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Promoting Intimacy and Other-Centered Sexuality


 AASECT Takes Position on Abstinence -

Special Interest Lies with Public Funds

AASECT is the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, & Therapists, one of a handful of professional societies of American (and international) sexologists. Last fall its Board of Directors took the historic step of adopting a position favoring comprehensive sexuality education. Last month the board continued this appropriate move into the public policy arena, specifically responding to government suppression of healthy sexuality. To that end, it sent a letter to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, urging it to defeat new funding for abstinence-until-marriage school programs. Excerpts of that letter follow (emphasis added):

"The current law provides medically inaccurate information through unproven programs that are unrealistic and harmful to the heath of our youth...Since 1996, one-half billion of federal and state funds have been spent on these dangerous programs...

"The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Promote Sexual Health and Responsible Sexual Behavior stated that "informing adolescents about contraception does not increase adolescent sexual activity, either by hastening the onset of sexual intercourse, increasing the frequency of sexual intercourse, or increasing the numbers of sexual partners." Similarly, the latest report of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy found "there do not currently exist any abstinence-only programs with reasonably strong evidence that they actually delay the initiation of sex or reduce its frequency."

"Simple solutions to complex problems must be ended, as our youth deserve honest and balanced information to protect them from disease and the inherent poverty of early pregnancy."

With this letter, AASECT "comes out" as a voice of professional expertise. The government wouldn't dream of formulating health policy without guidance from the AMA. It's about time it stopped formulating sexological policy without the expertise and experience of professional sexologists. Today's youth--who are being told, with your federal tax dollars, that premarital sex ruins adulthood, and that condoms don't work--deserve government policy based on fact, not special-interest lies.

Speaking of sexual science, the new issue of the Journal of Sex Research is out, with state-of-the-art research articles about childhood sexual development, and the impact of sex education. Treat yourself--buy a copy and send it to your Congressmember now, during the funding debate on abstinence-until-marriage school programs, and request a reply. It's published by the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality: 610/530-2483 or

You may quote anything herein, with the following attribution:
"Reprinted from Sexual Intelligence, ©Marty Klein, Ph.D. ("

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