Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Abstinence only programs work effectively to increase teen pregnancy

Watch this clip where Governor Rick Perry, oblivious to facts, obstinately clings to the illusory effectiveness of abstinence only education.  In 2005 88,000 teens became pregnant in his state.  Texas is third in the nation in unplanned teen pregnancies.  Texas is number 1 in teen births and number 13 in teen abortions. [1.] Nationwide two-thirds of teenagers who become pregnant do not finish high school; leaving these young people at a severe disadvantage for their lifelong earnings potential and places huge burdens on their personal lives and the personal and financial resources of their parents.  Often these young people require public assistance for housing, food stamps and healthcare.  It's hard enough to get by in this post Bush economy but start out with a child at 17 or younger and the problems are almost insurmountable.  This is not a new problem in Texas, in 2002 The Union of Concerned Scientists specifically mentioned the ineffectiveness of abstinence only sex-education in a bulletin entitled  "Scientific Integrity in Policymaking".

"Just Say Don't Know, Sexuality Education in Texas Public Schools" written by Kelly Wilson PhD and David Wiley, PhD is a 76 page factual horror on the lack of proper or in many cases any sexual education.  It's excellent and a huge eye-opener.  Some of the findings from the study:
F i n d i n g 1 : Most Texas students receive no instruction about human sexuality apart from the promotion of sexual abstinence.
What you do know can also hurt you…
F i n d i n g 3 : Sexuality education materials used in Texas schools regularly contain factual errors and perpetuate lies and distortions about condoms and STDs.
F i n d i n g 4 : Shaming and fear-based instruction are standard means of teaching students about sexuality.
F i n d i n g 5 : Instruction on human sexuality in Texas often promotes stereotypes and biases based on gender and sexual orientation.
F i n d i n g 6 : Some Texas classrooms mix religious instruction and Bible study into sexuality education programs.
 The excellent report by Legal Momentum Sex Lies and Stereotypes How Abstinence-Only programs Harm Women and Girls [3.] finds the same results nationwide and also examines the harm abstinence only programs have inflicted globally.  Abstinence only education, often containing misinformation and which relies on stereotypes and authoritarian methods is in direct opposition to the educated and well informed citizen base a democratic society requires.   "Abstinence works... it is the best form to teach our children," Perry claims in this video. By clinging to christian dogma and refusing to face facts Governor Rick Perry and the educational system in Texas has failed the 88,000 pregnant teens, their boyfriends and needlessly traumatized  a third of a million parents in Texas, every year for 10 years.

ForceChange petition to demand congress end abstinence only programs and  provide more comprehensive sex education programs in America 
[1.] source Guttmacher institute
[2,] Current Facts on American Teens Sources of Information about Sex
[3.] Sex Lies and Stereotypes How Abstinence-Only programs Harm Women and Girls
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