Burying Release of Abstinence Only Report on Friday the 13th Seems Fitting


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.

In 1996, the federal government attached a provision to the welfare reform law establishing a federal program for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. This program, Section 510(b) of Title V of the Social Security Act, dedicated $50 million per year to be distributed among states that choose to participate. States accepting the funds are required to match every four federal dollars with three state-raised dollars (for a total of $87.5 million annually, and $787.5 million for the eight years from fiscal year 1998 through 2006). Programs that receive the Title V funding are prohibited from discussing methods of contraception, including condoms, except in the context of failure rates.

On a call yesterday organized by the Abstinence Clearinghouse, abstinence-only proponents were clearly rocked by the potentially ruinous news in the report. High profile abstinence-only advocate, Robert Rector, led the preemptive damage-control planning. He outlined several strategies the abstinence-only movement could use to rationalize the findings in the report saying, “The other spin I think is very important is not [program] effectiveness, but rather the values that are being taught,” Rector said. Whether or not these programs work is a “bogus issue,” Rector continued.

Noting that the study was posted on a Government web-site with no press release or advisory, Wagoner said: “The ‘stealth release’ of this study on an obscure government website on a Friday afternoon is clearly meant to bury its contents. But policy makers must now know that funds for these programs must now be eliminated”.

Citing the fact that the Institute of Medicine, the nation’s leading health authority, had called for the elimination of these programs back in 2000, Wagoner said: “Congress must now move to de-fund these programs. Anything short of eliminating these programs would be a dereliction of its duty to promote public health and protect young people in the era of AIDS”.

Tune in next week for more coverage of this report.

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  • invalid-0

    And they say we’re all a bunch of tax-and-spend liberals?!

  • ellen-marshall

    I love the reaction: "This study began when (the programs) were still in their infancy," said Valerie Huber, executive director of the National Abstinence Education Association. "The field of abstinence has significantly grown and evolved since that time and the results demonstrated in the Mathematica study are not representative of the abstinence education community as a whole."

    Nevermind that they supported dumping millions of tax dollars into the programs when they were "in their infancy".

    Nevermind that there is no evidence that once these programs grew beyond infancy that they work.

    Guess that in 2002 when Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation said "In the near future, many additional evaluations that demonstrate the effectiveness of abstinence education will become available," that he didn't mean the Mathematica study.

    Here's to more evidence to support ending the program. Let's get our tax dollars put to use investing in information and services that work, instead.

  • invalid-0

    As a parent, I hold Mr. Bush and his out-of-touch, religiously self-righteous, ignoramus circle to blame for the explosive increase in unprotected oral and anal sex among our precious teens. Most teens know that they can’t get pregnant that way; after all, it’s not really “sex” in the traditional sense. “Non-sex” doesn’t require birth control, right? WRONG!!

    By trying to “teach” our teens to avoid sex and thereby eliminate the need to talk about birth control and all the unwanted pregnancies and disgraceful abortions that obviously go along with out-of-wedlock sex, Mr. Bush & Co. created the worst teen STD epidemic imaginable. Now we know it didn’t change a thing in the statistics they were so concerned with. Along with the increase in non-traditional male-female “non-sexual” intercourse is an increase in teen transmission of the nastiest incurable STDs that would have been avoided had the teens simply learned to properly use condoms in a traditional manner. Just like their sad history of avoiding supportable facts and truths, the Bush Administration pushed their out-of-touch agenda on all of our nations’ kids and now many are sporting nasty herpes sores and incurable infection all over their bodies as their personal war wounds from another one of Mr. Bushes failed wars. Shame on you Mr. Bush! I’ll bet you are really proud of your additional “War President” historical record.

    JeffAtoms

  • invalid-0

    “Education” programs like this are the only hope for keeping the Grand Old Party alive.

    Because the next generation will only vote for Republicans if the spirochetes have gotten into their brains.

    Metro
    http://metroblog.blogspot.com

  • invalid-0

    This comes just as the Baptist Press has announced that the movement is about to make further inroads into Africa:

    True Love Waits International will expand its abstinence-until-marriage message in six African countries, utilizing $950,000 in donor gifts…

    …Since its introduction in Uganda 13 years ago, True Love Waits has been a catalyst for bringing people together to address the AIDS problem and spread the message of biblical purity to schools, youth groups and communities. In the years that followed, Uganda’s HIV/AIDS infection rate dropped from 30 percent to about 6 percent of the country’s 25 million people.

    …Based on methodologies developed in Uganda, True Love Waits will establish an ongoing relationship with a key national champion in each African country who, in turn, will build a hierarchy of teams within the country.

    I’ve written a piece on the African dimension here.

