Thursday, July 19, 2007

Abstinence Education Still Ineffective

Back in April I wrote about a finding that abstinence education programs are ineffective and that the US has wasted over $1.5 billion on them since 97. This week the House of Representatives will vote, not on abolishing this funding of waste, but on whether to increase it's funding:
(Washington) This week, the House of Representatives is set to vote on an appropriations bill that includes $141 million for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs—a $27.8 million increase. ...

A 2006 study by the independent Society for Adolescent Medicine called the programs “scientifically and ethically flawed” and found that the “efficacy of abstinence-only interventions may approach zero.”

Twenty-three percent of U.S. school districts run abstinence-only programs, according to the Guttmacher Institute. The rate of sexually transmitted infections and HIV has increased among youth since these programs were implemented, with 4 million young people in the U.S. contracting sexually-transmitted diseases each year.

Almost half of high school students in the United States report being sexually active. Youth who have participated in abstinence-only programs and have pledged to save their virginity until marriage are just as likely to have sex as their peers. Those who participate in abstinence-only programs, however, are one-third less likely than their peers to use contraception when they do become sexually active.