Abstinence-Only Education Doesn’t Work. Tell Congress to Stop Funding it.

January 6, 2014

Since 1996, the federal government has spent more than $1.75 billion on abstinence-only sexual education programs — programs that teach public school students about sex through a religious filter, and fail to instruct them how to effectively prevent sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancies. 

That’s why Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) has introduced H.R. 3774, the Repealing Ineffective and Incomplete Abstinence-Only Program Funding Act, which would stop taxpayer funding for abstinence-only programs and support comprehensive sexual education.

As Rep. Lee said when she introduced the measure:

"We need to get serious about educating our young people about sex. Abstinence-only programs fail to address the challenge of unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections among our youth, which have reached a critical level. We must ensure that we provide comprehensive sex education programs that have been proven to work, instead of throwing money away on programs that don't."

The Center for Inquiry (CFI) agrees. As detailed in our position paper on this subject, abstinence-only programs are neither constitutional nor effective. Taxpayer funding for abstinence-only education violates the principle of separation of church and state by allowing public schools to indoctrinate children with antiquated religious attitudes toward sexuality. It also causes great harm: evidence shows that the highest rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases are found in states with abstinence-only policies.

Sexual education should be reality-based, not religiously-based. It's time we spent our taxpayer dollars on medically accurate, comprehensive sexual education programs based on a scientific understanding of human nature. 

CFI urges you to stand up for reason and science by calling or writing your U.S. representative now and telling him or her to support H.R. 3774! 


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