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.

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