage, which is mostly a college-educated, upper-income phenomenon these days, offers many benefits “shacking up” does not. Abortion, long claimed to “help” women, is increasingly shown to be done for so-called “elective” reasons, even for partial-birth abortions.

And now the Centers for Disease Control is proving the Catholic Church, LDS Church, Baptists, and other socially conservative institutions correct on abstinence until marriage. From USA TODAY, August 9:

Federal health officials took steps Thursday to head off the emergence of a new gonorrhea “superbug” that’s resistant to standard antibiotics.

Gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease that infects 700,000 Americans a year, already has become resistant to all but one class of antibiotics and could soon become untreatable, federal health officials warned. Doctors at the CDC issued new treatment guidelines, hoping to delay the inevitable day when standard drugs no longer work….

“Gonorrhea for years has developed resistance to every antibiotic we’ve thrown at it,” says Kimberly Workowski, an infectious-disease expert at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta.

Now, “we’re at the end of the line on standard therapies,” says P. Frederick Sparling, a professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

I first heard about this from Megan McArdle’s blog back in February.

At the time, McArdle wrote that while she was “not arguing that we’d return to pre-sixties morality,” it should be noted that “[p]eople have gotten used to thinking of pharmaceutical development as a wonder-drug factory that can pop out treatments on demand…. But that’s not actually how it works…. Once chlamydia or gonorrhea develop resistance to the antibiotics we have, there’s no guarantee that we’ll get new ones that treat them. And safe sex never became as common [warning: link rated R] as educators and activists had hoped.”

Thankfully, syphilis is still susceptible to penicillin, though that’s not guaranteed to continue, as it’s showing resistance to other antibiotics.  Still, the next few decades seem like a great time to be monogamous.”

Why is this so critical? According to USA TODAY, gonorrhea is devastating to many communities, especially women, gay and bisexual men, and blacks:

Gonorrhea is a major cause of infertility among women. It increases the risk that people will be infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and that they will spread it to their partners, according to the CDC….

Doctors are already seeing the beginnings of drug resistance on the West Coast, especially in gay and bisexual men, Philip says….

Gonorrhea increases the risk of a dangerous condition called ectopic pregnancy, when a fertilized egg implants in the fallopian tubes, rather than the uterus. It also can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, which can lead to infertility. Gonorrhea also can harm newborn children of untreated mothers, although this rarely happens in developed countries such as the USA, where women and babies receive preventive screening and care, Workowski says. People can protect themselves by being monogamous and using condoms.

The concentration of gonorrhea cases among the poor is especially evident in African Americans in the South, with infection rates 30 times higher in Mississippi than in Wyoming, according to the CDC.

Yet in all of this bad news, McArdle and the Workowski note one very important factor in not getting gonorrhea: monogamy. When added to the data regarding the rate of divorce, quality of marriage, length and quality of life, and other secular logic in addition to STI prevention, it appears monogamy (and, especially, abstinence) are indeed the way to go.

Maybe social conservatives aren’t so backwards, after all.

Dustin Siggins is a policy and politics blogger who regularly contributes to’s Green Room,, and He is the co-author of a forthcoming book on the national debt with William Beach of The Heritage Foundation.

31 thoughts on “Superbug: Gonorrhea soon untreatable”

  1. So much for the “Safe Sex” MYTH that Planned Parenthood sells to America’s youth! And I might add, that we pay for with our hard earned tax dollars.


  2. When journalists, such as the USA Today authors, offhandedly reference CDC stats they are absolutely clueless at best, and nefarious at worst.

    Population densities in Mississippi are far greater than in Wyoming.  If the rate of infection in these two states were equal it would mean one of two things: Either Wyoming would be severely immoral, or Mississippi would be near fully abstinent.  Given human nature, adultery and fornication have been going on for a long time, and proximity to others offers opportunities those at long distances usually won’t incur. So pointing out infection rates in the South without a discussion of proximity is simply an attempt to fuel the notion that the “poor  (African Americans)” are incapable of abstinence and require the assistance of Planned Parenthood to save them from themselves.

    Either Liz Szabo or her editors, perhaps both, are adamant supporters of Plantation Parenthood when such “facts” are tossed in at the end of an article. 


  3. The technique, i.e., “partial birth abortion,” is not the important fact. The important fact is that this is a 2nd trimester (“late”) technique and an abortion past the 1st 3 months is inevitably both especially dangerous (to the woman) and grisly to the unborn. This isn’t due to technique to FETAL DEVELOPMENT which makes it impossible that any technique can be anything other than gruesome.


