Abstinence Programs Mislead Teens, Report Says

If there are two particular line items in the Bush budget that tick me off it is a) faith based initiatives and b) abstinence programs for teens. Faith based initiatives are millions of dollars to church programs with zero accountability or oversight. Today, the Washington Post has this jaw-dropping article on a new congressional report that shows the ludicracy of the program. (Via Slate)

Many American youngsters participating in federally funded abstinence-only programs have been taught over the past three years that abortion can lead to sterility and suicide, that half the gay male teenagers in the United States have tested positive for the AIDS virus, and that touching a person’s genitals “can result in pregnancy,” a congressional staff analysis has found.

Among the misconceptions cited by Waxman’s investigators:

– A 43-day-old fetus is a “thinking person.”

– HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, can be spread via sweat and tears.

– Condoms fail to prevent HIV transmission as often as 31 percent of the time in heterosexual intercourse.

One curriculum, called “Me, My World, My Future,” teaches that women who have an abortion “are more prone to suicide” and that as many as 10 percent of them become sterile. This contradicts the 2001 edition of a standard obstetrics textbook that says fertility is not affected by elective abortion, the Waxman report said.

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