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Old 04-15-2007, 04:52 PM   #1
buckeyefan78
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Default Study: Abstinence classes don't stop sex

WASHINGTON - Students who took part in sexual abstinence programs were just as likely to have sex as those who did not, according to a study ordered by Congress.

Also, those who attended one of the four abstinence classes that were reviewed reported having similar numbers of sexual partners as those who did not attend the classes. And they first had sex at about the same age as other students 14.9 years, according to Mathematica Policy Research Inc.

The federal government now spends about $176 million annually on abstinence-until-marriage education. Critics have repeatedly said they don't believe the programs are working, and the study will give them reinforcement.

However, Bush administration officials cautioned against drawing sweeping conclusions from the study. They said the four programs reviewed among several hundred across the nation were some of the very first established after Congress overhauled the nation's welfare laws in 1996.

Officials said one lesson they learned from the study is that the abstinence message should be reinforced in subsequent years to truly affect behavior.

"This report confirms that these interventions are not like vaccines. You can't expect one dose in middle school, or a small dose, to be protective all throughout the youth's high school career," said Harry Wilson, the commissioner of the Family and Youth Services Bureau at the Administration for Children and Families.

For its study, Mathematica looked at students in four abstinence programs around the country as well as students from the same communities who did not participate in the abstinence programs. The 2,057 youths came from big cities Miami and Milwaukee as well as rural communities Powhatan, Va., and Clarksdale, Miss.

The students who participated in abstinence education did so for one to three years. Their average age was 11 to 12 when they entered the programs back in 1999.

Mathematica then did a follow up survey in late 2005 and early 2006. By that time, the average age for participants was about 16.5. Mathematica found that about half of the abstinence students and about half from the control group reported that they remained abstinent.

"I really do think it's a two-part story. First, there is no evidence that the programs increased the rate of sexual abstinence," said Chris Trenholm, a senior researcher at Mathematica who oversaw the study. "However, the second part of the story that I think is equally important is that we find no evidence that the programs increased the rate of unprotected sex."

Trenholm said his second point of emphasis was important because some critics of abstinence programs have contended that they lead to less frequent use of condoms.

Mathematica's study could have serious implications as Congress considers renewing this summer the block grant program for abstinence education known as Title V. The federal government has authorized up to $50 million annually for the program. Participating states then provide $3 for every $4 they get from the federal government. Eight states decline to take part in the grant program.

Some lawmakers and advocacy groups believe the federal government should use that money for comprehensive sex education, which would include abstinence as a piece of the curriculum.

"Members of Congress need to listen to what the evidence tells us," said William Smith, vice president for public policy at the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, which promotes comprehensive sex education.

"This report should give a clear signal to members of Congress that the program should be changed to support programs that work, or it should end when it expires at the end of June," Smith said.

Smith also said he didn't have trouble making broader generalizations about abstinence programs based on the four reviewed because "this was supposed to be their all-star lineup."

But a trade association for abstinence educators emphasized that the findings represent less than 1 percent of all Title V abstinence projects across the nation.

"This study began when (the programs) were still in their infancy," said Valerie Huber, executive director of the National Abstinence Education Association. "The field of abstinence has significantly grown and evolved since that time and the results demonstrated in the Mathematica study are not representative of the abstinence education community as a whole."

The four programs differed in many respects. One was voluntary and took place after school. Three had mandatory attendance and served youth during the school day. All offered more than 50 hours of classes. Two were particularly intensive. The young people met every day of the school year.

Common topics included human anatomy and sexually transmitted diseases. Also, classes focused on helping students set personal goals and build self-esteem. The young people were taught to improve communication skills and manage peer pressure.

By KEVIN FREKING, Associated Press Writer

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070413/...JN5C7QGXWyFz4D

**********************************************************

Are we wasting our money on these programs?

Do they need more time?
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Old 04-15-2007, 06:00 PM   #2
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Students who took part in sexual abstinence programs were just as likely to have sex as those who did not,
Big surprise...

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Are we wasting our money on these programs?
Abstinence only classes are a waste. This study, along with others, prove that these course are no more effective than safe sex courses. Students who are taught that abstinence is the only way don't learn the principles of safe sex and pay the consequences with more pregnancies and the spread of STDs. Abstinence should be taught as the best way to prevent these things, but safe sex should be taught along side to give students the information necessary to make safe decisions.
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Old 04-15-2007, 06:22 PM   #3
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Are we wasting our money on these programs?
One quick survey does not make a generation worth of successful abstinence education faulty. Numerous state programs have had success. Such programs as Project Reality in Illinois and Best Friends nationally have had demonstrated success and proof is provided at the links. There are hundreds of other abstinence programs, supported by religious education, that have huge success. We need not trash these good results due to secular demands.

