Monday, December 29, 2008

How Much More Research Do We Need Before We Have the Courage to Do Away with Zealot Wingers Abstinence Only Programs?

If President Barack Obama is looking to save budget money by doing away with ineffective programs, then make sure Abstinence Only is finally deep sixed immediately. This is an industry based on fantasy, faith and religion. It’s over, and the groups that have made a business of it need to go away forever. MSNBC reported it this way:

Teenagers who pledge to remain virgins until marriage are just as likely to have premarital sex as those who do not promise abstinence and are significantly less likely to use condoms and other forms of birth control when they do, according to a study released today by Janet E. Rosenbaum of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, whose report appears in the January issue of the journal Pediatrics. The percentage who took precautions against pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases was 10 points lower for pledgers than for non-pledgers. Rosenbaum said "It does seem to make a difference in condom use and other forms of birth control that is quite striking."

The study is the latest in a series that have raised questions about programs that focus on encouraging abstinence until marriage, including those that specifically ask students to publicly declare their intention to remain virgins. This study again raises the issue of why the federal government is continuing to invest in abstinence-only programs," said Sarah Brown of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. James Wagoner of the advocacy group Advocates for Youth agreed: "The Democratic Congress needs to get its head out of the sand and get real about sex education in America."

Proponents of such programs, however, dismissed the study as flawed and argued that programs that focus on abstinence go much further than simply asking youths to make a one-time promise to remain virgins. "It is remarkable that an authorwho employs rigorous research methodology would then compromise those standards by making wild, ideologically tainted and inaccurate analysis regarding the content of abstinence education programs," said Valerie Huber of the National Abstinence Education Association.

Prove it Valerie Huber. Examples? And not from some faith based studies.

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