Abstinence Only Sex Education Not Checked For Accuracy
Attention parents: The Government Accountability Office has found that, if your children are receiving instruction in an abstinence-only sex education program in public school, the chances are good that the material they are being taught has not been checked at all for scientific accuracy. The federal government program that oversees abstinence-only educational programs has been found to have no standards for scientific accuracy in the content of those programs. Furthermore, only 50 percent of the states that mandate abstinence-only programs require any review of educational content for scientific accuracy. When reviews have taken place, serious scientific inaccuracies in the content of abstinence-only education have been found.
The report from the Government Accountability Office states,
“Efforts by HHS and states to assess the scientific accuracy of materials used in abstinence-until-marriage education programs have been limited. This is because HHSâ€™s ACFâ€”which awards grants to two programs that account for the largest portion of federal spending on abstinence-until-marriage educationâ€”does not review its granteesâ€™ education materials for scientific accuracy and does not require grantees of either program to review their own materials for scientific accuracy.”
Note: HHS stands for the Department of Health and Human Services, and ACF stands for the Administration for Children and Families within the Department of Health and Human Services.
The findings of the Government Accountability Office are an important confirmation of what has long been suspected: That abstinence-only sex education is not founded upon the best available information about health and human sexuality. Rather, abstinence-only programs are motivated by right wing religious ideology, and what certain fundamentalist activist groups want to believe about what’s true. Abstinence-only education programs force teachers to instruct their students that the only right thing for them to do is to not have any sex at all, even after they become adults, until they are married.
High school students can take away this clear lesson: If you’re receiving an abstinence-only sex education, you don’t have much reason to trust what your teachers are telling you. Chances are good that no one’s required your educational system to check the facts in the abstinence-only classes are accurate. Would your teachers allow you to do the same kind of sloppy work that abstinence-only programs are allowed to do?
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