Abstaining From Reality Again

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

A government study shows that more than two-thirds of parents support abstinence education. Unfortunately, the other third seems to be giving and getting federal grants.

Maybe that’s why the feds held up the release of the survey for nearly two years. “A nearly two-year-old, federally-funded survey of teen and parent attitudes about sex has prompted new outrage among abstinence education supporters, just as federal funding for their programs is ending,” Ben Penn reported in “Youth Today, the newspaper on Youth Work” on August 26, 2010.  “The report, dated February 2009, was released Monday by the U.S. Administration for Children and Families (ACF) without fanfare but after repeated demands by supporters of abstinence-only education.”

“The report–which never addresses the question of whether abstinence education is effective, the Obama administration’s standard for funding–is a study of the attitudes of 1,000 randomly chosen adolescents 12 to 18 and their parents.”

“Among the report’s findings,” according to Penn:

* “About 70 percent of parents said they are either strongly opposed or somewhat opposed to premarital sex, both in general and for their own children specifically.

* “Roughly 80 percent of parents strongly disagreed with the notion that it is okay for their adolescents to have sex if they use birth control.

* “When asked to list their preferred sources for their children’s abstinence messages, 85 percent named a place of worship, 85 percent named the doctor’s office or health center and 83 percent included school.

* “The adolescents were less opposed to pre-marital sex than their parents and ‘were more likely than their surveyed parents to agree that engaging in sexual intercourse would be permissible for them in specific contexts.’”

Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.

If you would like to comment on this article, e-mail mal.kline@academia.org.


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