Monday, September 24, 2007
NYCLU Reports "Abstinence-Only" Education Fails New York
In a report issued on September 20 entitled Financing Ignorance: A Report on Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Funding in New York, the Reproductive Rights Project at the New York Civil Liberties Union calls on the state of New York to reject abstinence-only education programs in favor of comprehensive and scientifically accurate programs.
The NYCLU's press release highlights some of the most serious problems with abstinence-only education exposed by the report, including serious medical inaccuracies and the use of scare tactics in the curricula. The report also exposes prevalent gender bias in abstinence-only curricula:
Gender stereotypes regarding the different “natures” of girls and boys with respect to sexuality and relationships are presented as immutable, scientific facts. For example, one program teaches that “financial support” is one of the five “major needs of women,” and “domestic support” is one of the five “major needs of men.”
The report also calls for the state legislature to enact the "Healthy Teens Act" and amend the State Education Law to include a requirement that all students receive comprehensive, scientifically accurate, age-appropriate sexuality education in New York State public schools.