I'd like to say hello, I'm new here, and please let me know if I break etiquette. 1. Do you agree or disagree with the study's conclusion that abstinence programs are ineffective and actually lead to increased sex in teenagers? Does the fact that this report comes from a conservative institution factor into your conclusion?
I disagree. Abstinence only programs have not been shown to be any less effective or ineffective than any other method of sexual education. The confusion appears to stem from 'abstinence pledgers' and kids who simply choose to remain abstinent, as this also seems to be the main problem. -link-
Teens who pledge to remain virgins until marriage are more likely to take chances with other kinds of sex that increase the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, a study of 12,000 adolescents suggests.
The report by Yale and Columbia University researchers could help explain their earlier findings that teens who pledged abstinence are just as likely to have STDs as their peers.
Many states have cited some success in turning attitudes more favorably towards abstinence, after the first 5 years of the program. -link-
* Three of 10 programs had no significant impact on attitudes (Maryland, Missouri, and Nebraska);
* Four of 10 showed increases in attitudes favorable to abstinence (Arizona, Florida, Oregon, and Washington);
* Three of 10 showed mixed results (California, Iowa, and Pennsylvania).**
However (from the same article), two (Florida and Iowa) out of six states saw an increase in sexual activity after the teens had completed the program. Unfortunately, there is no data as to why this happened.
While I disagree that it causes more kids to have sex and that it is ineffective (it does exactly as it should, it teaches kids about sex), it is obvious that this breed of sex-ed is doing nothing for the majority of kids who will have sex either way. It does not increase their likelihood to have sex, but it does increase their likelihood of being caught, with STDs, with pregnancies and with relationships they do not understand. 2. Given the lack of evidence that these programs work, should the federal government be investing so heavily in them?
I contest that a lack of evidence suggests a flaw. We have sufficient lack of evidence for many things in the universe, yet we do not oppose them on that basis.
Currently, the federal government has no choice but to be investing in them. Kids need some form of sex-ed (so sayeth the modern public school system). If a school is to receive federal funds for this, it must meet certain requirements as laid out in the 1996 Welfare Reform Act (see below). Until this is repealed, the government cannot do much (save cutting funding for sex-ed entirely) the quell spending. -link-
To be eligible for Federal Title V funding, a program must be educational or motivational and address the following points:
1. Have, as its exclusive purpose, teaching the social psychological and physical health gains to be realized by abstaining from premarital sexual activity.
2. Teach abstinence from sexual activity outside of marriage as the expected standard for all school age children.
3. Teach that abstinence from sexual activity is the only certain way to avoid out-of- wedlock pregnancies, sexually transmitted disease and associated health problems.
4. Teach that a mutually faithful monogamous relationship in the context of marriage is the expected standard of human sexual activity.
5. Teach that sexual activity outside the context of marriage is likely to have harmful psychological and physical effects.
6. Teach that bearing children out-of- wedlock is likely to have harmful consequences for the child, the child's parents and society.
7. Teach young people how to reject sexual advances and how alcohol and drug use increase vulnerability to sexual advances.
8. Teach the importance of attaining self-sufficiency before engaging in sexual activity.
If I may digress to other posts...
3. Contraceptive based sex programs receive 12 dollars for every dollar abstinence programs receives! Previously its been estimated that 1.7 billion is being spent annually on contraceptive based promotion.
The link you provided (-here-
), while quite interesting, does nothing to adequately answer the question of the federal
From said article In 2002, the federal and state governments spent an estimated $1.73 billion on a wide variety of contraception promotion and pregnancy prevention programs. More than a third of that money ($653 million) was spent specifically to fund contraceptive programs for teens
How much, exactly, was state? How much was federal? And how much of that federal money was part of the CDC initiative to ensure healthy mothers/healthy babies and reduce maternal morbidity (which includes preventing early pregnancies)?
This is yet another example of the lack of "limited government" in the Republican leadership.
Interestingly enough, this is yet another example of the effects of Clinton' Welfare Reform Act. No, he didn't write it. No, he didn't vote on it. Yes, he did support it (and how!). Yes, he did sign it into law. The blame falls on both sides on this one.