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Golden Fleece Award: Federal Sexual Abstinence Programs

December 29, 2008

Wisconsin Senator Proxmire issued from time to time his Golden Fleece Award for programs that were sponsored by the government, but were actually huge wastes of federal dollars.  If Proxmire were alive and issuing these awards today, I am sure he would bestow one on the sexual abstinence programs aimed at randy teenagers.

The fact is that these abstinence programs do not work, and even make a bad situation worse in that the teenagers who pledge never to have sex until marriage fail to use condoms or other protective means when they realize the pledge is just not very practical.  Unprotected sex from pregnancy and STD’s are just not practices the federal government should be promoting, either knowingly or unknowingly.

The new analysis of data from a large federal survey found that more than half of youths became sexually active before marriage regardless of whether they had taken a “virginity pledge,” but that the percentage who took precautions against pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases was 10 points lower for pledgers than for non-pledgers.

At a time of federal budget constraints it is clear that these programs passed by Congress should be ended.  They cost taxpayers $176 million, and fail to do the task for which they were intended. 

Teenagers who pledge to remain virgins until marriage are just as likely to have premarital sex as those who do not promise abstinence and are significantly less likely to use condoms and other forms of birth control when they do, according to a study released today.

The fact is that teenagers have sex.  Whether we want them to or not, it is going to happen.  So with that as a starting point, what do we do to insure that they are prepared with the right information, and safety measures such as condoms?   By pretending that they will not be normal average people, or failing to provide the necessary facts to make sound judgments we are only deluding ourselves, and setting up the ones we profess to care about with potential problems of enormous weight.

I trust that Congress, along with the Obama administration, will jettison this feel-good measure designed to pacify the religious right come the next budget cycle.  Playing to those parents who nurture the idea that sex is not a positive or healthy value, and then instilling that in children, (which is the cornerstone of these programs) should not be encouraged with our tax dollars.  There are better ways to deal with teenage sexuality than pretend it does not exist, or foster negative views that will ill-serve the child long into adulthood. 

2 Comments
  1. tomjerkweed permalink
    December 29, 2008 3:55 PM

    Make you guys a deal. No federal tax dollars for Sexual Abstinence programs and no federal tax dollars for Abortions.

    Sound fair?

    As for Jim Lunsford’s comment. You won’t have to worry about tax exemptions for churches. In a couple of years when Gay Marriage is the law of the land, the churches will be ram-rodded to perform gay marriages or lose their tax exempt status.

    So as Bobby Ferrin says “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”. It will all come out soon in the “Progressive” wash…

  2. December 29, 2008 1:17 PM

    I hope that soon we will finally have a true separation of church and state in this country. So much harm has been done to our citizens by these unelected politicians posing as religious leaders. The government has an obligation to preserve and protect our individual liberties, not impose their moralities upon it’s citizens. Especially at taxpayer expense. But since churches want to mandate political policies, maybe they should give up their tax-exempt status? With full, and public, disclosure of their accounts. After all, what use does God have for money anyway? Thanks, Jim

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