Cyber Swing/Polyamory Resource Center
Promoting Intimacy and Other-Centered Sexuality
Study: Texas Abstinence
Plan Not Working
DALLAS - Abstinence-only programs like those promoted by the Bush administration don't seem to be working on teenagers in the president's home state, according to a state-sponsored study by Texas A&M University researchers. The ongoing study, the first evaluation of the abstinence programs across the state, found that students in almost all high school grades were more sexually active after undergoing abstinence education. Researchers don't believe the programs encouraged teenagers to have sex, only that the abstinence messages did not interfere with customary trends among adolescents. "We didn't find what many would like for us to find," said A&M researcher Buzz Pruitt, who met with state health uthorities last week to discuss the data.
The federal government will spend $131 million this year on various abstinence-only education programs — $30 million more than was spent in 2004.
Among the findings in the Texas study: About 23 percent of the ninth-grade girls in the study already had sexual intercourse before they received any abstinence education, a figure below the national average. After taking an abstinence course, the number among those same girls rose to 28 percent, a level closer to that of their peers across the state.Among ninth-grade boys, the percentage who reported sexual intercourse before and after abstinence education remained relatively unchanged. In 10th grade, the percentage of boys who had ever had sexual intercourse jumped from 24 percent to 39 percent after participating in an abstinence program.
Still, public health experts say these and other studies may eventually help fashion abstinence-only approaches that can make a difference. Texas joins about a dozen other states that have evaluated their abstinence education programs.
The A&M study's results are based on a 10-page questionnaire filled out anonymously by junior high and high school students. The study examined five programs in more than two dozen schools.
To be funded as abstinence education, programs cannot provide instruction in birth control, outside "factual information about contraceptive methods, such as the failure rates that are associated with the different methods," according to documents from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Among other things, the law also dictates that an abstinence program must have "as its exclusive purpose, teaching the social, psychological, and health gains to be realized by abstaining from sexual activity."
Here's a classic example of the modern American conservative in action: spending 130 million dollars on an experimental, regressive anti sex program that doesn't even work! According to this study teens graduating from this abstinence program INCREASED their sexual activities! Here's the real kicker, even though the results are dubious (at best) the federal government has been increasing the money its spending (by $30 million ) on this non sex education boondoggle. Gee, I always thought it was the liberals who wasted our money on worthless government programs.
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