Abstinence Education Under Fire Despite Great Success

Abstinence Education Under Fire Despite Great Success

On Tuesday, speakers at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., announced that two new studies have joined the growing list of research demonstrating the efficacy of abstinence education. Despite a plethora of evidence to this effect, Democrats in Congress still want to discontinue or reduce federal funding of abstinence education. A study by Dr. Stan Weed, of the Institute of Research and Evaluation, evaluated the role of abstinence education in decreasing the sexual activity of students in Virginia’s middle schools. The program achieved a significant reduction in teen sexual initiation. Also, Christine Kim and Robert Rector, of The Heritage Foundation, released their comprehensive review of 21 previous studies of the effectiveness of abstinence and virginity pledge programs. Sixteen of the 21 studies of abstinence education reported lower levels of sexual activity among students who had studied abstinence. It is not surprising that new studies confirm what we have known all along: discussing and teaching abstinence provides a valuable service to children and their families. The focus on condoms in so-called “safe-sex” education classes cannot compare to abstinence education in any way. Nevertheless, Congress needs to recognize the success of abstinence education and appropriate federal funding.

Today, Congressman Henry Waxman (Democrat, California), an aggressive opponent of abstinence education, brought in seven witnesses to testify to the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is deliberating on federal funding options for sexual education. Waxman stacked the deck with anti-abstinence education witnesses. Six of the seven witnesses testifying opposed abstinence education. As the only witness offering testimony on the efficacy of abstinence education, Dr. Weed pointed out that most studies demonstrate that abstinence education clearly works better than comprehensive “safe-sex” education and its reliance on encouraging teens to be sexually active and use condoms.

The Heritage Foundation Study

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