President's Budget Eliminates Funding for Effective Abstinence Education Programs
Washington, DC (May 7, 2009) — Today's release of the 2010 Budget by the White House disregards the growing body of evidence supporting the effectiveness of abstinence education. Unfortunately, the president's budget ignores research that documents a 50% decrease in sexual onset among teens that are enrolled in abstinence programs.
According to Valerie Huber, executive director of the National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA), "At a time when teens are subjected to an increasingly sexualized culture, it is essential that common-sense legislators from both sides of the aisle reject this extreme attempt to defund the only approach that removes all risk. Members of Congress would be well advised to listen to youth and parents in their districts who overwhelmingly support these valuable programs."
Research and evaluation are called upon to validate effective approaches to improve sexual health outcomes. As noted in the new NAEA report: Abstinence Works 2009:Abstinence-Centered Programs that Reduce Teen Sex, we must objectively look at what effectively reaches America's teens. The report cites 40 studies indicating significant success in predicting and/or showing positive behavioral change.
"Not one school based Comprehensive Sex Education program has demonstrated compelling evidence of decreasing STDs or teen pregnancy, nor of increasing consistent condom usage among students for a meaningful time period. If the President is truly interested in funding only programs that work, there is not sufficient evidence to either increase funding for comprehensive sex education programs, nor to eliminate the funding for abstinence education" states Dr. Stan Weed, noted expert on sex education and president of The Institute for Research and Evaluation. This evidence was reported at a well-attended Congressional Briefing last week.
"With seemingly plausible intentions, this budget places rhetoric over reality by ignoring clear and compelling evidence that abstinence education does work", adds Huber.
The National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA) is comprised of leading abstinence educators and supporters who represent 1.5 million children across the U.S. For more information: http://www.abstinenceassociation.org
To schedule an interview with NAEA Executive Director Valerie Huber, please contact Rachel Turner at 404-285-1876