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Study Shows Abstinence Only Classes To Be Exercise In Wishful Thinking

April 16th, 2007 | by Ken Grandlund |

New studies examining the effectiveness of sexual abstinence classes show that students who took part in the classes are just as likely to engage in sexual activity at the same age as students who didn’t take the classes, proving that wishful thinking and handfuls of money can’t change everything.

The studies looked at four separate abstinence education classes from various cities around the country and discovered that about half of the students who took part in the classes engaged in their first sexual experiences at about the same age as their peers who did not take the classes. That age is 14.9 years old. Students also reported having about the same number of sexual partners, regardless of whether they took the classes or not.

Bush and his religious base have touted abstinence only education as their answer to youth sexual activity and have spent close to $1 billion dollars on those classes since he stepped into the Oval office. These new studies show that this is not money well spent. Especially when you learn that many abstinence education classes focus only on the abstinence message while skimping on reality based information. Much like the vaunted but ineffectual D.A.R.E. programs of the 80’s and 90’s, when it comes to sex, kids aren’t going to “Just Say No” just because an adult tells them it’s the wrong thing to do.

But maybe if they were given real information, shown real consequences, and taught how to behave responsibly, sexual education classes could achieve their real purpose, which isn’t to keep keeps chaste, per se, but to keep them from getting pregnant at an early age, contracting and spreading diseases, or jeopardizing their reputations and futures for one moment of pleasure.

[tag]Abstinence+education, sex, teens, D.A.R.E., religious+politics[/tag]

  1. 9 Responses to “Study Shows Abstinence Only Classes To Be Exercise In Wishful Thinking”

  2. By Jersey McJones on Apr 16, 2007 | Reply

    Yet another failure of the Right.


  3. By SteveIL on Apr 16, 2007 | Reply

    Just another example that shows the federal government needs to get out of the education business. Personally, I’d like private education to be able to compete with public education, but that will be tough to do.

  4. By steve on Apr 16, 2007 | Reply

    Yeah you all didn’t prove that the situation got any worse, so…

    Oh and you are forgetting the money was given to a bunch of corrupt socialists who probably didn’t run in the program correctly. I mean, take a look at the rest of the public school system. Does more money really make a difference?

  5. By Craig R. Harmon on Apr 16, 2007 | Reply

    Biology trumps theology. Makes sense. The theology posits the sinfulness of all humanity and experience shows that telling people, “Naughty, naughty, mustn’t do!” only enhances the enjoined behavior. Abstinence prevents the spread of venereal disease and unwanted pregnancy (barring rape) but nothing prevents biological imperatives from playing out. Not eating prevents food poisoning but no amount of abstinence teaching is going to get people to stop eating.

    Face it…people are going to engage in sex no matter what the dangers.

  6. By windspike on Apr 16, 2007 | Reply

    The day a teenager doesn’t want to dry hump or her pillow for gratification when the real deal isn’t available is the day the world stops turning. You can’t stop people from copulating. It’s human nature. Only the republicans would be foolish enough to think that they could legislate against human nature.

  7. By Jersey McJones on Apr 16, 2007 | Reply

    SteveIL, if privatization for all was profitable and positive, it would have been done years ago.

    Steve, what “got any worse” was your’s and my tax money wasted. And if you think the thousands of teachers and schools and, more importantly, local school districts are all socialists, then you’re an idiot. They are representative of America in general - not some lunatic Left fringe.

    Craig, I am becoming a fan of your’s mare and more every day. I’d love to have a drink (or six) with you.

    Windspike, please join Craig and I for six drinks.


  8. By REB 84 on Apr 16, 2007 | Reply

    This whole thing makes me sick. This is just another example of the Bush Administration conducting an uneducated experiment funded by US tax dollars. Of course abstinence fails. I only wish George & Barbara Bush had practiced it more often.

  9. By christopher Radulich on Apr 16, 2007 | Reply

    The church has been preaching abstinence for nearly 2000 years.

    Fathers and mothers have been preaching abstinence forever.

    Western Society has always applied moral pressure for abstinence.

    Why would anyone believe teachers have moral moral authority than parents and preachers?

  10. By SteveIL on Apr 17, 2007 | Reply

    Jersey, you’re an idiot. Private education has a tough time competing fairly with public education because the money one has to spend for it is on top of all the tax dollars used for public education. Plus, how can it be fair when the teachers’ unions negotiate with elected officials, only interested in getting votes and not fiscal responsibility (I am not badmouthing the teachers, just the unions and those who run the schools and school systems)? They don’t have to worry about being fiscally responsible when they can get state and federal money to bail their asses out, something private schools would find more difficult to do.

    Be that as it may, I’m not going to trash public education as a whole on this. My original point is that the federal government has no business funding sex education to local public schools. Neither should states. That is up to the local districts to figure out. They want it, they pay for it. If they can’t afford it, figure out how to pay for it.

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