Around the blog-o-sphere about democrats and abstinence-only sex ed

The Nation published a thorough and interesting article on the democrat’s decision to increase funding to abstinence-only sex education.

Then, during the last week or so, a number of blogs wrote about the same issue. Most of these blogs are political in nature, and so the focus is on trying to figure out why on earth the democrats would do such a thing.

Here is what Avedon Carol has to say:

This program is immoral and irresponsible on its face, just leaving aside that it is a right-wing crackpot scheme and a kick-back to fringe religious groups as well. The majority of parents in America want their kids to get real sex education, not enforced ignorance and lies. There is not one single tolerable excuse for the program’s existence, and it is the shame of progressives everywhere that they – and elected Democrats – have not been screaming bloody murder about this outrageous misuse of taxpayers’ money. Tell your Representative in the House that continuing Ignorance-Only is indefensible, and make sure your Senators know how you feel, too.

And from an earlier post

And then they did things like spend amazing amounts of money to have schools tell kids not to have sex. Now, you can cancel all sex education, or you can have real sex education, but why on earth would you need to pay strangers to tell kids not to have sex when they can hear it for free from their own parents, just as we always have? Can you say, “Waste of money”? I thought you could. Did you hear conservatives say it? Rarely, if it all.

And here is what Digby has to say:

So you have an obscenely expensive program that the data shows doesn’t work, that Democrats don’t want and that actually hurts kids. The only people it benefits are a bunch of right wing extremist scam artists who would rather put ice picks in their eyes than support a Democrat — and the Republican party, who continue to receive plenty of largesse in return. Yet the Democratic congress has agreed to fund it.

This is political malpractice — the K Street project in reverse. If you are going to sell out your principles, you are at least supposed to get something out of it. These programs help Republicans and only Republicans. Talk about getting the milk for free…

The GOP understands very well that power begets power and they went so far over the top that they actually began to illegally use executive power to rig elections (and possibly spy on their political enemies — we don’t know.) It would be wrong for Democrats to go that far, of course. But if the Democrats are unwilling or unable to even pass legislation that has the salutary effect of enhancing their political power, the least they could do is not pass legislation that enhances the political clout of the Republicans. It’s not too much to ask, particularly when the interests they are funding are actually hurting America’s kids with superstitious nonsense.

From DailyKos

What in the hell are Obey and Pelosi thinking on this one? Study after study has shown that abstinence-only education not only doesn’t work, but is harming the health of young people. This is just insane. And why are they doing this?

This is more than just controversial social policy. This is a profound failure on the part of Democratic leadership, once again, to stand up to a harmful conservative agenda. This, of all ridiculous policies wrought on the nation by the GOP Congress, is a no-brainer to let die.

And this from Bill Scher:

If this compromise goes through, more kids will continue to be miseducated about sex, damaging our public health.

There is logic to the saying: pick your battles.

But this is a good battle to pick — showing the new Congress knows when a government program doesn’t work and doesn’t deserve funding.

If congressional leaders want to build trust for ideas where government funds are critical, they need to show they know the difference between good and bad government.

All of this is to say, what’s going on here? Why are the democrats being so vastly irresponsible and throwing good money after bad in a time of deficit, not to mention the little issue of teaching teenagers incorrect and emotionally damaging information about what will probably become a critical aspect of their future romantic relationships.

While for crass business purposes, I may get more business if all the schools are teaching is abstinence-only-before-marriage sex education, I would rather be put out of business by a brilliant sex education curriculum being integrated into all middle and high schools.

About Karen Rayne

Dr. Karen Rayne has been supporting parents and families since 2007 when she received her PhD in Educational Psychology. A specialist in child wellbeing, Dr. Rayne has spent much of her career supporting parents, teachers, and other adults who care for children and teenagers.

1 Comment

  1. Well said that last paragraph.

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