While the debate rages on today in the House and Senate about how to teach our children about sex and how much money this education will take, the true cost of abstinence-only funding is being ignored. The real price of the “Bush administration’s evangelical driven” sex education policy is high. The Centers for Disease Control reports a substantial increase in birth rates among teenagers along with a sharp increase in sexually transmitted diseases. The number of AIDS cases has doubled in 15 to 19 year-old boys. The rate of pregnancy in teenagers is also up by more than half. This trend, which had been slowed or reversed during previous administrations, is the highest in some southern states where the emphasis has been focused on religiously-based, abstinence education. Many studies show a direct correlation between these alarming statistics and abstinence-only funding, which keeps finding its way onto the House and Senate floor.
“Teen Pregnancy and Disease Rates Rose Sharply During Bush Years, Agency Finds” Chris McGreal, CommonDreams.org. 7/21/2009 http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/07/21-3
“Forget healthcare, let’s worry about teen sex!” Judy Berman, Salon.com. 9/30/2009 http://www.salon.com/mwt/broadsheet/feature/2009/09/30/abstinence/index.html
“Senate Finance Committee Votes to Restore Abstinence-Only Education” Elizabeth DiNovella, Progressive.org. 10/02/2009 http://www.progressive.org/ld100209.html
Student Researcher: Rebecca Albright
Faculty Evaluator: Vicki Brockman, Ph.D.
Faculty Instructor: Teresa B. Henning, Ph.D.
Southwest Minnesota State University