  4. After reading statistics like this, I’m so glad that I don’t “do” anything (if you know what I mean . . .) ;-)


  5. What would Darwin say?

    Well it appears having multiple partners is not an adaptive trait under the current conditions. Having multiple partners could significantly diminish their fertility to the point that the monogamous will also significantly increase their fitness advantage over those with multiple partners.  As it currently stands, for both men and women those individuals who report exactly one partner also report the highest average number of children.  So, monogamy under current conditions is an adaptive trait/behavior.  


  6. What can we do to reverse these trends?
    1) Revive chaperoned dating and/or “courtship.”
    2) Encourage more education from home.
    3) Encourage more working from home.

    What else? 


  7. “Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.”
    —Epistle to the Romans, chapter one, verses 24-27; New International Version of the Bible.

    The last phrase is translated similarly in the Roman Catholic New Jerusalem Bible as:  “and receiving in themselves due reward for their perversion.”

    While this verse speaks particulary to the consequences of homosexual practice, it also extends to sexual immorality in general.


  8. @hippie,
    Exactly when and under what conditions has monogamy not been a desirable trait for humans? 
    It seems to me that there is something more at work here.  A set of behavior was prescribed for mankind.  Perhaps this behavior was prescribed due to intimate knowledge of how the “system” (read ecosystem) works.  Lets even take a stretch and suggest that the knowledge of how the “system” works was due to being involved with the design of the system.  So these “rules” of how one lives their lives were perhaps like a Father expressing concern for his children.


  9. Sexually transmitted bacteria aren’t the only super bug by a long shot. MRSA is also getting really prevalent, my ex wife got it through her work. People should probably stop sleeping around so much, but that won’t solve everything. I think we use too much antibiotics and anti-bacterial soaps and such.


  10. Let’s discuss practicalities. What reasonable and humane methods can be used to REDUCE SEXUAL CONTACT?  
    Obviously, much sexual contact hurts us, both as individuals and as a society. 


  11. If we are having trouble here where we actually have pretty good treatments, imagine how these super bugs will affect other areas of the world when they start spreading there, and they will get there sooner or later.


  12. “@hippie,Exactly when and under what conditions has monogamy not been a desirable trait for humans? “

    I was just making the case from data/science angle.  Some people insist that is possible to be promiscuous and healthy.  The evidence does not support that position in the general case. 


  13. Tho’ I concur w/ the premise of the article, I dislike the ending sentence.  It is not so much about social conservatives being correct as it is about God’s design being flawless…


  14. Jack, I agree. We’ve pretty much sterilized ourselves to death, I think. A little bit of healthy germs and bacteria are okay. In fact, there are lots of bacteria that are good and necessary – which is why I eat pro-biotic yogurts and such. Also, scientists believe that’s why so many people suffer from allergies – our society is so squeaky clean that our bodies’ defense systems want to do something so they start attacking non-harmful substances such as pollen. : ) Sorry for that rabbit trail….

    But yeah, science usually catches up to God’s way eventually… Woohoo for monogamy!  ;)


  15. @hippie,
    I liked your post about Darwin.  I nitpicking on the “current conditions”.  I should have realized that was a reference to the “human condition”. 
    Sorry, grew up on playing a lot of video games. 
    Yes, this is not an issue on being correct.  This is not an I told you so thing either.  Where is the compassion in that?  I have a relative who was in a monogamous relationship, well so she thought.  Her husband was stepping out on her.  She ended up with a non-curable STD.  So the transgressions of others do affect people around them.


  16. @Alice — Well that makes two of us.  I am not a prude, but I do get tired of the media acting like anyone who isn’t sexually active (especially a young person) is some kind of freak or weirdo.


  17. @phillymiss: It just so happens that MOST of the people I know personally aren’t sexually active, at least not on any regular basis. What’s more, I know 2 people who are asexual. I know a man who is on medications that make what most people call “sex” impossible for him (no Viagra doesn’t change it). 


  18. Gas the old folks for free sex, after all free sex costs megabucks!!!  Where are they going to get the money?


  19. Again everybody: What can we do to reduce the chances people will be in circumstances that are apt to turn sexual?

    Chaperoned dating anyone?
    More working from home jobs?
    More schooling from home?


