CBS: Actress Kate Walsh Says Teen Abstinence ‘Like Asking Them Not to Grow’

NewsBusters.org - Media Research CenterOn Friday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Julie Chen teased her upcoming interview with "Gray’s Anatomy" actress Kate Walsh on sex education: "She is one of the hottest actresses in Hollywood today due to her roles on "Gray's Anatomy" and "Private Practice," but she's also passionate about sex education for American teens, and she took her campaign to Capitol Hill. We're going to ask her why this issue is so important." The segment that followed was another example of the media’s denigration of abstinence education. Walsh, who is a board member for Planned Parenthood, said during the interview: "Abstinence is one -- abstinence is one aspect of sex education, but it is not the complete aspect. And to expect, I think, everybody to remain abstinent is just -- it's like asking them not to grow. It's like we don't ask people to not try out for sports." Chen’s response: "Yeah, I hear you."

Chen began the interview by asking: "Tell us in your opinion what's wrong with the way we're teaching our kids in this country about sex education and what needs to be changed." Of course, there was no advocate for abstinence-only education asked to give their opinion in the segment.

Walsh replied by declaring that:

Well, abstinence-only is not working. It's a $1.5 billion program over the last ten years that has, quite frankly, failed. The CDC reported that one in five teenage girls between the ages of 14 and 19 are infected with STIs, and that, to me, is appalling and shameful. And in the age of information, these women are just not getting adequate information.

Walsh followed up by explaining that: "...in addition to abstinence, which is fine, there just needs to be a comprehensive sex education program, and we can't be relying on, you know, private foundations, or parents, or, you know, teens' peers, to be educating each other. We really do need government help on this."

Walsh went on to make the comparison between sex education and academic subjects: "...it's a shame to me that we spend money educating our kids on, you know, history, math, science, and English literature, and we -- we can't educate them sexually."

This is not the first time CBS has touted "comprehensive sex education." In January, Katie Couric promoted the "Midwest Teen Sex Show" on the CBS "Evening News."

Here is the full transcript of the segment:

7:01AM TEASER:

JULIE CHEN: Plus, Kate Walsh. She is one of the hottest actresses in Hollywood today due to her roles on "Grey's Anatomy" and "Private Practice," but she's also passionate about sex education for American teens, and she took her campaign to Capitol Hill. We're going to ask her why this issue is so important.

7:24AM TEASER:

CHEN: In our next hour, actress Kate Walsh will tell us why she paid a special visit to Capitol Hill.

7:30AM TEASER:

CHEN: Also ahead this half hour, Kate Walsh. She has become a big, huge star on the hit TV series "Grey's Anatomy" and "Private Practice." Now she's taking her fame to Capitol Hill to focus on an issue she is passionate about, sex education. This morning, we'll talk to her live.

7:17AM SEGMENT:

JULIE CHEN: This morning's "Health Watch," sex education for teens. Actress Kate Walsh played a doctor on the hit series "Grey's Anatomy," and now on "Private Practice." In real life, she's a board member for Planned Parenthood. Yesterday she was on Capitol Hill to talk about the need for more funding for sex education. This morning she joins us from Washington. Kate, good morning.

KATE WALSH: Good morning.

CHEN: Tell us in your opinion what's wrong with the way we're teaching our kids in this country about sex education and what needs to be changed.

WALSH: Well, abstinence-only is not working. It's a $1.5 billion program over the last ten years that has, quite frankly, failed. The CDC reported that one in five teenage girls between the ages of 14 and 19 are infected with STIs, and that, to me, is appalling and shameful. And in the age of information, these women are just not getting adequate information.

CHEN: So what do you want to see Congress do, and how much more money do you think we need to get there?

WALSH: I'm not sure -- I don't know exactly how much money, I just think where it's being appropriated, that there just needs -- in addition to abstinence, which is fine, there just needs to be a comprehensive sex education program, and we can't be relying on, you know, private foundations, or parents, or, you know, teens' peers, to be educating each other. We really do need government help on this. It's, you know, it's a shame to me that we spend money educating our kids on, you know, history, math, science, and English literature, and we -- we can't educate them sexually. And, you know, and it's proof in these -- in these statistics. It's just shameful to me that in our country that these young women are being infected because they honestly just don't have the information.

CHEN: And you think it's because we're saying only -- we're only talking about abstinence, we're not talking about protection or birth control, or things like that?

WALSH: Absolutely. Abstinence is one -- abstinence is one aspect of sex education, but it is not the complete aspect. And to expect, I think, everybody to remain abstinent is just -- it's like asking them not to grow. It's like we don't ask people to not try out for sports. We don't ask people to stop learning. It's just a natural human process, and we need to be educating people. If abstinence-only did work, we wouldn't be seeing these kind of statistics. We wouldn't be seeing these young women suffering like this.

CHEN: Yeah, I hear you. Kate Walsh, thank you and good luck to you.

WALSH: Thank you very much.

CHEN: You're welcome. We'll be right back.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC