Thursday, May 24, 2007

Farewell to Abstinence-Only Funds

USA Today is reporting that Democratic leaders of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce plan to let the grant currently matching state funding for abstinence-only education expire next month without renewal.

Even though the article cites religious conservatives' "surprise" at this "radical" policy, I think think the writing has been on the wall for some time. Last November, we posted about survey evidence suggesting overwhelming public support for comprehensive sex education, as well as recent independent studies on the harmful gender stereotyping that plays out in some of the popular, government-approved sex ed curricula. Then in April, the LA Times reported that states themselves are increasingly opting out of the federal money after government research found that abstinence-only programs are ineffective at preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. This suggests that the federal matching funds were becoming irrelevant anyway. Nonetheless, I'm looking forward to Congress's final farewell to this failed federal policy.

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