  • invalid-0

    Its our party animal ex president Billy boy that has taught our young people that oral sex isn’t sex. Go read the transcripts moron. The mess on the dress demonstrates that no condom was used, what a fine man to look up to. You and your ilk will defend him to the end. It truly shows what a hypocrite you are!

  • invalid-0

    The “war on poverty” has wasted trillions…this is not even a drop in the bucket compared to that and it has been a total utter complete failure. If you want to focus on fiscal responsibility how bout starting there.

  • invalid-0

    This pregnancy rate will continue for a few more years because the administration will not admit to the failing of it’s plan and conservative school districts will not upgrade the health ed curriculums.

    These students will not get the necessary education they need.

  • invalid-0

    That’s just plain ridiculous.

  • invalid-0

    The abstinence-only programs are NOT only “Bush’s mess.” Note the date, in the main posting here:

    “In 1996, the federal government attached a provision to the welfare reform law establishing a federal program for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs.”

    1996. Bush had not yet stolen the presidency at that time. And Clinton was an advocate of abstinence-only programs. To dwell on his sexual conduct is an irrelevant distraction. It would make no difference if he had been utterly chaste; what counts is not his sexual conduct, but the destructive results of the programs he pushed. (Which were largely known even at the time.)

    To recognize what a pig Clinton was, and is, is not to minimize Bush’s evil at all. Bush is worse, and given what a thug Clinton was, that’s saying something.

  • invalid-0

    Obviously we are not spending enough money to defeat teenagers’ sex drive. These days $1.5B is nothing to win an important war, so we need some serious money, say $10B, put toward the Abstinence war. I am sure that this surge in funding will assure “victory”. We must support our teenagers by providing the money to enforce their moral behavior. The congress must immediately fund this program without any timelines or milestones which would only assure defeat.

  • invalid-0

    I don’t recall saying anything about Clinton. And how does being ashamed of Mr. Bush make me a hypocrit, much less a fan of Clinton? For that counterpart, are a moron.
    For the record, I don’t like Clinton, and I am not proud that he “soiled” the highest office in the land, not to mention the dress. Bill Clinton certainly embarrassed this nation and I am still disturbed by his behavior. The difference is that GW Bush & Co. are ruining the nation, not just embarrassing it! At least with Bill, he was sanctioned AND impeached when our federal government was balanced by three separate, but equal branches. King Bush on the other hand has systematically undermined the intended natural working of our government, disregarded our Constitution (look no further than his position with signing statements issue and ignore the rest of the reasons if you like) and he has consistently ignored supportable facts and chosen to go it alone and promote lies to support his illconceived policies. The sad thing is he appears to believe his own crap! Remember, this is a leader who doesn’t read the news! His ignorance of truth is consistent when it comes to the realities of teen sex. Because his puppeteers’ fear that teen sexual intercourse in the vagina might lead to unwanted pregnancies which will undoubtedly get his right-to-lifer followers into a twit (follow the money) they believe it is better that Bush and Co. remain ignorant and push it on the rest of us, all while claiming the moral high ground. By eliminating proper, and modern sex education and favoring the teachings of such issues as (un)Intelligent Design, his “ilk” are more than simply wrong, they are destroying our nation’s kids’ reproductive health and our nation’s future. There are plenty of studies that say that kids are engaging in far more anal and oral intercourse now than ever before and they are not using condoms to protect themselves from the transfer of disease. I don’t know about you, but I would rest a little safer knowing that our kids are having MORE properly protected sex in the right places than unprotected sex in the wrong places. The facts are the facts pal. Just because I think GW Bush is an idiot doesn’t make me a fan of Slick Willy, that’s silly! When it comes to blame for the inevitable outcome of Mr. Bush’s misguided sexual education polices, it certainly rests on the current president, not the former.

    JeffAtoms

  • invalid-0

    FYI, the only way HIV/AIDS infection rates can drop by a factor of 5 is for the population to increase from 25mm to 125mm or for 5/6 of the previously infected to DIE. The last time I checked, HIV/AIDS is for life. Check your facts please.

    RADMAN

  • invalid-0

    Once you tell kids to abstain from sex until marriage, you have already told them too much. What we need is more ignorance about sex, not less.
    http://jonswift.blogspot.com/2007/04/is-abstinence-only-sex-education-is-too.html

  • invalid-0

    It’s always been a war on the POOR. And it IS a waste of tax money. It’s just the same old bunch of elites trying to manufacture more “undeserving, lazy, sinful ‘lessers’” they can look down on. Nothing new here. They NEED to have poor people around. For one thing, THEY get the money that would have gone to the poor; for another, they get to pontificate on people being poor in “the richest land on Earth” (due to conditions they themselves set up).

    Pfui.

