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No-sex plan may not be working

www.iselong.com 作者:

No-sex plan may not be working

  A half-dozen 13-year-old boys in New Market, Maryland, eat pizza and drink soda as they watch a video on how to resist peer pressure.

  Afterwards, a counselor asks them how they might be able to counteract social pressure to engage in sexual activity. But most of the boys aren't listening. Even after one of them is ejected from his classroom, they still push and shove, make rude noises and insult the counselor and each other. Eventually, the session wraps up without any real discussion.

  Welcome to sexual abstinence-only education in 2005.

  In the past five years, US President George W. Bush has more than doubled funding for such programs, which teach that abstinence from sex until marriage is the only sure way to avoid out-of-wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and other health problems.

  His fiscal year 2006 budget unveiled last month drastically slashed spending on hundreds of other social programs, but proposed increasing funding for abstinence by US$39 million to US$206 million, rising to US$270 million by 2008.

  Yet critics say there is no evidence these programs have any effect on reducing teen sex activity and often mislead or offer false information about reproductive health that increases the risks of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

  "Bush may be sincere, but he is also pandering to his political base and paying more attention to the ideology than the facts," said Michael McGee of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

  Mcgee said the abstinence-only movement has had a chilling effect on US classrooms, forcing teachers to stop mentioning contraception in health classes even when the curriculum requires them to.

  "It only takes one parent complaining to ruin it for the entire school. Schools want at all costs to avoid controversy," he said.

  Teen pregnancy rates in the United States have been falling in recent years, dropping 28 percent between 1990 and 2000, but remain more than twice as high as in most European countries.

  But experts say a substantial increase in contraceptive use by sexually active teens as well as a decline in sex among adolescents lie behind the statistics.

  And they say that numerous studies of abstinence programs have failed to find any measurable impact. In one of the latest, conducted by researchers in Bush's home state of Texas and released last month, teenagers in 29 high schools became increasingly sexually active after taking such courses, mirroring overall state trends.

  (Reuters)



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资料更新时间: 2005-3-22 20:48:34
资料标题:《No-sex plan may not be working》
检索关键字:Reuters,sex,
资料编号:8663
资料来源:Shanghai Daily
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