Abstinence Education = 176 million dollars worth of USELESS

From the AP:

Students who participated in sexual abstinence programs were just as likely to have sex a few years later as those who did not, according to a long-awaited study mandated by Congress.

Also, those who attended one of the four abstinence classes reviewed reported having similar numbers of sexual partners as those who did not attend the classes, and they first had sex at about the same age as their control group counterparts — 14.9 years, according to Mathematica Policy Research Inc.

The federal government now spends about $176 million annually on abstinence-until-marriage education. Critics have repeatedly said they don’t believe the programs are working, and the study will give them reinforcement. news story here
another good article here

And while we're on the subject of useless money thrown at perceived problems, let me just say here that school vouchers spell the end of decent public school education. Ohio, the other state, besides Utah, that charged headlong into this program, is showing that the great preponderance of voucher seekers are taking their kids and putting them in religious schools. (Go figure - Ohio, the recently in focus hotbed of hyper-Christianity - I wonder how they feel about the story above...)

The new Governor there is trying to roll back the program as fast as possible. Taking money away from schools that aren't performing is the wrong approach. The failing school should be focused on and improved, through whatever means possible. Yanking money and kids only sounds the death-knell for the school, the system, and decent education for all students. Some parents are also cheating the system: their children have NEVER been enrolled in a public school, but now that there are vouchers available, many are taking their kids to public school for the first five days of the school year, getting the voucher, then re-enrolling in the private religious school the next week, now with a voucher. Nice.

That's a GREAT lesson to be teaching your children. (and I'll reserve a spot right here for my prediction of how delightfully the Utah program will be abused, in order to get the little darlings into the "private religious school".)

One proponent of vouchers did an interview on the radio this morning, and said that she needs to keep her kids in the private religious school, because they are away from things like teenage sex. (Yes, she said that very thing. Out loud.)

Blank stare from me.


See above story, lady. Then why don't you take the responsibility for your own children's education, rather than relying on some stupid program (which apparently makes absolutely NO difference whatsoever.)


Anonymous said...

Here, here!
I just love the head-in-the-sand parenting style. I get so mad at parents who expect the schools to teach life skills. If you don't want your kid having sex, then you need to be active in their life, know where they are, encourage their self-worth and self esteem, and have open communication. It is not up to some legislated program to teach your child the value of abstinence, it is up to YOU...the parent.

And as for the vouchers...what people fail to realize when they rate schools is that there are a hundred significant vaules that affect the way a school is run, the marks the students may achieve and it's overall success as an institution. Again, instead of looking at reports and numbers, if you want to see how a school is run and how the students are doing....go an look, yourself, and form your own opinion based upon what is best for your child. Not what a document may tell you.
ARGH!!!! Some people's parents!

Cameron said...

Kids aren't going to not have sex just because someone at school tells them not to. Teachers can't even get kids to stop talking in class, let alone stop thinking about girls 24/7.

Whenever I hear about school sex education it reminds me of my senior year health class. We were discussing sex and teen pregnancy and a girl who had recently had a baby raised her hand to warn us not to just believe your boyfriend when he tells you he's sterile. Classic. I wish that was on youtube or something.

The root of the problem is that nobody in America thinks there is a problem. Most American adults see no problem with having sex outside of marriage or even outside a serious relationship. Most married people have affairs. Porn is everywhere, even (especially?) in button down Utah. So what exactly is the point of telling a 16 year old not to have sex when the average adult surfs the net for porn and steps out on their spouse?