Senator Proxmire Would Give Golden Fleece Award To Abstinence Programs

Wisconsin Senator Bill Proxmire made a name for himself in part due to his Golden Fleece Award.  When the federal government wasted taxpayer funds on a bogus project he would red flag it for national attention.  If Proxmire were alive and giving out the dubious honor yet today he would ‘award’ the sexual abstinence program pushed by the Bush Administration on behalf of religious conservatives.  The latest news on trying to keep kids chaste shows that both the program does not work, and that taxpayers are being fleeced. 

Mathematica Policy Research released their findings last week showing that the $176 million dollars that federal government authorizes annually does not work.  Students who had attended sexual abstinence programs were just as likely to engage in sexual activity a few years later, have their first sexual experience, and have as many sexual partners as those who did not attend the classes.  Obviously the abstinence programs have a fatal glitch.

The fact that sex education is being used as a political tool to assuage a certain important demographic group within the Republican Party needs to be made clear as Congress considers reauthorizing the funding this year.  The fact that a totally honest and balanced approach about sex education needs to be offered to our youth is absolutely undeniable.  Something is broken when the city of Milwaukee has the second highest pregnancy rate of the nations 50 largest cities.  Pretending that kids do not have sex, or will not have sex is naive.  Censoring vital information about contraceptives, as the abstinence programs do is counter productive, and could be deadly.

There is just no scientific evidence that the federal abstinence programs work, and no justification for the amount of taxpayer dollars that is being wasted each year.  A politically feel good approach to teaching our youth about sex is wrong for the nation.  No one is doubting the need to stem the problem of teenage pregnancy rates, or help young people better understand their sexual options.  Teaching safe sexual practices, the ability to reason with feelings,  communicating more effectively. all would be better reasoned components  of a comprehensive approach to sex education than what the Bush Administration has offered.   As a nation we should not be nervous or reticent about the topic.  Pretending that the nation’s youth are not having sex, or thinking about it 24/7  may make for good speeches at a political fundraiser but makes no sense in the real world where the kids live.

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3 thoughts on “Senator Proxmire Would Give Golden Fleece Award To Abstinence Programs

  1. Remember how well “Just Say No” worked in reducing teenage drug use? Ha! Yet the idiots think it will work with sex. The religious right-wing of the GOP raises naive wishful thinking to policy and then refuse to admit their policies fail.

  2. notalib

    I think for you to speak for the Senator is an insult to the man. You have no idea if he would see the program as wrong or not. It is only to liberal progressives because it does not fit their morally wrong lifestyle of sleeping with everyone as early as possible

  3. “is only to liberal progressives because it does not fit their morally wrong lifestyle of sleeping with everyone as early as possible’….And so Catholic priests are liberals…..?

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