The NewStandard ceased publishing on April 27, 2007.

Lawmakers May Add Millions to Failed Sex-Ed Programs

by Brendan Coyne

June 10, 2005 – A US House of Representatives subcommittee requested that federal spending on abstinence-only sexual education programs be pushed above $200 million in next year’s budget. Yesterday’s act by the Appropriations sub-Committee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies came in a bill mark-up session in advance of Congressional debate over the 2006 budget.

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The increase in public funding for education programs that focus on abstinence as the only way to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases follows a flood of information suggesting that such programs have failed to stem unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.

Last December, the Committee for Government Oversight reported that 80 percent of abstinence-only education programs contained false and misleading information. A majority of these programs left students uninformed about the changes their own bodies undergo during puberty and unaware of the costs of unwanted pregnancies.

Yesterday, a researcher with Case Western Reserve University released a report demonstrating a repeated pattern of misinformation about the use of condoms and other contraceptives in Ohio’s abstinence-only sexual education programs.

Some such programs teach that AIDS can be transmitted through saliva and sweat, a factually incorrect assertion. Others dramatically overstate the failure rate of condoms.

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The NewStandard ceased publishing on April 27, 2007.

Brendan Coyne is a contributing journalist.

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