Promiscuity in New Zealand
A brouhaha has broken out amongst the Commentariat over promiscuity amongst the young in New Zealand. The Prime Minister has gravely informed us there is no evidence that New Zealand women are more promiscuous than women in the rest of the world. Other politicians have jumped all over Colin Craig (leader of the Conservative Party) when he claimed that Kiwi women were the most promiscuous in the world and should not benefit from state funded contraception. This from the NZ Herald:
“We are the country with the most promiscuous young women in the world,” he said. “This does nothing to help us at all. We are faced with a reality that the constant changing of partners is a decision young women are making. It’s a destructive decision on a lot of levels. Health is one of those, and it is a big cost to us.”
Tariana Turia made a somewhat valid point: data about relative promiscuity rates was notoriously hard to come by–for good reason.
Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia said it was outrageous to talk about the promiscuity of New Zealand women when they probably knew nothing about other countries. “We do try to operate on evidence and we don’t lie in the bedrooms of other people.”
We are thankful for the small mercy that Tariana does not make a habit of lying in the bedrooms of other people. Hekia Parata, Minister of Education delivered the most irrelevant and inane response.
Education Minister Hekia Parata said she was an aunt, a mother and a cousin and hadn’t found women to be more promiscuous in NZ.
Hone Harawira provided his stock-in-trade Mongrel Mob thuggish standover:
Mana leader Hone Harawira suggested New Zealand women should pay Mr Craig a visit “and set him straight”.
So the pollies are certain that there is no evidence that New Zealand women are more promiscuous than in other parts of the world. Not so fast. Take a look at the graph below.
Live birth rate to women aged 15–19, 1999 figures (Ref. 3) [Source: Eurostat & Centre for Sexual Health Research, Southampton]
The graphic is provided by the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine in the UK. It does not measure promiscuity per se. Nor does it take account of abortion rates. But it does tell us that New Zealand is right up there in teenage pregnancy rates when compared to the rest of the developed world. Given our abortion-on-demand regime, if teenage abortion rates were added in, we would no doubt see NZ’s teen pregnancy rates as relatively very high.
So the people with lots of egg of their face this morning are the pollies whose visceral reaction to Colin Craig’s observations was more than telling.