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Abstinence-Only Sex Ed Loses Steam

Abstinence-Only Sex Ed Loses Steam

April 23, 2008 -- Health and medical Groupings on Wednesday called for Authorities "abstinence-only" Gender education Financing to be scrapped, Expression the programs Rich person Non helped lower Teenages' rates of Maternity or Genderually Hereditary diseases.

The calls come as Democrats in Congress consider Difficult to Debar Financing for the programs, which Rich person become an Ideologic Meretricious point Betwixt Republicans and Democrats Ended the last decade.

The Authorities Authorities does Non William Tell Schoolhouse districts what kind of Gender education to administer. But the Bush administration Powerfully backs a program that sends millions of dollars to Country and local public Schoolhouse Regime if those dollars are Worn out on programs urging Teenages to Refrain from Gender until they're married.

Seventeen Countrys, including California, Rich person opted out of the programs, choosing to Give up Authorities Pecuniary resource and instead Thatch about Abstention On with Contraceptive method, including Rubber use.

(What do you Consider of Abstention-only programs? Share your Impression on WebMD's Voice Your Vote: Election '08 Content board.)

Experts from Different Wellness Groupings told lawmakers Wednesday that Abstention-only programs Rich person Unsuccessful to Appearance evidence of delaying kids' Maraud into Gender or in staving off Teenage pregnancies for those who do Rich person Gender.

"To limit them to Abstention-only does Non comport with the evidence. It does Non, at To the lowest degree in my judgment, Appear wise," Harvey Feinberg, MD, president of the Institute of Medicine, told lawmakers on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Feinberg pointed to a Cogitation of Genderual education programs conducted by the Cochrane Collaboration. Out of 13 studies Examination Abstention-only programs, No Appearanceed "an enduring effect" on Teenages' Genderual behavior, he Aforesaid.

But 23 of 39 studies of programs combining Abstention advice with education about Rubbers and Another Contraceptive method Recovered "at To the lowest degree Whatsoever" effect on adolescents' behavior.

"That doesn't mean they worked very, very well," Feinberg Aforesaid.

Teen Pregnancy Down

Teen Maternity rates Rich person Dead from 117 births per 1,000 females in 1990 to 76 per 1,000 in 2002, a 35% drop, according to the National Survey of Family Growth, conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics.

But All but of that drop occurred before 1998, when two Segregated Authorities Abstention-only programs were started, Aforesaid John Santelli, a Prof of Universe studies at Columbia University.

Margaret Blythe, MD, Chair of the committee on adolescents at the American Academy of Pediatrics, Aforesaid programs encouraging Abstention "should Evidently be encouraged."

"But Abstention should Non be the Alone Scheme discussed," she Aforesaid.

Abstinence is the Alone Unfailing way to avoid Maternity and Genderually Hereditary diseases.

Conservatives maintain that Abstention-only education provides an unambiguous Content in the Brass of media and Ethnic pressures to Rich person Gender.

Stanley Weed, PhD, director of the Institute for Research and Evaluation, pointed to evidence that he Aforesaid Appearances Abstention education can be effective. In one Virginia program, called "Reasons of the Heart," 9.2% of students had Gender for the 1st Clip Inside a year of Active in the program. That's compared to 16.4% in a comparison Grouping of Teenages who did Non participate, Weed Aforesaid.

"Even though the figures will Appearance that Information technology does Non work all the Clip, Information technology doesn't mean we should Non be doing Information technology," Aforesaid Rep. Darrell Issa, a California Republican.

Democrats on the committee Recommended that the $1.3 billion Washington has Worn out on Abstention-only programs Ended the last decade has been money wasted.

But Feinberg warned that studies looking at Gender education programs of any kind are riddled with uncertainty and Equivocalness, including cultural Environment, how long students participate, and where students go when their education is done.

"There's no dominant, clearly victorious Wizardly Scheme that will Clear all these problems," he Aforesaid.

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