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abstinence-only

 
 
au1929
 
Reply Mon 23 Apr, 2007 08:18 am
Another Bush policy bites the dust. It is amazing how wrong that dolt can be.





By Cheryl Wetzstein
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
April 23, 2007



After a 10-year run, federally funded "abstinence-only" education faces a reversal of fortunes this year.
Two recent studies -- one that found federally funded abstinence programs do not affect teenage sexual behavior and another that found that "almost all" American adults have sex before marrying -- are adding momentum to the argument that abstinence-only education is folly.
Advocates for Youth and its allies in comprehensive sex education plan to urge Congress to discredit abstinence-only education -- and its eight-point definition -- and replace it with programs that teach "abstinence plus contraception."
The federal study of four abstinence programs released last week "is where the state evaluations and other research lead us, which is that the abstinence-only approach doesn't work," said James Wagoner, the group's president. "I think it's time for Congress to defund these [abstinence-only] programs, turn away from this policy and support a policy that includes both abstinence and contraception. I think that's where common sense and public health leads us."
Mr. Wagoner and his allies will be watching House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John D. Dingell, Michigan Democrat, whose panel can decide not to renew the $50-million-a-year Title V abstinence education program that expires in June.
In addition, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry A. Waxman, the California Democrat who authored a scathing critique of abstinence programs in 2004, is expected to hold hearings on abstinence education this spring.
Supporters of abstinence education do not plan to lose any of the ground they have gained since 1996, when the Title V program was created in the welfare reform law.
They say America has tried contraceptive sex education, and teen pregnancy rates rose as a result. They say that talking about sexual abstinence and birth control in the same program sends mixed messages to teens, and the eight-point definition of abstinence -- which was created in the Title V program and is a core element of a larger abstinence funding stream -- is geared to make sure abstinence funding is used for intended programs.
Abstinence supporters have some champions in Congress, notably Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican. But many of their original backers are now out of office, and they are scurrying to find new allies. The National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA), which opened a Washington office in February, has been created to look after their members' interests.
The long-awaited Mathematica Policy Research Inc.'s evaluation of four federally funded abstinence programs released last week found that the programs made little or no difference in the sexual lives of students. Half of the students who received abstinence education abstained from sex, as did half the students who didn't receive abstinence education.
The study was criticized for reviewing abstinence programs that began in elementary school and offered little or no follow-up. More than 700 Title V-funded programs are operating and the abstinence education field has matured and improved, said Valerie Huber, executive director of the NAEA. In fact, she said, studies released at a Baltimore conference last month show that programs can help teens delay sexual activity, encourage sexually active teens to become abstinent again and persuade sexually active teens to limit their sexual partners.
To Mr. Wagoner, though, the Mathematica study, conducted for the Department of Health and Human Services, should be a "slam dunk" for ending abstinence education and its eight-point definition. With Democrats now in charge of Congress, he added, "the debate will be had."
A separate study on premarital sex, issued in the January/February issue of Public Health Reports by the Guttmacher Institute, should fuel the debate.
"Premarital sex is normal behavior for the vast majority of Americans, and has been for decades," said study author Lawrence Finer, who found that 95 percent of adults in the federal National Survey of Family Growth had sexual intercourse before they married. "This is reality-check research," said Mr. Finer, adding that the data challenged the idea that "abstinence until marriage" is "normative behavior."
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Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Apr, 2007 11:08 am
the hits keep on coming
...and the hits keep on coming!

I've followed politics and Presidency since about 1960 and I'm truly amazed...and not in a good way. This man (and his administration) are as consistent(ly wrong) as I've ever seen. Objectively, how can his supporters defend him?!
0 Replies
 
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Apr, 2007 01:54 pm
Quote:
Lawrence Finer, who found that 95 percent of adults in the federal National Survey of Family Growth had sexual intercourse before they married.


And the age group was...?

Laughing
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Apr, 2007 03:51 pm
They should just drop the sex education entirely. If we quit teaching these kids how to do it, maybe there won't be so many teenage parents.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Apr, 2007 03:54 pm
No roger, the next step will be chastity belts. All parents will get an
additonal tax break, of course.
0 Replies
 
au1929
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Apr, 2007 06:29 am
Roger

They do not have to teach teenagers how to do it. It comes naturally. The funds would be better spent teaching safe sex and how to prevent pregnancy than fighting the tide and wasting it on abstinence indoctrination. Which if Bush had an once of brains he would have known it was an exercise in futility.
0 Replies
 
Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Apr, 2007 06:35 am
roger wrote:
They should just drop the sex education entirely. If we quit teaching these kids how to do it, maybe there won't be so many teenage parents.


