Nearly Half of U.S. States Now Refusing Abstinence-Only Sex Ed and Federal Funding

As reported at Time Magazine this week, most of the United States has started to wise up about the ineffectiveness and bias of abstinence-only (which differs from abstinence-plus or comprehensive sex education, both of which contain accurate and in-depth information on sex and sexual health, but which usually also make clear that forestalling sex or certain kinds of sex is often most safe) sex education pushed by the Bush administration, and which is funded by billions of taxpayer dollars to date, and $50 million more has been given to the programs this year.

To provide some perspective, up to this year, our tax dollars have provided over 1.5 billion for abstinence-only sex education. Title X, on the other hand, which provides actual family planning services such as birth control, pre-natal care, STI testing and community education (the real kind), has continued to get a considerably lower budget.

Since the end of 1996, as we've been reporting throughout, states who want federal funding for their sex education have been forced to choose programs which contain vast amounts of purposeful misinformation, often do not include sound, accurate information on birth control and safer sex, and which inform teens that any kind of sex before or without (heterosexual) marriage is physically and psychologically harmful.

But recently, many states have made the laudable decision to refuse the funding and the programs to assure that they are educating their youth, not indoctrinating them or providing misinformation to scare or coerce them into sexual decisions that are more about the agendas of others than the real best interest of teens and young adults. Hooray! 26 states remain who are still are accepting and plan to continue to accept the money and those programs. Boo!

The states remaining which still use abstinence only programs and who have not stated an intent to refuse the programs and funding past the end of this fiscal year are, with the amounts they have received to date this year according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

Alabama, $716,369
Arkansas, $440,640
Florida, $1.9 million
Georgia, $1.1 million
Hawaii, $122,091
Illinois, $1.4 million
Indiana, $565,556
Kansas, $252,832
Kentucky, $612,974
Louisiana, 962,673
Maryland, $427,257
Michigan, $1.1 million
Mississippi, $621,716
Missouri, $664,196
Nebraska, $164,055
Nevada, $210,130
New Hampshire, $71,177
North Carolina, $936,723
North Dakota, $66,744
Oklahoma, $517,756
Oregon, $365,772
South Carolina, $563,972
South Dakota, $102,285
Texas, $3.6 million
Utah, $216,117
West Virginia, $289,389


I´m glad to see that sex education classes are straying away from abstinant based classes. I´ve never had a class based on abstinance, but I know they don´t work. Kid´s are still going to be curiouse about sex. I´m a strong believer in education kids about sex, from how to do it, the reprucusions that could come, to help if they do come. I am sexually active with my girlfriend because we have a good, open, honest relationship. We care for each other alot and plan to be with one another for the rest of our lives, and we´re the type of people that are serious about these things. I believe that abstinant based classes is the leading cause for teenagers to have sex with friends and not a commited partner because they are not giving the facts non abstinant-based sex classes give, and they go and have out-of-relationship sex to find out what sex is all about.
- Jase Watson

- Jase Watson

Bear in mind that people choose to be sexually active in any different number of types of relationships for all kinds of reasons.

Plenty of people who are and have been very well sexually educated -- including this sex educator herself -- choose to have sex outside of romantic, monogamous or committed relationships. I had casual sex and sex with friends or non-romantic partners in high school, in college, and during times of my adult life before abstinence-only sex education even existed, and also after I already knew full well what sex "was all about." No one model of sexual relationship is the best one for everyone, or the right one for any given person at a given time.

Editor & Founder, Scarleteen: Sex Ed for the Real World
Author, S.E.X.

Editor & Founder, Scarleteen: Sex Ed for the Real World
Author, S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-to-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and Col

people need information including special needs people also. the states doing only abstinence only sex education to teens. guess they don't want to lose the marriage lincese profits for the state