Waymon Hudson

Renewal for Abstinence Only Programs Likely

Filed By Waymon Hudson | June 20, 2008 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: abstinence education, sex ed

In spite of the ever-mounting research showing that it is completely ineffectual, it appears as though the Bush administration's abstinence-only, wait-until-marriage programs for schools will be renewed.

According to 365gay.com:

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies has voted to continue funding the Community-Based Abstinence Education (CBAE) program. The federal government now spends about $176 million annually on abstinence-until-marriage education.

This is despite that fact the a study last year by Congress showed that students who participated in abstinence only programs were just as likely to have sex as those who did not. The Mathematica Policy Research study also found that students who attended the abstinence classes reported having similar numbers of sexual partners as those who did not and had their first sexual experience at about the same age.

Abstinence-only programs also completely ignore the health needs of gay students, since the programs focus only on "no sex until marriage" and completely ignore the existence of LGBT people.

This has lead to 16 states actually refusing the federal money for the programs since they do not work.

Said Caroline Fredrickson of the ACLU:

It's hard to imagine a good reason why, in these tight economic times, Congress would intentionally flush taxpayer dollars down the drain by spending them on disproven, ineffective abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. We are floored that they continue to ignore study after study, and the consensus of the public health community, all concluding that these programs censor vital health care information, teach gender stereotypes, discriminate against lesbian and gay teens, and in some cases promote religion in the classroom in violation of the Constitution.

It is unthinkable that Congress would continue to fund and push this broken, dangerous program. We need fully comprehensive sex education that speaks to all youth.

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It is no wonder LGBT youth have a high degree of suicide. They say, "You can't have sex until you get married, and oh by the way, you can't get married." Oh yeah, this is a real asinine train of thought that came from the brilliant minds who also gave us, "Iraq War II: The Revenge of the Little Shrub, Katrina Recovery for White People, Government Bail-out for Oil Companies" and "Global Warming What?" Seven months to the day and the cancer that has infected the White House is surgically removed.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 20, 2008 8:16 PM

Yes, indeed, it's too bad the Republican controlled Congress toes the line for Bush on this and so many other issues.

Wait just a minute here... let me try to remember. Didn't the Republicans get booted out by those 'progressive' Democrats in 2006? And didn't the Democrats promise to end the war, protect civil liberties, pass ENDA (the good one)and the Hate Crimes bill and deal with NAFTA?

Correct me if I'm wrong.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | June 21, 2008 4:32 AM

It is always amazing to me how parents will enforce hypocrisy on their children, even if it kills them. It encourages less communication between parent and child on all levels of their lives at a time when it is already hard for most parents to communicate with their kids. For cowards in Congress to codify hypocrisy is an even greater problem because it gives stupidity a veneer of respectability.

It's hard to imagine a good reason why, in these tight economic times, Congress would intentionally flush taxpayer dollars down the drain by spending them on disproven, ineffective abstinence-only-until-marriage programs.

Let's see, because most Democrats are chickenshit and Republicans have a base to pander to? That leaves a good deal of Democrats, but that's not a majority.

I mean, after telecom immunity that passed last night, I don't think we can be surprised when that the extreme right still gets everything they want in the US.

I'm always so proud of Paige for refusing to attend the abstinence only classes on the grounds that they are discriminatory to LGBT kids and not sound science. We never asked her to do this - it's just something she feels strongly about.