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  • A Glimmer of Hope for Abstinence Education Funding

    During the debate on the Senate health care reform bill this week, Senator Hatch (R-UT) offered an amendment to reinstate funding for Title V Abstinence Education. Funding for this program ended in June. The Hatch amendment would restore the $50 million program. A similar amendment by Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE), however, suffered defeat during the House Committee mark up, and House Democrats inserted an amendment that would transfer the Title V money to state block grants to further promote comprehensive sexuality education. Policymakers should continue to fund abstinence education and jettison any new comprehensive sex ed program.

    Zeroing out funding for abstinence education and putting more resources behind comprehensive sex education is lamentable for many reasons. Government spending on comprehensive sex education programs has already dwarfed abstinence education spending by a ratio of four to one. Schoolchildren will continue to hear the message of so-called “safe sex,” but will now receive less classroom instruction, if any, on how and why to remain abstinent. They will receive less support for a choice that research indicates will contribute to better academic achievement, a lower likelihood of depression, less risk of divorce, and a lower likelihood of parenting a child outside of marriage.

    Moreover, evidence shows the effectiveness of abstinence programs in helping young people delay sexual activity, lower their risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease, and decrease their chances of participating in risky sexual behavior.

    The House’s choice to defund abstinence education also runs counter to what most parents report they want their children to be taught: that abstinence is best and that sex should be reserved for marriage or for a relationship heading towards marriage. While many comprehensive sex education programs claim they also are “abstinence plus”–meaning that they present the abstinence message along with information about contraception–a study reviewing nine of these programs showed that six times more curriculum content was devoted to teaching contraception than to teaching abstinence. When abstinence is discussed, it is often presented as one choice among many, not as the best option.

    Abstinence education works. These programs teach the message parents want their children to receive because they promote the lifestyle that contributes to better health and future well-being, including financial security. Such benefits extend not only to youth but also create fewer burdens for taxpayers.

    As Congress considers how to overcome the health care and financial difficulties facing Americans, policymakers have the opportunity to support a policy that makes advances in both areas: abstinence education.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    11 Responses to A Glimmer of Hope for Abstinence Education Funding

    1. Brett, Seattle says:

      This article is filled with flat out lies.

      1. ALL comprehensive sex education INCLUDES abstinence education. The goal, regardless of time or recommendation, is to prevent teen pregnancy and STDs. Comprehensive curricula teach youth how to protect themselves from pregnancy and STDs using condoms. Please look up the word "comprehensive" before you write again.

      Posting references to your own website is the opposite of objectivity and simply, sloppy scholarship.

      2. Parents overwhelmingly support comprehensive sex education, not abstinence-only education. 89.3% of parents, in fact. http://bit.ly/pR5py

      3. A majority of Americans do not now nor have they ever remained abstinent until marriage. "Although abstinence is theoretically fully effective, in actual practice abstinence often fails to protect against pregnancy and STIs. Few Americans remain abstinent until marriage; many do not or cannot marry, and most initiate sexual intercourse and other sexual behaviors as adolescents." 48% of all teens in the US have had sex by their high school graduation. Abstinence-only programs are not changing that statistic. http://bit.ly/3SNhkT

      4. "The findings [of a government mandated study on abstinence only education programs] show no significant impact on teen sexual activity, no differences in rates of unprotected sex, and some impacts on knowledge of STDs and [incorrect] perceived effectiveness of condoms and birth control pills." http://bit.ly/urNZc

      This funding should be deleted immediately, because funding programs that do not work cannot be afforded in this down economy.

    2. Linda Carlsbad, CA says:

      This country wouldn't be so morally corrupt if kids were taught by their parents and in schools, to just say NO to sex if your're not married. The usual answer is more funding for abortion. Don't teach abstinence, just get an abortion if you get caught. This is the number one practice that is destroying America. We need to get back to good values, No sex before marriage. America, start paying attention to what your kids are doing!

      If you think I don't know what I'am talking about, think again. I have 4 daughters, I've seen it all. I preach abstinence to every one of my daughters, grandaughters, their friends. I know first hand in my experience and my childrens the damage sex before marriage does. Abortion, safe sex is not the answer!

    3. Tim Az says:

      We could simply institute abstinance of liberalism in government through every election from this day forward. This would cure many of the current ailments plaguing America. How's that hope and change working out for you?

    4. ChuckL, Nevada says:

      Well Brett, you complain about the use of the term comprehensive by those who oppose teaching "pro" sex behavior. I will agree with you that "Comprehensive" includes all methods of disease and pregnancy prevention and also includes how to get pregnant or catch a disease.

      There are courses claiming to be "comprehensive" that avoid abstinence in the course. Even with your definition, these are NOT comprehensive courses.

      The complaint about funding is absolutely correct. When there are ten methods taught, only one of which is abstinence, and they are equally funded, then clearly only 10% of the funds are used for abstinence. Pro sex is funded at a 9 to 1 ratio.

