Some states are now abstaining from abstinence only!
Abstinence only has been proven ineffective, now U.S. states are rejecting funds tied to this type of sex education.
States just saying no to U.S. sex education tied to abstinence
By P.J. Huffstutter
LOS ANGELES TIMES
Monday, Apr. 09 2007
In an emerging revolt against abstinence-only sex education, states are turning
down millions of dollars in federal grants, unwilling to accept White House
dictates that the money be used for classes focused almost exclusively on
In Ohio, Gov. Ted Strickland said that regardless of the state's sluggish
economic picture, he simply did not see the point in taking part in the
controversial State Abstinence Education Grant program anymore.
Five other states — Wisconsin, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Montana and New
Jersey — either already have dropped out, or plan to by the end of the year.
The program is managed by a unit of the U.S. Department of Heath and Human
Strickland, like most of the other governors who are pulling the plug on the
funding, said in dropping the program last month that the program had too many
restrictions and rules to be practical. Among other things, the money cannot be
used to promote condom or contraceptive use and requires teachers to emphasize
ideas such as that bearing children outside of wedlock is harmful to society
and "likely to have harmful psychological and physical effects."
That states are walking away from such funding alarms abstinence-only groups,
who insist that cutting off this source of revenue will close dozens of
nonprofit sex education groups — and undermine the progress they have made to
fight teen pregnancy and curtail the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
States have used the money to help public and private schools start and run
educational programs, develop classroom instruction for nonprofit groups and
pay for advertising and other media campaigns.
"There are kids who don't want to know how to put on a condom, because they
don't want to have sex," said Leslee Unruh, president and chief executive of
the South Dakota-based National Abstinence Clearinghouse, the nation's largest
network of abstinence educators.
To critics, the states' policy shift addresses growing concerns that sexually
active youth are not getting access to medically accurate information about use
of contraceptives and disease prevention.
In an Oct. 3 report that surveyed abstinence programs in 10 states, the
Government Accountability Office concluded that such programs have not been
proven to work, and at times teach kids medically inaccurate information about
condoms and AIDS.
President George W. Bush has asked Congress to carve out $191 million for the
program in fiscal 2008, an increase of $28 million over current funding.