From the Family Research Council.
“Last week, while Congress was busy bickering about the price of abstinence education, a new study was establishing just how important those programs are. Although the rate of teen sexual activity had steadily declined since 1991, a federal analysis of the latest data suggests that in the last six years the percentage of young people having sex has hovered at nearly the same level. Unfortunately, after a decade of decline in the nineties, teenagers are no more inclined to delay sex until after high school today than they were in 2001. Liberal groups like Advocates for Youth (AFY) have been quick to blame this plateau on the rise of abstinence education, claiming that Congress has spent an unprecedented amount on the “save” sex message. Pointing to last week’s House vote to slightly increase Title V abstinence funding and reauthorize $141 million in Community Based, AFY President James Wagoner said that [Congress] “turned its back on public health.” What Wagoner fails to admit is that while abstinence has experienced a long-deserved influx of federal funds, value-free sex education continues to outpace spending on conservative programs by hundreds in millions of taxpayer dollars. Case in point while the House approved an additional $28 million for abstinence programs in Title V, liberal programs received the same raise, adding another $28 million to its bulging $310 million budget! Perhaps the biggest culprit for the stagnancy on teen sex front is confusion. The federal government continues to subsidize a mixed message on sexual activity. It promotes programs that tell kids not to have sex, yet funnels money to groups that offer nothing more than a “how to” lesson in promiscuity. Abstinence may well be making a significant difference in the rate of teen sexual activity, but how can it expect to compete with the near-billion spent undermining that message? Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) did his best to prevent from receiving any more Title X money, but his amendment fell just shy of passing. The rates of teen sex will resume their decline when leaders realize, as Pence has, that when it comes to the government’s abstinence message–accept no substitutes! “