December 01, 2004

It's a sad commentary on the times.

That it takes a congressional report to show what reasonable people already knew: that 'abstinence'-based sex education programs tell lies to US kids and teens.

A report from Democratic Representative Henry Waxman says that federally funded abstinence-only programs have taught that abortion can lead to sterility and suicide, that half the gay male teenagers in the United States have tested positive for the AIDS virus, and that touching a person's genitals can cause pregnancy. Cute, huh?

And it gets worse:

The report concluded that two of the curricula were accurate but the 11 others, used by 69 organizations in 25 states, contain unproved claims, subjective conclusions or outright falsehoods regarding reproductive health, gender traits and when life begins. [...]

Among the misconceptions cited by Waxman's investigators:

A 43-day-old fetus is a "thinking person."

HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, can be spread via sweat and tears.

Condoms fail to prevent HIV transmission as often as 31 percent of the time in heterosexual intercourse.

One curriculum, called "Me, My World, My Future," teaches that women who have an abortion "are more prone to suicide" and that as many as 10 percent of them become sterile. This contradicts the 2001 edition of a standard obstetrics textbook that says fertility is not affected by elective abortion, the Waxman report said. [...]

Some course materials cited in Waxman's report present as scientific fact notions about a man's need for "admiration" and "sexual fulfillment" compared with a woman's need for "financial support." One book in the "Choosing Best" series tells the story of a knight who married a village maiden instead of the princess because the princess offered so many tips on slaying the local dragon. "Moral of the story," notes the popular text: "Occasional suggestions and assistance may be alright, but too much of it will lessen a man's confidence or even turn him away from his princess."

And here's the crowning insult: Dubya wants to spend $270 million of US taxpayers' money on this 'abstinence' crap in the 2005 federal budget year.

Via Washington Post.

Posted by Magpie at December 1, 2004 11:06 PM | Education | TrackBack(1) | Technorati links |
Comments

Some course materials cited in Waxman's report present as scientific fact notions about a man's need for "admiration" and "sexual fulfillment" compared with a woman's need for "financial support." One book in the "Choosing Best" series tells the story of a knight who married a village maiden instead of the princess because the princess offered so many tips on slaying the local dragon. "Moral of the story," notes the popular text: "Occasional suggestions and assistance may be alright, but too much of it will lessen a man's confidence or even turn him away from his princess."

I think that's similar to the story about the man who listens to the friendly priest instead of the pompous professor when trying to build a weapon to slay the dragon with. The end result of that story is the same. All that extra pride doesn't taste any different to the dragon.

Posted by: thehim at December 2, 2004 11:27 AM