a. Their goal was stopping the spread of HIV.
b. Their methodology was abstinence.
c. The government only funds one or the other.
Last week, President Obama proposed to add another roadblock to their fight for funding by cutting abstinence-only cash from the budget altogether.
Now, groups like WAIT, which represent the most practical side of abstinence eduction—-delaying sex only to prevent an uncurable deadly disease—-will remain, well, pretty much unaffected. As I detailed in my piece, federally-funded abstinence-only education was always itself too much of a “comprehensive” strategy. In order to receive federal funding, abstinence groups couldn’t just work against AIDS—-they also had to teach prevention of “out-of-wedlock pregnancy”; that “a mutually faithful monogamous relationship in context of marriage is the expected standard of human sexual activity”; and that “sexual activity outside of the context of marriage is likely to have harmful psychological and physical effects.”
So while proponents of comprehensive sex education rejoice at the White House rule, some abstinence advocates, at least, aren’t lamenting the move: abstinence’s realists have always been left behind.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery.