New Report Reveals Unprecedented Funding Disparity between Abstinence Education and Other Sex Education Approaches
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 -
Today, the NAEA released the results of a comprehensive analysis of federal funding for sex education. The investigation revealed a stunning 1:24 disparity between Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA) Abstinence Education and Sexual Risk Reduction (SRR) contraceptive-centered programs. After consulting spending reports from various divisions of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the results were compiled primarily by using spending formulas provided by HHS in a similar report released in 2008.
The results uncover a historic departure in federal health prevention policy by ignoring any meaningful emphasis on risk avoidance by an almost exclusive focus on SRR sexual health programs. In 2008, during the final days of the Bush Administration, 25% of all funding was devoted to SRA Abstinence Education, but a pattern of precipitous decreases in SRA funding began with President Obama’s FY 2010 budget submitted shortly after he took office in 2009. The recently proposed FY 2013 Presidential Budget recommends a mere 4% of all funding for SRA primary prevention programs devoted to addressing teen sex. From FY 2007 to FY 2012, the funding disparity between risk reduction and risk avoidance abstinence education is a staggering $4.9 billion to $ 675.9 million.
“The CDC released data showing that teen birth rates are at an all-time low at the same time as abstinence rates have risen to nearly 75% among 15-17 year olds, yet the Obama Administration refuses to acknowledge and support programs that will reinforce and further improve these good results. It is disappointing that an administration that prides itself in supporting evidence-informed programs would ignore the evidence in this arena. It appears that the Administration would like to remove all SRA skill-building from federal sex education policy, which is extremely troubling,” notes Valerie Huber, Executive Director of NAEA.
NAEA is asking Congress to correct the current disparity by offering parity in funding for effective SRA Abstinence Education. Currently, Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) are leading efforts in Congress to place a renewed priority on SRA education with their sponsorship of The Abstinence Education Reallocation Act. The bill has about 70 bipartisan cosponsors to date.
See the funding analysis here.
See the 2008 HHS Funding Analysis here.
Read The Abstinence Education Reallocation Act here. (House)
Read The Abstinence Education Reallocation Act here. (Senate)
See the CDC reports on teen sexual activity here.
See the CDC reports on teen birth rates here.
NAEA is a professional association representing organizations and individuals who support a priority on risk avoidance through abstinence education. NAEA members serve students across the nation. For more information, visit the NAEA website: www.theNAEA.org and www.abstinenceworks.org.