Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Abstinence Education Faces an Uncertain Future

From the New York Times courtesy of

For the first time, however, Virginity Rules and 700 kindred abstinence education programs are fighting serious threats to their future. Eleven state health departments rejected abstinence education this year, while legislatures in Colorado, Iowa and Washington passed laws that could kill, or at least wound, its presence in public schools.

Opponents received high-caliber ammunition this spring when the most comprehensive study of abstinence education found no sign that it delayed a teenager’s sexual debut. And, after enjoying a fivefold increase in their main federal appropriations, the abstinence programs in June received their first cut in financing from the Senate appropriations committee since 2001.

here for the rest.

Okay, this is very good to hear, and another sign that the religious right's hypnotic grip on the government establishment is slipping away along with the Republican Party it has so long dominated. Abstinence based sex education was fucking retarded from the get-go. We now live, and have lived for decades, in a heavily sexualized culture that's not going away as long as everybody's making money from it. Pretending that we have the ability to socially re-engineer public attitudes about sex from the classroom in the face of 24/7 sexual media imagery has always been little more than wishful thinking, and dangerous, to boot, given the typical abstinence approach tendency to talk about condom use only in terms of greatly exaggerated failure rates.

Abstinence is stupid, anyway, and the whole thing is really about forcing unwanted religious attitudes down the throats of young Americans. That is, one could make a good argument that publicly financed abstinence based sex ed programs are unconstitutional in that they violate the wall of separation between church and state. You know, the first amendment.

Abstinence sex ed is nothing but trash, and the people who sponsor such drivel should go back to the trailer parks where they were raised.