    Ian

  • invalid-0

    Have you turned the TV on lately? SEX is everywhere; 24×7. With role models like Britney Spears and Paris Hilton who present an image of “sluts who just want it” and common terminology like “We’re friends with benefits” we are fighting a losing battle by promoting ignorance. By the time kids move out of the house, 7 out of 10 college age kids are having “sexual relations.” Those are the facts. I grew up watching Leave it To Beaver and Gilligan’s Island, and even then the joke of the day was “Ginger or Maryanne?” Today, every single prime-time show is loaded with sex and violence, now they even “do it” on TV without showing the actual body parts-that’s the sad, standard of today’s Sex Education Policy. Our kids are curious when it’s in their faces on a daily basis. Promoting the ostrich in the sand is exactly what Bush did with public policy and it simply didn’t work.

    Raddams

  • invalid-0

    Both unfortunately and fortunately, politics requires compromise to get anywhere. Clinton was the only president to address the reality of gayness as mainstream, but his answer was still a compromise. Bush went one step further than compromise, he tried to roll the clock back and deny knowledge and truth.

  • invalid-0

    This was an amendment offered, ratified, and attached to a larger bill — spending on Social Security — that was not worth the kind of shutdown fight seen a year earlier, if Clinton vetoed it. Those who offered, attached, and voted for this provision were the right-wingers in charge of the Congress at the time. It is not Clinton’s mess, but thanks for trying to blame something else on him.

  • invalid-0

    I think you have misread (or not read) the report. There is nothing “abstinence only” about it. The groups surveyed got abstinence education in addition to normal sex education, not instead of it.

  • invalid-0

    …is like telling Dick Cheney to not crap in his Depends during his next heart attack. It’s gonna happen. Ever heard of a rainbow party?

  • invalid-0

    “…defeat teenagers’sex drive.”

    I haven’t read anything as nutty as that in awhile. The goal of education should be to present an individual with as much factual information (none of that unintelligent “intelligent design” nonsense), as they can take in, and let them make what will hopefully be an educated and informed (the two are not the same) decision.

    How can you defeat–or even what to, for that matter–behaviors so essentially to the human condition (that is, unless you enjoy the idea of raising a Stepford child).

    A war on sex. What an absurd concept. I am convinced that it could only be suggested by someone that clearly hates the human body–and secretly–themselves.

  • invalid-0

    I would like to support the idea of absinenace for young people. Young people should restrain themselves from having sex outside wedlock for the reason that they are not ready for a marriage commitment. Sex is for procreation and not for experiement.
    Many young people i have come across, they engage in sex for the pleasure of it and are not ready to accept responsibility once one gets preganacy.
    This abuse of sex has led to untold spread of HIV-AIDs which has affected many lives on the globe. My call to all adolescent of the world is that, do not engage yourself in sexual acts, firstly because it is morally bad, secondly the consequences are hazardous to the participants as well as the entire community and marriage is the right place for sexual acts. True love waits should be advocated to all youths and let them learn to control their sexual urgings without necessary experiementing.
    Brother Simeon Banda, Kasungu, Malawi.

  • invalid-0

    Not that I disagree with your basic points, but the post you are replying to is an ironic use of the Bush Administration’s rationale for the continuing occupation of Iraq/War on Terror.

  • invalid-0

    screw bush and clinton. I taught my children about sex and I also told them that I didn’t want them to engage in sex until they were mature enough and sure that they were ready (preferably after marriage…right- that’s going to happen!). When my son went to college, he got a bag of condoms packed in his suitcase and it was refilled every time he came home to visit. My daughter has chosen to wait until marriage, but she knows if she ever changes her mind or is seriously considering taking that step to talk to me first so we can make the necessary appointments. I’m not in LaLa land. It’s what we should all be doing to preempt that backward thinking person currently installed in the white house.

  • invalid-0

    …over your inability to overcome hundreds of thousands of years of biological evolution is a waste of time. How about trying to work with the natural paradigm instead of trying to pretend it’s realistic for girls to wait until after their natural childbearing age is over to get married and have families? Evolution/Mother Nature/God or whatever you want to call it has programmed kids to have sex from about age 15, so just get over it. If you want marriage as an ideal, then you’re going to have to admit that for all of recorded history until just recently, teenagers were expected to get married, have kids, learn trades, and be productive members of society. The modern paradigm thinks they can just wave their magic feminist wands and pretend that teenagers are children. They aren’t. This false paradigm was set up to prevent teens from competing economically with their elders, and has nothing to do with the natural cycle of maturity. Stop fighting it and work with nature. Women only have a few years to have children, then they have four or more decades to have a career. So how about admitting that girls should get married when nature intended, and then choose a career later? That solves two problems at once: unwed teen mothers and the heartbreaking infertility of the 30 and 40 somethings who bought the feminist lie.