No, we need to teach them to do it SAFELY. Because they will do it regardless.
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Apr, 2007 07:58 am
roger wrote:
They should just drop the sex education entirely. If we quit teaching these kids how to do it, maybe there won't be so many teenage parents.


I disagree. I think that it is important to teach young people the ramifications of sexual contact. I don't believe in teaching abstinence, as it is an exercise in futility. What COULD be taught though, is respect for one's body, the emotional components of having sex at a young age, and the ability to withstand peer pressure.

Kids need to learn that having sex is a choice that should not be undertaken lightly. If they DO have sex, they need to know what the possibilities are, in both emotional and physical terms, and the danger of disease and unwanted pregnancy. There then needs to be a section on "safe sex", to round out the picture.
0 Replies
 
au1929
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Apr, 2007 08:17 am
I can't help reflect on the difference regarding social mores when I grew up and now. Having a child out of wedlock was a hush hush affair. Today it is something to announce to the world. Promiscuity was frowned upon today it is as common as having a good meal. What happened over the past 60 years to bring about this, as far as I am concerned,drastic and unwelcome change ?
0 Replies
 
OGIONIK
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Apr, 2007 08:19 am
one word. CONDOMS

seriously teaching abstinence is ridiculous sex is amazing and enlightening. how hard is it to be straight with your kids, tell them that if he puts his cock into that girl he might be having this same sex talk with his own kid soon so play it safe.
0 Replies
 
au1929
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Apr, 2007 08:23 am
OGIONIK wrote:
seriously teaching abstinence is ridiculous sex is amazing and enlightening. how hard is it to be straight with your kids, tell them that if he puts his cock into that girl he might be having this same sex talk with his own kid soon so play it safe.


Your choice of words amplifies what I am talking about.
0 Replies
 
OGIONIK
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Apr, 2007 08:31 am
is that a good thing or a bad thing? i could care less either way..
0 Replies
 
au1929
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Apr, 2007 08:33 am
OGIONIK wrote:
is that a good thing or a bad thing? i could care less either way..
im glad you noticed my lack of political correctness Smile


No what I noticed is your lack of respect.
0 Replies
 
OGIONIK
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Apr, 2007 08:39 am
respect for what?
0 Replies
 
Slappy Doo Hoo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Apr, 2007 08:44 am
We need to teach children in schools butt sex can not equal pregnancy, and that you remain a virgin.

I should become the spokesperson for sex education.
0 Replies
 
OGIONIK
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Apr, 2007 08:45 am
youd be on a better track than what they were teaching...
0 Replies
 
Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Apr, 2007 01:56 pm
Slappy Doo Hoo wrote:
We need to teach children in schools butt sex can not equal pregnancy, and that you remain a virgin.

I should become the spokesperson for sex education.


It's also not sex if he sticks it in your mouth.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Apr, 2007 02:37 pm
My daughter is in 5th grade, and they just started talking about
"family life" as they call sex education now. I am so glad that I have
explained everything to her by the age of nine, as this "family life"
education is a joke in itself.

If other industrial nations have succeeded in proper biology lessons
(and that's exactly what it is - part of biology) and teenage pregnancies
are virtually non-existent, then I wonder why the US is still struggling.
Why reinvent the wheel? Give them knowledge, give them power to
make the right decisions!
0 Replies
 
Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Apr, 2007 02:43 pm
CalamityJane wrote:


If other industrial nations have succeeded in proper biology lessons
(and that's exactly what it is - part of biology) and teenage pregnancies
are virtually non-existent, then I wonder why the US is still struggling.
Why reinvent the wheel? Give them knowledge, give them power to
make the right decisions!


Because people still insist that kids shouldn't know the technicalities of sex. Or the proper names for their sex organs.

My daughter will know she has a vagina, not a hooha or a vajayjay. She will know that boys have penises, not weiners or pee pees.

I think that kids should start learning age appropriate sex when they are still "too young" to know about it. And by too young I mean too young by so many people's standards. By 5-6 you should at least know the names of your body parts. I think by age 11-12 you should understand the basic mechanics of sex. So that when a girl starts her period, she isn't terrified of what is happening and understands and appreciates her body rather than hates and fears it.

Maybe I am to liberal but I think kids are way smarter than we give them credit for and besides, they will most likely hear that talk from their friends long before mom and dad tell them...and personally I want my kid to be the one with the right information.
0 Replies
 
 

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