TITLE

Abstinence-only programs fall short of education goals

PUB. DATE
December 2004
SOURCE
Nation's Health;Dec2004/Jan2005, Vol. 34 Issue 10, p23
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This article presents the findings of a review conducted by the U.S. Sexuality Information and Education Council regarding the abstinence-only programs in the U.S. as of December 2004. Federally-funded abstinence-only education is often misleading and inaccurate. The review looked at six popular curricula for abstinence-only programs taught to schoolchildren nationwide. While the reviewed programs vary, council researchers found all were based on religious beliefs, rely on fear and shame, omit important information, include inaccurate information and present stereotypes and biases as fact. A congressional report prepared for U.S. Representative Henry Waxman in December 2004 uncovered similar findings about abstinence-only programs. According to the Waxman report, many federally funded abstinence programs contain false health information and blur the line between religion and science. The federal government has invested nearly $620 million in abstinence-only-until-marriage education programs, according to the council. In the fiscal year 2005 budget bill, passed by U.S. Congress in December, $104.5 million was allocated for community-based abstinence education. However, no evidence shows such programs have any long-term impact on adolescents' sexual behavior. Some studies have actually shown a more comprehensive sexual education approach results in youth delaying the onset of sexual intercourse, reducing the number of sexual partners and increasing contraception use.
ACCESSION #
15490986

 

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