Abstinence programs don’t work, not going away
by Caleb Reading
Programs teaching U.S. schoolchildren to abstain from sex have not cut teen pregnancies or sexually transmitted diseases or delayed the age at which sex begins, health groups told Congress on Wednesday.
The Bush administration, however, voiced continuing support for such programs during a hearing before a House of Representatives panel even as many Democrats called for cutting off federal money for so-called abstinence-only instruction.
Panel chairman Rep. Henry Waxman, a California Democrat, said, “We are showering funds on abstinence-only programs that don’t appear to work, while ignoring proven comprehensive sex education programs that can delay sex, protect teens from disease, and result in fewer teen pregnancies.”
“Meanwhile, we have no dedicated source of federal funding specifically for comprehensive classroom sex education,” Waxman added.