Friday, June 27, 2008

Study proves Abstinance-only No Better than Nothing




  • tags: no_tag





    • The abstinence-only grants have been controversial from the start.


      Supporters say comprehensive sex education sends a mixed message and that abstinence is the only method that is 100 percent effective in preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease. Critics say abstinence education simply doesn't stop teens from having sex, and those teens need more information about how to reduce pregnancy and disease.


      In April 2007, a federally funded study of four abstinence-only programs by Mathematica Policy Research Inc., found that participants had just as many sexual partners as nonparticipants and had sex at the same median age as nonparticipants. The four programs had taught students about human anatomy and sexually transmitted diseases, helped them improve their communication skills, manage peer pressure, set personal goals and build self-esteem.


      For Colorado, the study results sealed the decision to get out of the program. Dr. Ned Calonge, the state's chief medical officer, said Mathematica's methods were the gold standard for scientific studies.


      "To show no benefit compared to nothing. That was striking," Calonge said. "These are tax dollars that are going for no useful purpose, and it would not be responsible for us to take those dollars."







Now, I've followed this issue over the years, casually but with some regularity. Therefore, I'm aware that for some of the most vocal supporters of Abstinence Only education, this is exactly the outcome they are looking for.


At Reclaiming America for Christ, Stenzel told her audience about a conversation she’d had with a skeptical businessman on an airplane. The man had asked about abstinence education’s success rate—a question she regarded as risible. “What he’s asking," she said, “is does it work. You know what? Doesn’t matter. Cause guess what. My job is not to keep teenagers from having sex. The public schools’ job should not be to keep teens from having sex.” Then her voice rose and turned angry as she shouted, “Our job should be to tell kids the truth!”


“People of God,” she cried, “can I beg you, to commit yourself to truth, not what works! To truth! I don’t care if it works, because at the end of the day I’m not answering to you, I'm answering to God!”


Later in the same talk, she explained further why what “works” isn’t what’s important—and gave some insight into what she means by “truth.” “Let me tell you something, people of God, that is radical, and I can only say it here,” she said. “AIDS is not the enemy. HPV and a hysterectomy at twenty is not the enemy. An unplanned pregnancy is not the enemy. My child believing that they can shake their fist in the face of a holy God and sin without consequence, and my child spending eternity separated from God, is the enemy. I will not teach my child that they can sin safely.”


The crowd applauded.


Of course, Stenzel isn’t just teaching her child.


Actually, she is. By means of creating and pointing to "instructive failures." This is neither effective sex ed nor is it any moral example of anything other than callus manipulation - and of course, those who discover this and reject a conformist mold for their lives will not have the information or the ethics they need to do that without cost. That is their goal.



It's a goal well worth frustrating.

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