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Do they need more time?
What's the alternative? Schools handing out hotel room keys and condoms? We owe our youth something better; i.e., moral education, as oppposed to simply giving over to sex outside the bounds of marriage or schools promoting reckless promiscuity?
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Old 04-15-2007, 06:29 PM   #4
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schools promoting reckless promiscuity?
Teaching the ways of safe sex is not promoting promiscuity. As I said, teaching abstinence along side of safe sex education is the most productive. You tell students that abstinence is the only garuntee, but provide them with useful information for those who do not wish to lead a sex free life. People are going to have sex before marriage, no matter how idealistic you may be.
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Old 04-15-2007, 08:06 PM   #5
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Some will, others will not. There are still people that wait, Fresh.
Just for the record, and to stop the inevitable before it starts, I am not passing judgement on anyone's decisions.
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Old 04-15-2007, 08:17 PM   #6
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Certainly some will wait for marriage. Many others, however, will not. Abstinence is the only sure way to prevent pregnancy and the spread of STDs, and should be taught as such. I agree with CK that it should not be the only thing taught, however.

On the other hand, the question is when we do this teaching.

Further, this is another example of things which ought to be explained to children by their parents, and not become the responsibility of schools. I know that isn't the reality, and that parents do not have control over their children 24/7. I'm just pointing out that whatever schools may teach, the examples and teaching of their parents can also have a large affect on their actions.
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Old 04-16-2007, 10:28 AM   #7
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Some will, others will not. There are still people that wait, Fresh.
Catman, please stop arguing with me for the sake of doing it. This statement you made right here is exactly the point I made. I said, "People are going to have sex before marriage," I didn't say "ALL people," I simply said that some people will.

I know some people still wait, that's why I suggested we teach abstinence along with safe sex.

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Further, this is another example of things which ought to be explained to children by their parents, and not become the responsibility of schools.
Good point montro. Good parents should take on this responsibility by themselves. Unfortunately, there are a lot of bad parents out there, and there always will be. At that point, it becomes societies responsibility to pick up the slack. Schools have to teach this stuff because many parents will not.
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Old 04-16-2007, 11:31 AM   #8
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Fresh, did I argue with you? I did not and will not "just for the sake of argument". That is your MO, not mine. I simply correct incorrect statements when I see them.
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Old 04-16-2007, 01:20 PM   #9
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Fresh, did I argue with you? I did not and will not "just for the sake of argument". That is your MO, not mine. I simply correct incorrect statements when I see them.
What did I say that was incorrect?

You restated EXACTLY what I said in different words, simply to start a conflict.

You said "There are still people that wait, Fresh."

Show me where I said otherwise.
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Old 04-17-2007, 12:33 AM   #10
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Fresh, it was you that started the conflict (if one exists) as you always do. I am simply stating facts, as I always do. In this case, you were correct, as far as you went. I simply added a minor extension to make it more correct.
If you wish to continue your conflict, have fun. I will not participate further in your conflict.
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Old 04-17-2007, 11:18 AM   #11
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I simply added a minor extension to make it more correct.
ok, apology accepted....

Just kiddin'.

I apologize though. It appeared as though you were trying to argue with me when there was no argument. I guess I misinterpreted your tone, which is easy to do when reading text.

Sorry, didn't mean to start an argument.
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Old 04-17-2007, 11:29 AM   #12
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This should not even be a concern if parents were in control of thier children. Too many allow kids to run around town, hang out at the Mall every day, and do what ever they want.

Passing out condoms in public schools just kills me,...we are sending the wrong message big time by doing that.

Schools teach self esteem way too much,...young people think that they can do no wrong. Another goof!

To Parents: LOVE, AND TAKE CARE OF YOUR RESPONSIBILITY IN LIFE,.....YOUR KIDS!
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Old 04-17-2007, 11:39 AM   #13
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Passing out condoms in public schools just kills me,...we are sending the wrong message big time by doing that.
Maybe we should pass out Bibles, instead of condoms. That way, when kids decide to rebel and have sex anyway, they can have unprotected sex and increase the chances of pregnancy and the spread of STDs. At least when they are done the can read the Bible and ask for forgiveness.

You want to stop abortion? You want less single mothers raising children alone? Then I suggest you embrace the idea of safe sex. Abstinence only teaching has done nothing to help the situation, condoms have.
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Old 04-17-2007, 11:42 AM   #14
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Maybe we should pass out Bibles, instead of condoms. That way, when kids decide to rebel and have sex anyway, they can have unprotected sex and increase the chances of pregnancy and the spread of STDs. At least when they are done the can read the Bible and ask for forgiveness.

You want to stop abortion? You want less single mothers raising children alone? Then I suggest you embrace the idea of safe sex. Abstinence only teaching has done nothing to help the situation, condoms have.
Hey, bottom line: If you sin, you pay the piper. Don't teach safe sex, teach safe life! We need to stop making excuses for our mistakes.
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Old 04-17-2007, 11:48 AM   #15
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Hey, bottom line: If you sin, you pay the piper. Don't teach safe sex, teach safe life! We need to stop making excuses for our mistakes.
DETMURDS,

Just answer this question:

Would you like to reduce the amount of abortions in this country?
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