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If Hypocrisy Were an Olympic Event…..

James Wagoner hopes that everyone saw the stinging blurb in Roll Call yesterday on our wayward friend, Senator Vitter, and his adamant support for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs.

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Beyond Shame: Democrats Sell Out Youth

Today, the House Democrats will waltz into the mark-up of the Labor HHS Subcommittee and proudly present a bill that puts their stamp of approval on domestic abstinence-only-until-marriage programs.

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Abstinence-Only a Failure: Spotlight Now on Democrats in Congress

James Wagoner is the President of Advocates For Youth.

The release of the 10-year evaluation of abstinence-only-until-marriage programs on Friday (if you can call the posting of the report on an obscure government website on a Friday afternoon a "release"), puts a big, bright spotlight on Democrats in Congress, particularly the appropriators.

Congress asked for this evaluation back in 1997. Do these programs work to protect young people? Ten years and over $1.5 billion dollars later, they got their answer. No, they don't. Period.

Now, you might be wondering why Congress went ahead and spent all that money over all those years with no evidence of effectiveness? You might wonder why Congress didn't halt these programs after the Institute of Medicine, the nation's leading authority on public health, called for their elimination back in 2000 or when the Society of Adolescent Medicine reported that the efficacy of abstinence-only programs was "near zero."

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Media Watch: ABC’s Desperate Hypocrisy

James Wagoner is the President of Advocates For Youth.

It's no secret that ABC hosts one of the most popular shows on television, Desperate Housewives. It's also no secret that the show's popularity is driven in large part by sex—lots and lots of sex. All kinds of sex! [img_assist|nid=2640|title=Desperate Housewives|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=219|height=165]Connected and unconnected; protected and unprotected; healthy and unhealthy; bonded and unbonded. Well, you get the point.

What few people realize, however, is that ABC's "anything goes" approach to the show's content stands in stark contrast to the network's policy of censorship when it comes to the show's advertising. While the network relies on sexual content to propel ratings, it bans the advertising of condoms around the show!

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Rights, Respect, Responsibility: Why Vision Matters

James Wagoner is the President of Advocates For Youth.

Robert F. Kennedy once said, "Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not." I like this quote because it challenges those of us working in the reproductive health field to ask the vision question – – the question that begins with "why not?"

Why not a society where young people are valued rather than stereotyped, prized as assets rather than discounted as liabilities? Why not a society where sexuality is viewed as a normal, positive aspect of being human, of being alive, rather than as forbidden fruit to be locked away in a fortress of shame, fear, and denial? [img_assist|nid=2088|title=Watch the Video|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=144|height=93]Why not a society where public policy is based on science and research rather than politics and ideology? Why not a society where values, morality, and character are used to infuse sexuality with meaning – with its truly human dimension – rather than misused to deny young people information that could one day save their lives.

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Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage: A Wedge Issue Among Conservatives?

James Wagoner is President of Advocates for Youth.

Recently, people were stunned when they learned that the new Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) guidelines for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs encouraged grantees to target unmarried adults up to the age of 29.

With the government's own center of health statistics documenting that over 95% of adults in their late 20's have already had sex, public disbelief quickly turned to outright disdain for a government program that seemed to be so drastically – and willfully – out of touch with reality.

As participants in the effort to draw attention to this "29-year-old-virgin campaign", my colleagues and I were surprised to discover that conservative talk radio hosts were among the more outraged audiences. They were all over this story and eager to discuss how the campaign violated core conservative values by promoting big government, wasteful spending, and intrusion into personal choice. Oh, and I shouldn't leave out the "just plain nuts" reaction either.

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