  20. Turn off secular media and encourage others to do the same.  It is full of junk telling young kids and adults that you need to have sex and paints healthy relationships as tainted.  People need to understand that there is a large media machine designed to ruin you spiritually, financially, mentally, and physically.  When we do watch movies and shows we are there to talk about some of the messaging that goes on in the dialog.  We ask them what they think.  It is amazing how many “kid” shows have statements by young girls like this, “So Britney, are you ready to have sex yet?”  “Oh, I don’t know.  When the time is right I will know.”  We don’t ever re-watch anything that has crap like that in there.  We also have very frank discussions about that garbage in the dialog.
    To allow us to more closely monitor the influences our children have we are home schooling all of our kids.  Especially since the school system is pretty much designed to produce secular consumers and worker drones.  We use K12 and the Thomas Jefferson Education systems.  My 15 year old is blissfully ignorant of the stupid thinking I see in kids that age.  My 15 year old still acts like a kid.  There is no drama with boyfriends and girlfriends or any other crap like that. 
    We also focus on “who” our kids will become.  Not what they will “do”.  There is a big difference.


  21. Turn off secular media and encourage others to do the same.  It is full of junk telling young kids and adults that you need to have sex and paints healthy relationships as tainted.

    I don’t consider myself a conservative, but you have a good point.  Too bad that there aren’t more shows like “The Cosby Show,” which portrayed a strong family unit with loving and nurturing father.  In most television shows today, if the father is evenpresent, he’s a buffoon.

    My daughter didn’t have a serious boyfriend until she was 21 and she’s engaged to be married to a wonderful young man who I just love.  He treats her like the princess she is.  They are both waiting to be intimate until their wedding night and she confessed to me that it’s hard but I think it will be worth it.  Both are healthy, happy, active young people — they haven’t imploded, gone insane, etc.  It’s so sad that the media thinks that our young people — especially young people of color — are constantly in heat and have to be “doing it” all the time.


  22. Yeah, I honestly don’t know why anyone watches TV these days. I ditched my TV some years ago. I do have a Netflix streaming subscription but at least that way I can hand-pick the shows I watch (Mad Men, Parks & Rec) and I don’t have to deal with commercials.

    There are lots of good kids’ shows on Netflix, too – I mean like Super Why, Busytown, Arthur, etc, I don’t mean that sass-mouthed Rugrats/Nickelodeon stuff. In my household, sass was like the #1 kid crime; I don’t understand all these kids’ shows that have characters acting obnoxious and holding it up as some Kid Conspiracy against adults. I even remember being surprised that so many of my friends liked Tiny Toons, because I always thought the characters or implications were so…rude. 


  23. Turn off secular media and encourage others to do the same.  It is full of junk telling young kids and adults that you need to have sex and paints healthy relationships as tainted.

    Public Library computers do not prevent children and teens from access to graphic websites. You can support legislation requiring the segragation of pornographic websites to avoid viewing objectionable materials: Contact ICANN (Internet Corporation of Assigned Numbers) at and the FCC (Federal Communication Commission) at to ask them to create a separate .sex domain to which libraries would not be obligated to subscribe. This initiative is part of the Chicago Public Library and the City of Chicago’s federal agenda.


  24. Denise Noe your post does touch on some good suggestions (which surprized me) in terms of courtship, chaperoned dating, some parents choosing to home school their kids but Demolishin, phillymiss, Alexandria and Mae have some good suggestions as well. We need to communicate with and help our kids to establish strategies and boundaries to protect their emotional, physical, and spiritual health. Like I said on a thread last week “you would be surprized how many of our kids don’t know that they don’t OWE anyone sex”

    Hey phillymiss you must be proud of your daughter and her fiance for making the decision to  commit to purity. I have precious family members who have done the same and they now are happily married with no emotional baggage or scars. They are not weirdos or freaks that no one wanted, they are beautiful young ladies and handsome young men who knew their value, worth and divine purpose. HEY that is an idea getting the word out about how many people are saving sex (even those who started over after being sexually active) and are not ashamed of doing so, it could even be done without them giving their names but just general descriptions of themselves and what they are doing with their lives. So others would know they are not alone. Not PC but it may help others. 


  25. Prolifer L says:
    August 17, 2012 at 11:51 am
    Denise Noe your post does touch on some good suggestions (which surprized me) in terms of courtship, chaperoned dating, some parents choosing to home school their kids 

    (Denise) Often when I’ve suggested trying to revive chaperoned dating people haven’t taken me seriously.  Some have even thought I made the suggestion to ridicule or parody Religious Right people.
    The suggestion is based on realism and truth.  When hormone addled adolescents or even young adults are alone together, their thoughts naturally turn toward sex. The consequences can be horrendous.  Preventing this through chaperoned dating could save much grief.


  26. I would like to add that the presence of a chaperone might actually help the young people get to know each other better. Yes, conversation as well as action is constrained by the 3rd person’s presence. However, the truth is that the tendency to automatically start “necking” or “making out” tends to cut off the process of actually getting to know another person: values, attitudes, hobbies, interests likes and dislikes. 
    Apparently we’ve got at least ONE area of agreement Prolifer L.  It’s nice to be able to find common ground.


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