Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Abstinence Scam

Texas has one of America's highest rates of teen pregnancy. It also receives more than any other state in federal assistance for abstinence programmes.

Now a damning report blasts Texas high schools for neglecting sex education.

The overwhelming majority of Texas schools use scare tactics and spread myths in place of teaching basic sex and health information that students can use to protect themselves and others, according to a report released Wednesday by watchdog group Texas Freedom Network.

TFN's two-year study of education materials from 990 Texas school districts showed that about 94 percent of public schools use abstinence-only programs that usually pass moral judgments while either downplaying or ignoring contraception and health screenings.

Two percent ignore sex education, according to the report, written by David Wiley, professor of health education at Texas State University, and Kelly Wilson, assistant professor of health education at Texas State.

They put much of the blame on school administrators' fear of controversy and religious groups that teach that sex is shameful.

Texas continues to have one of the nation's highest teen pregnancy rates despite receiving more federal abstinence funding than any other state.

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