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November 26, 2004
Abstain

The AP reports on Bush's push for more funding (Congress just allocated $131 million) for abstinence education.

President Bush's re-election insures that more federal money will flow to abstinence education that precludes discussion of birth control, even as the administration awaits evidence that the approach gets kids to refrain from sex.

Congress last weekend included more than $131 million for abstinence programs in a $388 billion spending bill, an increase of $30 million but about $100 million less than Bush requested. Meanwhile, a national evaluation of abstinence programs has been delayed, with a final report not expected until 2006.

Now I wonder why that report keeps getting delayed? Maybe because it shows that abstinence only education has no effect on teen behavior. Could that be it?

But hell, who needs studies and all that "science" and crap, when we have common sense like this...

"We don't need a study, if I remember my biology correctly, to show us that those people who are sexually abstinent have a zero chance of becoming pregnant or getting someone pregnant or contracting a sexually transmitted disease,'' said Wade Horn, the assistant secretary of Health and Human Services in charge of federal abstinence funding.

Oh, brilliant! By gum he's right!

The perfectly rational assumption behind this line of reasoning is, of course, that if kids are taught abstinence, they will practice abstinence. And I'll tell you something, Wade: I don't need no damn studies to tell me that's completely moronic.

It's all just another example of our new fantasy-based country. In the end, it's very simple. One side advocates arming teens with knowledge of the risks and realities of sex, thus enabling them to make informed choices. The other side advocates a very tightly controlled stream of information, telling children only what they would need to know if they lived in an ideal world, thus leaving them dangerously unprepared for the real one.

As James Wagoner, president of Advocates for Youth points out, "The only 100 percent way to avoid a car collision is not to drive, but the federal government sure does a lot of advocacy for safety belts."

Bottom line: If you think you can stop people from doing something by simply not telling them how to do it safely, you're an idiot. Information is not necessarily advocacy. Maybe we could give the kids a little credit, tell them the truth or something. I know it's a radical idea.

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