6 December 2004

Sexual misedjumication

Pinko Feminist Hellcat discusses the recent abstinence-only sex education, criticizing moronic memes such as the idea that abortion can lead to suicide, that half the gay male teenagers in the United States have tested positive for the AIDS virus, and that touching a person's genitals can result in pregnancy. She especially lambasts the materials that contrast male need for sexual fulfillment with women's need for financial support.

Beyond the sheer idiocy of the abstinence-only program, there's the simple fact that it doesn't work. According to Advocates for Youth, "A review of ten state evaluations of these abstinence-only programs, which teach teens only to “say no,” finds no long-term success in delaying sexual initiation or reducing sexual risk-taking behaviors. An independent analysis of recent federal data also shows little reduction in teens’ sexual risk behavior nationwide since the federal abstinence-only initiative began."

Then there's this from Planned Parenthood: "Abstinence-only sexuality education doesn't work. There is little evidence that teens who participate in abstinence-only programs abstain from intercourse longer than others. When they do become sexually active, though, they often fail to use condoms or other contraceptives. Meanwhile, students in comprehensive sexuality education classes do not engage in sexual activity more often or earlier, but do use contraception and practice safer sex more consistently when they become sexually active (AGI, 2003, Jemmott, et al., 1998; Kirby, 1999; Kirby, 2000; NARAL, 1998)."

Planned parenthood is to be commended for connecting the current abstinece-only program with the right-wing attack on constitutional rights and the religious right's agenda. Also check out the Washington Post article and the post on At Ease.

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