Congress will soon be voting on whether to re-commit $87.5 million of our tax dollars to teaching abstinence.
Do you think their decision will be affected by the results of the study they themselves comissioned on the efficacy of teaching abstinence? Because those results were announced last week, and to cut to the chase, abstinence education doesn't work.
....Over the past decade, the federal government has spent about $1.5 billion on such efforts.
"They had no impact on the age of first sex. They had no impact on the number of partners. And they had no impact on reported rates of pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease," Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said in a statement following the release of the report by Mathematica Policy Research Inc. of Princeton, N.J., for the U.S. Administration for Children and Families.
But then we all knew that, didn't we? I mean, no one with a brain cell could possibly have imagined that telling kids "don't do that" will stop kids from doing that. Indeed, if you were ever a kid, you might recall that an adult telling you not to do something was sometimes the best reason to do it.
The whole abstinence fad is nothing but a way for religious zealots to stick their noses in other peoples' crotches. Calling it "abstinence education" doesn't make it educational. It has nothing to do with the facts about sex or the truth of human behavior, much less with a desire to genuinely help youngsters cope with the difficulties, dramas and challenges of adolscent hormones gone wild.
Spending American tax dollars deliberately to keep children as pig-ignorant about sex as former generations is a national educational disgrace. It proves, yet again, that religious fanatics will stop at nothing to destroy the separation of church and state, even when their own childrens' health and well-being are at risk.
Let the homeschoolers and parochial schoolers do as they please. But public education should be democratized: it is, after all, funded by Americans of all faiths and political leanings, for the sake of all the nation's children. Let's teach kids the scientific facts about sex. Let's give them the tools and the knowledge to make informed choices, to be smarter and safer about their health, to lead healthier lives and be better parents and marriage partners too.
Let's try something all-new in this country: let's try to educate our youth so their generation isn't as sexually screwed up as our own.