Obama's view of sex education broader than Bush's
Even as proponents of abstinence- only sex education continue to hope that the health care reform package will fund their programs, President Obama is supporting a broader approach to the subject.
Sarah Kliff at Newsweek reports that funding for sex education in a 146-page appropriations bill for the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and related agencies does not require an abstinence-only approach as did the Bush administration.
Under president Bush, $1.8 billion was appropriated for abstinence-only sex education.
In the Obama-backed bill that Kliff writes about, there is no mention of abstinence-only. For that matter, it doesn’t mention “comprehensive” sex education either, a term used to include the teaching of contraceptives and other issues.
A panel of independent experts recently concluded that sex ed programs that are along the comprehensive lines--encouraging teens to delay sexual activity while teaching them about contraception--can reduce risky behavior, increase condom use and lower the chances of getting the AIDS virus and other infections.
But there wasn’t enough evidence to know the effectiveness of programs that focus on encouraging teens to remain sexually abstinent until marriage.
The main thrust of the Obama-backed bill is to provide funding for programs that can prove they work.
Now that’s a novel approach to education, isn’t it?
What do you think of the Obama administration’s view of sex education? Should abstinence-only programs continue to be supported?
| December 30, 2009; 11:30 AM ET
Tags: sex education
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