New York’s Guttmacher Institute followed school sex-ed programs nationwide for seven years and confirmed what many already know: that abstinence-only programs aren’t working. Over a billion dollars in federal funding has been poured into programs that promote the belief that premarital sex is harmful and that sexual activity should be reserved for a monogamous marriage relationship. Comprehensive sex education has gone by the wayside as programs with more wide-ranging curricula have been eliminated in favor of programs that focus on abstinence. Bush even appointed a guy named Eric Keroack to be head of family planning at the Department of Health and Human Services–let’s call this guy the Virginity Czar–who was previously associated with a group that believes that the wide availability of birth control is demeaning to women (!?!?!?!?).
47 states have given into the Bush administration’s zeal to promote abstinence-only programs in order to receive federal funds. Only California, Pennsylvania, and Maine are brave enough to go it alone: California’s program includes a mandate that districts teach about contraception and STD prevention, a polar opposite of the current mainstream programs.
One researcher noted the contrast between California and Texas, two states with similar population breakdowns. With comprehensive sex-ed in California schools, teen pregnancies dropped by nearly half in twelve years, the second highest decrease in the US. Under Texas’s abstinence only program, pregnancies decreased by 19%, the second lowest decrease. And another expert points out that even in California, kids still believe the same dumb crap about pregnancy and STD prevention (“you can’t get pregnant your first time!”, etc.). Imagine what kind of nonsense kids are going to start believing in states where comprehensive sex ed isn’t allowed.