      Last, I should like for you to explain how in the practice of abstinence it is possible for the sperm to travel the length of the penis, enter the vagina, travel its length, then enter the uterus and impregnate an egg which then attaches to the uterus wall and and becomes another human being.

    5. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      It sould work as well as teaching Spanish to English speaking children, so that the Hispanic,(Mostly Illegal's Children) won't feel so bad. The working results for that are, cots in Oregon 500 million a year, with about a 3% success rate!

      Morals and More's are taught beast in the home. Where America went wrong was in its validating that it was okay to be a single parent, it wasokay to get a girl pregnant and not marry her, it was okay to just get a divorce and not work it our according to the marraige vows, it was okay to allow women to have four children from four different men and living with the new babies father without marraige, because that would stop Welfare!

      The old fashioned way of 'Safe Sex' was, if you get the girl pregnant, you WILL marry her! You hold men to that standard, and the birthrate will go down.

      You have unprotected sex, this day in age, you have a fifty, fifty chance of getting a disease, that will kill you, if you are a woman, not now, but later, so that wou WILL miss seeing your grand children and maybe your own children graduate from High School.

      If Sex is all you have to do, then you ain't looking hard enough! Everything you do with your partner is allright except for that third base part. Save it for marraige, or do it and get married maybe, or maybe die.

      That is education.

    6. Leon, Durango, CO says:

      Brett, who said anything about abstinence 'only'. This is about sexuality education, that is the only 'only' under discussion. How about give abstinence a showball's chance in Hell, considering that our kid's sexuality is under revision by the liberal progressive movement from a thousand different directions. Fund the dissenting voice of abstinence, and pass Hatch's Bill.

    7. Pingback: digg » Blog Archive » Roundup: Diane Rehm’s Show Covers Abortion in Health Reform

    8. Evan, Maryland says:

      Abstinence only education does not work. Just telling kids not to have sex makes it a "forbidden fruit" and they instantly want it. However teaching a comprehensive curriculum promotes waiting but also lets the children know the responsibilities of sexual activity and ways to have safer sex.

      To be considered comprehensive the curriculum must include information on STDs pregnancy AND abstinence.

      And for the record, yes i received a comprehensive sex education. Yes, I've had sex. Yes, I'm happy with my life choice. No,I'm not married. and No, I don't have any STDs or children.

      ask Texas. Abstinence's biggest advocate boasts a staggering 62 births per 1000 teens compared to the national average of 40 per 1000.

    9. Michael, North Carol says:

      Great article! For whatever it counts (or doesn't), my vote is to give abstinence funding a chance. While it is true that values are best taught at home, since the federal government became involved in funding family life / sex education, it became involved in teaching values, as well. (Ideally, the federal gov't wouldn't interfere at all…but that's another topic.) It's true that some teenagers will engage in sexual relations regardless of what's taught in school. But there are a great number of teenagers who will be positively influenced by an unambiguous message based on wholesomeness, virtue, and an honest assessment of the ramifications of premarital sexuality. It takes courage and strength to make the decision of abstinence, though. Let's let at least 1/4 of federal sex education money attempt to provide that courage (and if the message isn't getting through, fix the shortcomings, don't give up!) As for the concerns and counter-points listed in comments here, many of them are addressed on this website: http://www.sexrespect.com/FundInfo.html.

    10. Cara, Oklahoma says:

      Why do proponents of comprehensive sex ed feel so threatened by allowing schools/parents/community leaders a choice? As pointed out, comprehensive sex ed already receives more funding than abstinence 'til marriage education, 4 to 1! So why totally obliterate the option to provide ATM-only programs to students? Schools in our area have a choice, and guess what? They primarily CHOOSE ATM. Some do invite both into the schools and yes – they have that right! Amazes me that having 4 to 1 funding isn't enough. Obviously there are those that believe parents & other adults should not be given a choice – because it is a choice! No one is forced to bring ATM education into their schools, or communities! Obliterating the choice will not increase acceptance of comprehensive sex ed! If they want it for their kids, it's already available. Why does this concept seem to be so difficult, and why are comprehensive proponents so threatened by allowing everyone a choice??

    11. Carole, Hawaii says:

      My husband and I have recently discovered that our daughter's private school has bought into the liberal left-wing sex education agenda. We thought we wouldn't have to worry about that in a private school, but guess again. To be fair, they also teach that abstinence is best, but then they teach that homosexuality is fine, that transgenderism is fine and if you're gonna get sexually active in whatever way, here's how to do it, kids. When we started asking questions, what we got was vagueness and a very quick response of telling us our daughter could opt out. Great, but what about all of the other parents who don't really know the truth of what is being taught? I don't think they have liked us bringing up this and other points. My desire would be that they scrap the whole sex ed program and get back to what educators should be involved in – academics. But, if anything should be taught by them, definitely abstinence until marriage is all I would happily approve of. Can anyone tell me if private schools are able to get federal funding for either of these programs? Thanks for any help.

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