Sunday, May 06, 2007

Abstinence-Smabstinence: Screwed Either Way

posted by Bill Arnett @ 12:15 PM Permalink

From USA Today:
Abstinence-only educators say there's more to their programs than the "just say no" mantra of the anti-drug movement.…But that's just what they're saying to Democrats looking to curtail a program that grew 17-fold — from $10 million in 1997 to $176 million this year — when the Republicans controlled Congress.…Democratic lawmakers have introduced legislation promoting comprehensive sex education instead of abstinence-only curriculum. They want to send money to schools that stress abstinence while also instructing students about the health benefits and side effects of contraceptives.…The abstinence groups aren't planning on losing any of their $176 million in federal funding without a fight. They've opened their own trade association near the Capitol.

The news for the Bush Adminstration's abstinence-only policies just seems to be getting worse, some might liken it to a swiftly sinking boat or ship.…So a burial at sea is appropriate, and by releasing the latest federal report on abstinence-only, Impacts for Title V. Section 510, Abstinence Education Programs: Final Report, from Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. late on a Friday, that is exactly what the Bushies are doing.…“After 10 years and $1.5 billion in public funds these failed abstinence-only-until-marriage programs will go down as an ideological boondoggle of historic proportions,” said James Wagoner, President of Advocates for Youth.
“The tragedy is not simply the waste of taxpayer dollars, it is the damage done to the young people who have been on the receiving end of distorted, inaccurate information about condoms and birth control. We have been promoting ignorance in the era of AIDS, and that’s not just bad public health policy, its bad ethics”
.…“This report should serve as the final verdict on the failure of the abstinence-only industry in this country,” said William Smith, vice president for public policy of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS). “It shows, once again, that these programs fail miserably in actually helping young people behave more responsibly when it comes to their sexuality,” Smith continued.…
By spending $1.5 Billion dollars on a useless program, the taxpayers got screwed.

By denying students a thorough and honest sex education, the students got screwed.

By releasing a scathing report on the lack of success of these programs late on a Friday, a low news cycle, the general public got screwed.

That's an awful lot of being screwed, especially without a wink and a drink.

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