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Comments by YACCS
Monday, March 06, 2006

Abstinence fails

Stop that

Atrios posts this up.

God, Amy Sullivan is just incredibly fucking clueless. I was going to say stupid, but she's obviously not. She just thinks you can appease evil and you cannot.

Here's a hint. Many white people are fundies because they are also racist and anti-semitic and anti-catholic. The Fundie church reenforces their prejudices, allows them to segregate their kids, and segregate their lives. While ordinary people may be no more prejudiced than you or I, their leaders have a history of racial hatred back to the days of segregation.

Black people are deeply religious and socially conservative, yet the vast majority reject these kinds of social jihads. Why? Because they don't fucking work. Black evangelicals vote Democratic like other black people. Did she ever consider, for a second, that these views have more to do than just the Bible?

The white voters who hate Hillary Clinton and the Dems hate her for reasons which have little, if anything to do with messaging. It is because they think she's a pushy dyke and the Dems are the nigger party, looking to fund shiftless, lazy niggers with their hard earned tax dollars.

The people who will listen will listen for a variety of other reasons, like support for health care, worker rights and education.

Amy Sullivan writes:

A sign that Democratic leaders are beginning to get it is the plan—promoted by leaders such as Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton—to lower abortion rates by preventing unwanted pregnancies. Full-throated support of this effort, and a recognition that abstinence education plays a role in lowering teen pregnancy rates (along with birth control), puts Democrats alongside the majority of voters on this difficult issue, and it is especially appealing to moderate evangelicals.

This is a rhetorical sleight of hand which entirely ignores the relevant policy debate. The question is whether sex education in public schools should be "abstinence only," which involves telling teenagers that they shouldn't have sex and not providing them with any actual information that might be useful should they decide to actually go ahead and do it, or whether sex education should be more comprehensive and actually include information about contraceptive methods. I'm happy to be corrected but I'm not aware of any evidence that "abstinence education plays a role in lowering teen pregnancy rates (along with birth control)" because I don't believe there's any sex ed program in this country which doesn't include, in part, abstinence education.

And of course, Amy let per personal biases ignore the facts in several studies, because they ALL show that it has little if any effect on teen pregnancy rates.

Teen sex increased after abstinence program
Texas study finds little impact on sexual behavior

HOUSTON - Abstinence-only sex education programs, a major plank in President George W. Bush’s education plan, have had no impact on teenagers’ behavior in his home state of Texas, according to a new study.

Despite taking courses emphasizing abstinence-only themes, teenagers in 29 high schools became increasingly sexually active, mirroring the overall state trends, according to the study conducted by researchers at Texas A&M University.

“We didn’t see any strong indications that these programs were having an impact in the direction desired,” said Dr. Buzz Pruitt, who directed the study.

And here's a collection of studies

evaluators' own analyses and words to describe each program's impact.
Summary of Results

Evaluation of these 11 programs showed few short-term benefits and no lasting, positive impact. A few programs showed mild success at improving attitudes and intentions to abstain. No program was able to demonstrate a positive impact on sexual behavior over time. A description follows of short- and long-term impacts, by indicator.

Short-Term Impacts of State Abstinence-Only Programs

In 10 programs, evaluation measured the short-term impact of the program on at least one indicator, including attitudes favoring abstinence, intentions to abstain, and/or sexual behavior. Overall, programs were most successful at improving participants' attitudes towards abstinence and were least likely to positively affect participants' sexual behaviors.

Attitudes endorsing abstinence—10 evaluations tested for short-term changes in attitudes.

* Three of 10 programs had no significant impact on attitudes (Maryland, Missouri, and Nebraska);
* Four of 10 showed increases in attitudes favorable to abstinence (Arizona, Florida, Oregon, and Washington);
* Three of 10 showed mixed results (California, Iowa, and Pennsylvania).**

Intentions to Abstain—Nine evaluations measured short-term changes in intentions.

* Four of nine programs showed no significant impact on participants' intentions to abstain (California, Maryland, Nebraska, and Oregon);
* Three of nine programs showed a favorable impact on intentions to abstain (Arizona, Florida, and Washington);
* Two of nine programs showed mixed results (Iowa and Pennsylvania).**

Sexual Behaviors—Six evaluations measured short-term changes in sexual behavior.

* Three of six programs had no impact on sexual behavior (California, Maryland, and Missouri).
* Two of six programs reported increases in sexual behavior from pre- to posttest (Florida and Iowa). It was unclear whether the increases were due to youth's maturation or to a program's effect, as none of these evaluations included a comparison group.
* One of the six programs showed mixed results (Pennsylvania).**

Long-Term Impacts of State Abstinence-Only Programs

Seven evaluations included some form of follow-up survey to assess the impact of the abstinence-only programs over time. Results from two of these are not yet available (Nebraska and Oregon). Of the remaining five, three were of statewide initiatives (Arizona, California, and Minnesota). Two were evaluations of programs within statewide initiatives (Missouri's Life Walk Program and Pennsylvania's LaSalle Program). All five evaluations included questions to assess changes in participants' attitudes and behaviors between pretest/posttest and follow-up. Four also measured changes in intentions to abstain. Three evaluations included a comparison group.

Attitudes Endorsing Abstinence—Five evaluations included assessment of changes in attitudes.

Four of five evaluations showed no long-term positive impact on participants' attitudes. That is, participants' attitudes towards abstinence either declined at follow-up or there was no evidence that participating in the abstinence-only program improved teens' attitudes about abstinence relative to the comparison groups, at three to 17 months after taking the abstinence-only program (Arizona, California, Missouri, and Pennsylvania's LaSalle Program).

Follow-up surveys in Minnesota showed mixed results.

Intentions to Abstain—Four evaluations measured long-term intentions to abstain.

Three of four evaluations showed no long-term positive impact on participants' intentions to abstain from sexual intercourse. That is, participants' intentions either declined significantly at follow-up or there was no statistically significant difference in participants' attitudes relative to controls at follow-up (Arizona, California, and Minnesota).

In one of the four (Pennsylvania's LaSalle Program), evaluation showed a positive impact at follow-up on program participants' intentions to abstain relative to comparison youth.

Sexual Behavior—Five programs measured long-term impacts on sexual behavior.

No evaluation demonstrated any impact on reducing teens' sexual behavior at follow-up, three to 17 months after the program ended (Arizona, California, Minnesota, Missouri, or Pennsylvania's LaSalle Program).

One could say, fairly, that abstinence education is an expensive, politically driven failure as a sop to the power of fundie leaders> It is in no way, shape or form, effective sexual education.

posted by Steve @ 12:26:00 PM

12:26:00 PM

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