June 8, 2005
Sex education, Ohio-style
Honestly, I’m really not out to get the buckeye state, but this is one hell of a way to blow through half a million bucks:
Ohio’s abstinence-until-marriage curricula contain false or misleading information about abortion and contraceptives and do not portray the risks related to sexual activity in a scientifically accurate matter, according to a leading public health researcher at Case Western Reserve University.
Dr. Scott Frank’s 29-page report, due out today, also said that abstinence-until-marriage programs, aimed at middle school and high school students, perpetuate destructive gender stereotypes, provide little guidance for gays and aren’t necessarily being taught by trained health educators.
… The report found that some abstinence-until-marriage programs:
Overstate the failure rates of condom use, blame contraceptives for poor mental health among youths and erroneously suggest that birth control pills will increase a girl’s future chances of infertility.
Misrepresent religious conviction as scientific fact. One program urges teens to “follow God’s plan for purity,” while another recommends books that are religious in nature.
Contain inaccurate or misleading information about the transmission or detection of sexual diseases. One curriculum described HIV as a virus that can remain undetected either by test or physical symptoms for six months to 10 years, when in fact most antibodies are present within two to eight weeks after exposure. The curriculum also suggested incorrectly that HIV can be transmitted through tears and open-mouth kissing.
Frank, director of Case’s public health program, said he was “surprised” at what he found. “Sometimes I found myself shaking my head wondering ‘What decade are we living in.’”
I think he meant “what century.”
Thanks to Think Progress for the tip.
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