• invalid-0

    William-

    Although I rarely agree with any of your opinions, this post is a bit more fair than i’m used to. There are clear ideological differences in the first few states that rejected Title V, however, I think this current trend of states dropping out has more to do with the fact that the program is administratively a nightmare for coordinators, due to the uncertainty of its future. That being said, I don’t think we would see as much drop-out due to opposing ideologies had there not been this problem.

    Secondly, as a supporter of abstinence-until-marriage (by the way, I find it offensive that critics label these programs abstinence-only-until-marriage, that is a political, incorrect label), I have personally witnessed campaigns by SIECUS to publicly bash abstinence education. One such campaign occurred about a year and a half ago, when SIECUS was giving workshops in communities with Shelby Knox. I attended the event, and it was all about the dangers of fear-based abstinence education. There was little to say about the benefits of comprehensive sex ed.

    just find it amazing that while you and SIECUS cry “foul” at campaigns like the NAEA’s Parents for Truth, you engage in the same smear-based rhetoric.

  • william-smith

    Of the total number of states no longer participating, only a handful are out for the administrative reasons that you speculate may be the rationale.  Suggesting otherwise is yet more evidence of the desperate grasping at straws that marks attempts to save the abstinence-only-until-marriage industry.  The vast majority are out, publicly, for more principled reasons, namely that the programs do not work and young people deserve the entire gamut of information.  Thus, there is a clear and public trend that this program is crumbling not because of the short term extensions — themselves an indication that the Congress has its own problems with the program — but because Governors have had enough of the nonsense.

  • invalid-0

    Is it worth it to ask our governor to not accept Title V?

  • william-smith

    Governors — even  the most socially conservative in the most conservative states — need to hear from their constituents on this.  You may find the following website useful http://www.nomoremoney.org which also has a take action button.  You might also view our SIECUS State Profiles on our website http://www.siecus.org to gain a greater knowledge of the state of ab-only in your own state and to determine which friendly organizations may be mobilized on this issue in your state.  If all else fails, feel free to be in direct touch with SIECUS’ Public Policy Office in Washington, DC.

  • invalid-0

    William-

    Let’s examine the facts here. Before June, 13 States had opted out of Title V for “principled” reasons. Now, about 22, soon to be about 24, are opting out. Although we can’t say for certain what every State’s number one motivation is, I think your view that only a handful are doing so for administrative reasons is a somewhat biased opinion.

    In the last year, more evidence has come out to support abstinence education, including evaluations of successful programs in Virginia and South Carolina. There will be more to come as time goes on; the major problem with Title V is not abstinence education per se, but a lack of a coordinated effort by politicians and bureacrats in running the program.

    Government-run programs like CBAE and OPA’s Abstinence education demonstration grants have been run successfully, since 1981 and 2000, respectfully. These grants have been a major success, in part, due to a coordinated government-led effort.

    Politicians are the reason why these states can’t get what they need; it’s not the programs, as you would suggest.

  • william-smith

    I’ll encourage you to read our research to be released in July that is based on direct conversations with those in-the-know in the states about why they have withdrawn from the program.  My comments are based on this research, not mere speculation.

     

    Additionally, after more than 25 years and $1.5 billion and you have two highly questionable studies to tout? 

     

    Did you know that the Virginia study looked at 7th graders, few of whom would transition to sex regardless of the intervention?  Did you know that the control group received basically nothing even approaching real sex education but merely a few videos?  Finally, did you know this same program tells students that they can contract HIV from skin to skin contact?  This particular program was so poor that it cannot even be purchased anymore and is out of print.  I ‘d hardly tout this as a basis for an increased investment in an approach that every major public health entity in this country and around the world has failed to support.

     

    For the SC study, I assume you refer to another study by Dr. Weed that to this day has not been published in a reputable peer-reviewed journal, but only presented at a conference hosted by the Bush Administration to prop up this failed approach.  This study itself has far too many holes to explain here but I will refer you to our website for additional information (http://www.siecus.org).

     

    The reason the abstinence-only-until-marriage industry is in crisis is because the research is clearly showing the programs do not work and there is an increasing realization that there are profound ethical and moral issues with denying young people the information they need to make good, responsible decisions. 

     

    So, please stop blaming politicians for failing to continue to write blank checks.  They have financed this billion-dollar plus boondoggle for more than a quarter century.

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