Yesterday, President Obama struck a blow to the abstinence-only community, cutting ALL of their funding streams in his new 2010 budget. Obama made it clear that our government should no longer fund these failed programs that promote misinformation, misogyny, discrimination and, of course, juggling and cinder block wielding abstinence clowns.

And the response from these abstinence-only organizations has ranged from angry to completely unhinged.
[…]
I’m sure you’re asking yourself, “what evidence”? The independent government-funded Mathematic study revealing the failure of abstinence-only programs? Rigorous reviews from both Advocates for Youth, and the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, have identified which sex education programs are effective – and not one abstinence-only program made the cut. So the NAEA has been in panic mode.

Their strategy has been two-fold: (1) rebrand themselves as something other than abstinence-only (they’re now “holistic” and comprehensive), and (2) ignore and dismiss all independent studies showing their failure and pretend that research shows that abstinence-only works.
[…]
Fortunately, President Obama didn’t buy the spin. But this isn’t stopping the NAEA, as they immediately sent out an action alert to contact Congress and force them to sneak funding for abstinence-only programs back into the budget, using the same rhetoric.

There’s a certain irony about a right-wing group complaining about the elimination of government funding for something that many on the right feel should be a subject dealt with only by parents.




  1. Buzz says:

    It’s nice to know that the feeling of “It doesn’t work, so we are not going to throw more money at it,” is alive in Washington.

    Let’s just hope that idea is applied broadly.

  2. gooddebate says:

    #59 Yes, and the death rate is astonishingly high when someone is shot “properly”. I think that you should look at a method as a whole, as in of the people that intended on using condoms, what is the pregnancy and std rate? But hey, why reduce these things to statistics. One person getting an std is too many, right?

    Here’s an analogy of the principle; how do you prevent nuclear annihilation? As the movie War Games so eloquently pointed out the answer is to ‘not play’.

    Because we’ve forgotten what personal freedom is we get into an argument of the merits of a truism. We should be free to annihilate ourselves if we want or decide whether to fund the teaching of a valuable principle. I mean, I can certainly live in a society that doesn’t have funded abstinence programs; or one that does. But no, instead the left actually attacks the ‘principle’ as if it wasn’t true.

  3. Olo Baggins of Bywater says:

    Scott…at the bottom of the link I posted earlier are some reports, the only good thing noted by researchers is that the kids pressure each other while attending the class (during the day) to avoid sexual activity (at night). It’s psychological education, not informational.

    http://avert.org/abstinence.htm

  4. natefrog says:

    Re: All comments by Paddy-O and Alfred1

    [Citation Needed]

  5. LDA says:

    # 57 Misanthropic Scott

    Are you suggesting no-one ever abstained from sex for any period of time, didn’t get pregnant and didn’t get sick? I know such people.

    If a tree falls in a forest and a scientist doesn’t hear it and can’t submit a report for peer review, did it make a sound?

    Regardless this took one search and a non-extremist reading of the article (not just the headline). I have not gone to the trouble of searching for the actual study (better things to do and all that)…

    telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1535684/Success-of-abstinence-in-cutting-teen-pregnancies-is-a-myth.html

    Title – “Success of abstinence in cutting teen pregnancies is a ‘myth’.”

    “Researchers from Columbia University and the Guttmacher Institute examined the relative roles of abstinence and contraceptive use in the “remarkable decline” in US teenage pregnancy rates, which dropped 27 per cent from 1991 to 2000.”

    “They said that 86 per cent of the decline in teenage pregnancy was due to improved use of contraception.”

    My preferred method of education. Very successful.

    “Only 14 per cent of the drop amongst 15- to 19-year-olds was linked to reduced sexual activity, according to the study, published in the latest edition of the American Journal of Public Health.”

    14 percent is much better than I had imagined and that is from reduced, not no sexual activity. Better than nothing (as I said).

    Regardless my original point was about extremists on both sides not the benefits of fundamentalist Christian views on sex education. That point I think has been adequately demonstrated by this discussion.

    I will let you have the last word if you wish he who claims to hate man but offers no peer reviewed scientific proof.

  6. gooddebate says:

    #63 Of all the questions here’s the only one that matters, “Is it realistic to encourage abstinence until marriage?”

    Your answer to this question is the foundation to your argument. I couldn’t care less about the abstinence or comprehensive sex program in my family. All of you who answer the question ‘no’, what do you tell your children? Probably the same thing as I do; no matter what you do you’re still my child. However if you want the best chance at a happy life then… Not guarantee, best chance.

