Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs
Top Five Reasons to Abandon Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs Print
  1. Abstinence-only-until-marriage programs don't work.

    To date, 11 states have evaluated the impact of their abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. None has been shown to reduce teen sexual activity.

    Virginity pledgers have found "loopholes" to keep their pledges intact—engaging in risky oral or anal sex—and neglecting to use condoms when they do begin to have vaginal intercourse, according to research from Peter Bearman at Columbia University.

    A 2007 federally-funded evaluation of these programs found that youth in the control group were no more likely to have abstained from sex and, among those who reported having sex, had a similar number of partners and had initiated sex at the same age.

  2. Abstinence-only-until-marriage programs contain lies and inaccurate information.

    Representative Henry A. Waxman released  a report (pdf) showing that over 80 percent of federally funded abstinence-only-until-marriage programs use curricula that distort information about the effectiveness of contraceptives, misrepresent the risks of abortion, blur religion and science, treat stereotypes about girls and boys as scientific fact, and contain basic scientific errors.

  3. Abstinence-only-until-marriage programs are a waste of taxpayer money.

    Over $1.5 billion dollars in taxpayer money has been spent on abstinence-only-until-marriage programs since 1996.

    While government cuts funding to programs across the board, abstinence-only-until-marriage programs have enjoyed over a 300 percent increase in federal funding since President Bush took office, from $80 million a year in 2001 to $176 million in 2007.

  4. Abstinence-only-until-marriage programs have little support outside of ultra-right wing ideologues.

    Over 100 medical and scientific organizations, including the American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, and Institute of Medicine, have gone on record in support of comprehensive sex education.

    Every Surgeon General from Dr. Koop to Dr. Carmona—through Democratic and Republican administrations—has supported a comprehensive approach to sex education.

    According to polls, parents overwhelming support giving information about contraception AND abstinence to young people to protect their health.

    Youth want messages about both abstinence and contraception.

  5. Abstinence-only-until-marriage programs' use of government funds violates the separation of church and state.

    A recent 60 Minutes episode showed that some abstinence-only-groups, like Silver Ring Thing, use their abstinence-only-until-marriage messages to also promote fundamentalist Christianity.

    In recent years, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed suit in federal courts against two abstinence-only-until-marriage programs for using government funds to promote religion.
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