Abstinence Only

Government Drops Support for Ineffective Abstinence-Only Programs

Abstinence Only

Christian supported abstinence only programs will no longer be funded by the government, in favor of more comprehensive sexual health and development approaches.

President Barack Obama has slashed abstinence only education from his administration's 2017 federal budget. The Department of Health and Human Research has eliminated this $10 million per year grant.

Government Drops Support for Ineffective Abstinence-Only Programs[/tweetthis]

Congress, over the preceding 25 years, spent approximately $1.5 billion on such abstinence until marriage programs. The funding continued even after there was no proof that this method actually worked. Zero evidence exists of the efficacy of such programs.

In addition, the Obama administration will maintain the CDC funding of its Division of Adolescent and School Health and it will increase the funding of the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program. According to a specific statement released by the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), it also wants to extend its Personal Responsibility Education Program for five years.

The move by the Obama administration was a wise one. A study conducted by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Unplanned Pregnancy had earlier released a report that discussed programs working for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancy. The former also included HIV. This report found actionable evidence that abstinence only sex education programs have zero impact on any teen sexual behavior.

According to the study, there is no compelling evidence that the abstinence programs lead to delay in sex initiation and quickens return to abstinence. There was also no effect on reduction of sexual partners. Not only that, multiple random trials have revealed strong evidence that a few abstinence programs selected for evaluation due to appearance that they were promising led to the finding that these programs actually had zero impact on sexual behavior among teens.

The SIECUS was happy with the Obama decision, and brought out a statement where it says that it is grateful for the initiative of ending the abstinence until marriage funding on a permanent basis.

“Abstinence Only” is a sex education course which refuses any teaching of any kind of birth control, including condoms. The program only encourages the teen not to have sex. The curriculum is not only outdated, but ineffective as well. It finds favor among many Christian sects. Politically, many Republican lawmakers have supported the program.

Many believe that this program willfully creates a hostile classroom environment for same-sex students. Abstinence only programs do not include information regarding anatomy, sexual orientation, puberty or sexual health. It could also be hostile for people who do not fit with the image of sexuality as described in class. 


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