    I would tell my child to look to see if their friend has their best interest at heart. Are you giving away something that you can’t get back to someone who is playing games and lacks maturity. When it comes right down to it, sex between teens brings emotional pain; just listen to your teens stories.

    I don’t care what the rest of society is doing. Go ahead and prove to me that you can’t have a happy life if you wait. When you get down to showing your child I doubt you’d really say, ‘hey, I know it’s unrealistic to tell you not to have sex, so…’ Most parents at least say that it’s not a good idea.

    If you answer the question no, then I’d encourage you to ask yourself if that’s because you want to be able to argue that sex with anyone is ok because if you carry that opinion our to it’s end that’s what you will be saying.

  7. Olo Baggins of Bywater says:

    #66, realistic to encourage it, absolutely. But if the question is whether it’s realistic to expect it, the answer is a resounding no.

    My perspective is policy within a school, and from a policy standpoint what matters is that the average marriage age is something like 30, and the average first-time sex age is 15-16, plus we look at STD rates among key age groups. We also were required to survey parents about their expectations.

    As for my own kids, you and I are pretty much on the same page.

  8. #65 – LDA,

    Are you suggesting no-one ever abstained from sex for any period of time, didn’t get pregnant and didn’t get sick? I know such people.

    No. I’m suggesting that advocating such behavior and doing nothing else is completely and utterly ineffective. Anything that relies on humans being different than humans are will never work.

    If a tree falls in a forest and a scientist doesn’t hear it and can’t submit a report for peer review, did it make a sound?

    Not one worth considering as scientific evidence, no.

    Regardless this took one search and a non-extremist reading of the article (not just the headline). I have not gone to the trouble of searching for the actual study (better things to do and all that)…

    telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1535684/Success-of-abstinence-in-cutting-teen-pregnancies-is-a-myth.html

    Did you read the article? It supports my case. Abstinence only is utterly ineffective.

    14 percent is much better than I had imagined and that is from reduced, not no sexual activity. Better than nothing (as I said).

    Barely better than nothing. But, I’ll concede the point. There is one study that actually showed some effect. Remember though, not a 14% reduction in pregnancies, just that 14% of the 27% reduction was from reduced sexual activity, or a mere 3.7%.

    Remember too, that numerous studies have shown that quality sex ed reduces sexual activity. So, perhaps this reduction is from real valid sex ed, as is the contraceptive use. Perhaps little or none of even that 3.7% redux is from abstinence only.

    As with any scientific study, we must reproduce the results. That said, I will acknowledge a maximum of 3.7% reduction in teen pregnancy from abstinence only and a minimum 23% reduction in teen pregnancy from real sex ed.

    Where would you spend our limited dollars?

    Regardless my original point was about extremists on both sides not the benefits of fundamentalist Christian views on sex education. That point I think has been adequately demonstrated by this discussion.

    Thank you!! You have now made this point better than I ever could have hoped to. Abstinence only training is indeed, as you say, federally funded fundamentalist Christian training. This is an unconscionable way to spend money in a country whose government “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”. I could never have hoped to make this point as well as you just did for me. Thank you again.

    I will let you have the last word if you wish he who claims to hate man but offers no peer reviewed scientific proof.

    Are you looking for scientific proof that I hate our species? Or, did you miss the peer reviewed paper I cited in post #48?

    I don’t need the last word … unless you admit that I’ve made my point and you concede that we should not spend federal money on fundamentalist Christian indoctrination.

  9. #66 gooddebate,

    When I was 16, I looked about 10. I felt far more pain from lack of sex than from the little I got. Everyone is different.

  10. LDA says:

    # 68 Misanthropic Scott

    “No. I’m suggesting that advocating such behaviour and doing nothing else is completely and utterly ineffective.”

    You temper your extreme view later in your post to “better than nothing”, which was my original point, so we agree, mostly ineffective therefore “better than none”.

    “Thank you!! You have now made this point better than I ever could have hoped to…”

    I am pleased you suggest I have made your point (which we clearly share) better than you ever could have hoped to (although I am sure you are being overly modest). I made it in my first post “Extremists everywhere.” = fundamentalist Christians (our point) and fundamentalist non-Christians (the second half of my point).

    “Remember though, not a 14% reduction in pregnancies, just that 14% of the 27%”

    I know, I quoted that point specifically.

    “I don’t need the last word… unless you admit that I’ve made my point and you concede that…”

    I did not mean you would insist on having the last word just that I did not feel that I needed to either due to the fact that this post has gone on for ever (largely because of our spacious posts).

    “Where would you spend our limited dollars?” & “concede that we should not spend federal money on fundamentalist Christian indoctrination.”

