Parents Waking Up to Dangerous Content of Many Abstinence-Only Programs

There is a significant backlash brewing against the ill-conceived and dangerous "abstinence-only" policies of the Bush Administration, and the best news is that it is bubbling up from those most impacted, parents who are frightened for their children's health and well being.

An excellent new report from the Sexuality Information and Education Coalition of the United States (SIECUS) is out today, updating their annual stats on Abstinence-Only policies state-by-state. You can read thier press release here. Also, the New York Times reports on an effort stalled in that state to promote improved comprehensive sexuality education, and the Providence Journal opines about social conservatives and their Deadly Obsession with Virgnity.

This issue is one more example of how conservative ideologues refuse compromise and use carefully nuanced language to appeal to parents worst fears, when in reality, the abstinence-only policies that sound so good, are doing nothing to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, and keep teens uninformed and at risk as a result. The RH Reality Check Issue Breif on Sexuality Education has many helpful links and more background on this issue.

Give credit where its due, the inclusion of abstinece as a focus has helped delay sexual activity and reduce the number of sexual partners young people have, but having it as the only focus has left teens uninformed about their responsibilities to themselves and to their partners with repsect to sexually transmitted diseases. That puts normal red-blooded, hormone-raging teens at unecessary risk because of dangerous ideology that refuses to acknowledge the limitations of their ideas.

Parents in some of the reddest of red states are seeing that conservatives are not pro-family, they are anti-reality, and these parents are living and raising their children in the real world, and want them equipped with information that is useful, honest, and respectful.

Its time the administration pull its head out of the sand on abstinece-only and start working with public health professionals to promote comprehensive sexuality education, and the best way to start is to redirect the more than $800 million tax dollars spent on flawed abstinence-only policies to Bush cronies, to proven public health programs that work.

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