Dr. Blackwell's BLOG

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Abstinence Only Programs Cause Adverse Effects

Filed under: GLBT Social Issues and Civil Rights — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 04:33

abstinence.jpgA study released today appearing in the January issue of the research journal Pediatrics adds yet more evidence-based data refuting the use of abstinence-only programs to educate youth about sexual activities. The study found teens who pledge to remain virgins until marriage are just as likely to have premarital sex as those who do not. Perhaps even more alarming, teens who make “virginity pledges” are also significantly less likely to use condoms and other forms of birth control when they do have sex. Many studies have shown the ineffectiveness of these programs while none have supported their efficacy; they are also based completely on a heterosexual model of sexuality.

While gay males remain at highest risk of transmitting and contracting HIV, abstinence-only programs ignore homosexuality and instead base sexual relationships as the ultimate reward of marriage attainment. Since marriage is not possible for most gay couples (and most states now have discriminatory bans in place), homosexual activity is invalidated. This also highlights the moronic conservative ideology of only providing taxpayer funds to abstinence programs. 

This does nothing but lead to more social ills and problems, including increasing already high rates of teen pregnancy, sexually-transmitted infections, and HIV. Instead, sexual education programs should be comprehensive and include education about condom use, birth control, and homosexual activities. Plenty of research does support these programs as effective. Hopefully the intelligent and progressive incoming administration will reverse the federal regulations which mandate sole funding of abstinence programs put into place by the Bush Administration. It’s time for intelligence and reality to take the place of religious-fueled idiocy.

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