    I would choose (for myself not others) a comprehensive approach outside of state education by parents, friends and professionals. I agree (even though I was not debating the point) that citizens should democratically and constitutionally decide what their tax dollars are spent on and that religious regulating / funding is currently illegal under the magnificent but greatly infringed Constitution. This does not negate my point as no form of education is dependant on Federal (or State) funding, parents, friends or G.P.’s etc. could do it without governmental funding. I do not however like the idea of the 51% of the extremists (who voted) that are currently (bankers-stooges) or have previously (faux-Christians) been in government dictating personal choices to the rest which is why the Bill of Rights & Constitution, if followed, are two of the best legal documents ever created. As I understand it the federal government does not have the authority to and therefore should not fund any of this whether religiously based or not (unless the Constitution is altered to give it the authority). I do agree that “we should not spend federal money on fundamentalist Christian indoctrination” which I assume is an extreme way of referring to the abstinence-only programs. I was never pro-Federal funding (for either method) I was hoping to convince fellow open-minded travellers that if any strategy helps even one person (or 3.7% of people) that we should not take the extremist / fundamentalist view that it should be excluded (or exclusively used) to counter the problem.

    P.S. I did miss the peer reviewed paper you cite regarding your claimed state of misanthrōpos in post # 48, my apologies, I will now study it diligently. More seriously if I interpret the motivation behind your posts accurately I would suggest no peer reviewed paper could convince me you hate man.

  11. LDA,

    The peer reviewed post shows that one can devise an education system that will delay sexual activity and increase safe sex when sexual activity begins. It shows what one can do with an objective study of the real situation. The answer they come up with is very far from abstinence only.

    As for my misanthropic bent, I will say that there is no peer reviewed study showing that I am indeed a misanthrope. I could give you a wealth of studies showing the reasons for my misanthropy.

    I will say this about it though since I have not made the point on this site in many months, I do hate our species. I do not hate all individuals of our species.

    My hatred of our species is due to what humans have done to the biosphere of this planet. We have truly earned our place in history as the cause of the sixth great extinction, having already beaten out the prior extinction event that took out the non-avian dinosaurs.

    And, we’re not done causing death and destruction everywhere we go yet.

    We may still beat out the Permian/Triassic extinction 250 million years ago, the current record holder for percentage of species lost.

  12. Mr. Fusion says:

    Cow-Patty,

    Where is that documentation that properly used condoms don’t prevent pregnancies?

  13. #72 – Mr. Fusion,

    You can’t seriously be expecting it. Nor can you seriously be expecting a blog troll to admit he’s wrong.

    A condom that is used properly and does not prevent pregnancy is called defective or broken.

    Even Cow-Patty-For-Brains knows that if he thinks about it for a minute. The problem is he rarely thinks before he types.

  14. ECA says:

    51,
    Agreed..
    SCARE them with TRUTH.
    SCARE them about having to take care of a CHILD.

    For the rest of you:
    STD’s are interesting..
    VERY VERY VERY few are born with one.
    but SOME HOW, someone HAS to take a sample of the bucket out there. SOME OLD person had to DO THE THING(by hook or crook) with a kid, to get it started.
    I was amazed to find the SMALL town I live in has a 30% STD for the teens.
    so just THINKING about that. HOW many ADULTS had a DIP in the teen pool, to spread this so widely..because I DOUBT that 1 kids has spread it to 30% of the OTHER school kids.

  15. LDA says:

    # 71

    I thought you were joking about the link (and it did not work the first time I tried) but I have read it know.

    “I do hate our species. I do not hate all individuals of our species”

    That’s a bit of a downer, but I can empathise with your nihilism (I have been known to slip into it myself). I agree with your death and destruction statement but our evolution into highly advanced beings (relatively) has also brought beautiful and spectacular achievements and experiences. Enjoy the good bits, unfortunately I think your pessimism (realism if you are correct) about the bad may be well founded.

    I think the fact that you are sharing your thoughts here shows you have not completely given up on the species. I haven’t either.

  16. #75 – LDA,

    You’re correct. I have not totally given up. Correcting our ways would be the only way to save many of the species I find far more beautiful than our own.

    So, here I am … hoping to spread better memes.

  17. Mr. Fusion says:

    #73, Scott,

    Very true, but it usually shuts him up.

  18. #77 – Mr. Fusion,

    Yes. Or, even more likely to jump threads and pretend the conversation never happened.

  19. Norske Guy says:

    ya think there’s hope we can dump about 4000 more idiotic govt programs now.


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