No more abstinence only programs!

President Obama recently announced that abstinence-only programs will no longer be federally funded under the 2010 budget.  Obama wants to redirect this money to teen pregnancy prevention programs whose sole focus isn’t abstinence “education”.  

I, for one, think this is a HUGE step forward.  As a person who changed schools fairly frequently as a kid, I’ve seen the content presented in abstinence centered and non-abstinence centered programs.  Let me tell you, the abstinence-centered program was worthless.


How many Hershey's must be lost to abstinence education?

How many Hershey's must be lost to abstinence education?

Clearly, the worst part about abstinence only programs is that they don’t provide students with any of the information that they’ll need when they inevitably decide to become sexually active.  They instead focus on ineffective, uninsightful metaphors in an attempt to scare kids away from being sexually active.

 In the abstinence session that I sat through, we were all instructed to open up a Hershey’s kiss, lick it once and then put it in a basket.  The point here was supposed to be that you’re used goods after having sex once and that any partner after your first will find you moderately disgusting.  Not only is this destructive for the self esteem of the students who will inevitably have more than one partner, it isn’t particularly insightful either.  I know of few people who believe that having lots of partners makes them more attractive to future mates.  But worst of all, they threw away all of that chocolate!  This chunky kid was not happy about seeing all of that chocolate go to waste.   


Point is, my classmates and I needed to be told that abstinence is the only way to be 100% sure that you don’t get pregnant or get an STD.  The more general sex education courses I sat through as an adolescent drove this point home, but also provided vital information about what to do when I did eventually become sexually active.  Let’s be honest, some people are waiting until they’re married, but the majority of people aren’t and they need to know how to protect themselves.  You’re fooling yourself and putting others in danger if you believe otherwise and impose this belief.  

That being said, Congress can still overturn Obama’s decision to cut funding to abstinence programs.  If you want kids who will inevitably become sexually active to know about the risks and how to protect themselves, please send a message to your congressperson by clicking here.



8 thoughts on “No more abstinence only programs!

  1. What a tragic waste of chocolate! Thank goodness that Obama is stepping in to end this terrible and undelicious practice!

    Seriously though, this is very good news. Most things the government does are beyond my understanding, so I always enjoy hearing when the government does something simple, reasonable, and effective.

  2. See, the planners of that program thought “Chocolate and sex make a good synonym because everone wants chocolate less once it’s used.”

    Me, I see “Sex is like chocolate beacuse everyone wants it, and even when they get it, it doesn’t last long enough and you’ll always want more”

  3. I’m not even really going to touch on my (albeitly conservative) views on whether teenaged sex is right or wrong, but I do have a problem with one thing:

    Why must teens “inevitably” have multiple sexual partners? Teenagers aren’t wild animals, you know. There are plenty of kids in high-school (myself among them) who choose chastity or abstinence. We can CHOOSE. I really don’t care what you think about the morality of sex, but please don’t make statements that turn young humans with free will into slaves to society’s views on sex.

    • You’re right, I should have added a qualifier to that particular sentence. But to be fair, I also said, “Let’s be honest, some people are waiting until they’re married, but the majority of people aren’t and they need to know how to protect themselves. ”

      I understand that some people DO wait until they’re married and I made sure to mention that. As far as I can tell, however, the majority of the population has not decided to abstain from sex until marriage and many end up with multiple partners.

    • Certainly, you* can choose. But with abstinence-only education, you’re choosing without all the information, and without the information, even with the best, most monogamous or celibate intentions, you can still end up pregnant, diseased, hurt, or otherwise left for the worse. The best of all worlds would be to plan on being celibate**, but have a plan in place if and when you find yourself in a position that compromises that original plan.

      *I mean you in a very general sense, not you specifically.
      ** I don’t mean to pass a value judgment. There is nothing inherently wrong with sex in my view, but from a pregnancy or STI point of view, abstinence is ideal. It just doesn’t work, that’s all, and people need the tools to deal with the inevitable sex (even if that’s later in marriage).

  4. Whooa! It is always interesting to see a glimpse into another culture, but this is weird, even hard to grasp! Government funded ‘abstinence only’-projects?!? Man, the world is weird :).

    I do like your writings, keep ’em coming. Maybe the conclusions in the epigenetics part was too straightforward in my view (as my view is research in the field of genetics :), don’t blame it all on epigenetics, there is more weird shit lurking inside us people, still to be seen.

    • Cross-cultural sex research -is- very interesting. I just wish I was on the other side for this one. Abstinence-only education would be of much more academic interest to me if I weren’t in the nation where it, at best, wastes my money, and more likely than not works against its goals…

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