Frederick Clarkson of Talk To Action fame has just penned a critique of a new study on abstinence-only education:
But of course identity has consequences and the study Just Say Don't Know: Sexuality Education in Texas Public Schools reveals a flag of ignorance flapping smartly in the breeze over the state legislature that has made abstinence only the "preferred" method of teaching about human sexuality since 1995.From the study’s website:
Noting that Texas has among the highest teen pregnancy rates in the country, the study also reports that the state spends "approximately $1 billion annually for the costs of teen childbearing." What's more, the report underscores authoritative data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that found "young Texans to be "well above national averages on virtually every published statistic involving sexual risk-taking behaviors" and that this may be "one of the most pressing public health issues facing our state."
Texas has long been held up as the poster child for abstinence-only education. In fact, Texas consistently leads the nation by a wide margin in federal abstinence education dollars - more than 18 million in 2007 alone.
A new report from the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund … conclusively demonstrates that Texas is failing families and students when it comes to sexuality education. Classrooms are perpetuating a “conspiracy of silence” that robs young people of the reliable information they need to make responsible life decisions. Even worse, the information the students do receive about sexuality and health is often grossly distorted or simply wrong.
Clarkson goes on to say that “Their analysis is based on tens of thousands of pages of documents, curriculum materials, and district policies from nearly all of the state's more than 1,000 public school districts.” And that “Crackpot claims about condoms are perhaps the leading misinformation promoted in many school districts, including long discredited assertions that latex condoms have tiny holes large enough for sperm to travel through, even if the condom is otherwise properly used.”
Again, the full report is here for those who wish to read through it or refer to it.
To teach ignorance as education, is to teach that there is no difference between ignorance and education. Just as to teach “Intelligent Design” as science, is to teach that there is no difference between religion and science.