Saturday, March 19, 2005

More Evidence Abstinence Education Ineffective

President Bush and the Republicans in Congress have been big supporters of abstinence education.

In fact, as reported:
In the past five years, President George W Bush has more than doubled funding for such programmes, which teach that abstinence from sexual activity until marriage is the only sure way to avoid out-of-wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and other health problems.

In his fiscal year 2006 budget unveiled last month which drastically slashed spending on hundreds of other social programmes, Bush proposed increasing funding for abstinence by US$39 million to US$206 million, rising to US$270 million by 2008.
Meanwhile President Bush proposed cutting an array of programs. As has been reported:
In spite of criticism over the proposed cuts, President Bush insists that programs being affected by these reductions are those that have already proven themselves to be ineffective and shown chronically disappointing results.
So how is it possible that abstinence education should receive increasing amounts of funds when evidence shows it to be ineffective? Once again research is showing abstinence education to be ineffective and dangerous for young people:
In fact, the study participants who made the virignity pledges contracted STDs at the same rate as their peers who had not pledged. The pledgers were less likely to use condoms to prevent STDs, and they were less likely to seek medical testing and treatment, increasing possibility of transmission, the researchers found.
Bill Smith, President of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), had this to say about the recently released study:
"Not only do virginity pledges not work to keep our young people safe, they are causing harm by undermining condom use, contraception and medical treatment," says Smith. "Enough is enough. It is time for lawmakers to stop pushing their ideological agenda at the expense of young people and fund comprehensive and medically accurate sexuality education programs that work," Smith urges.
Once again the Bush Administration with its Republican cohorts has advanced archaic abstinence programs that are ineffective and dangerous to the youth of America. Even under their criteria for budget inclusion, they should be cut!

As reported during the past campaign, President Bush's position on sex education:
Opposes federal funding for comprehensive sex education. Has authorized federal funding for abstinence programs only.
And Senator Kerry? His position:
Supports federal funding for comprehensive sex education, including but not limited to abstinence.
Senator Kerry, America is calling to you to keep us from sliding back into the Dark Ages. We have leaders in Washington who oppose modern health practices, sex education, evolution, and scientific investigation! Keep that door open for 2008! Our future and the health of America's youth depends on it!



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