ALLENTOWN, PA — The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS) applauded President Barack Obama’s decision not to fund “abstinence-only-until-marriage” (AOUM) programs in his 2010 budget proposal.
Despite repeated independent analyses that have concluded “just say no” AOUM programs do not work and put America’s teenagers at risk for pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, and other negative outcomes, more than $1.5 billion in taxpayer money has been spent in recent years on AOUM programs.
In making his decision, President Obama designated federal funds to scientifically-evaluated teen pregnancy prevention programs that allow sex educators to teach about abstinence, as well as methods of contraception and prevention of sexually transmitted infections.
“President Obama is making good on his promise to ‘restore science to its rightful place,’” said Konstance McCaffree, president of the Society. “Teen health is one area where public policy must be guided by sexual science.”
McCaffree pointed to evidence-based programs approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for their efficacy, as well as research in the American Journal of Sexuality Education, the Journal of Adolescent Health, and other peer-reviewed academic resources that have described the success of sex education programs.
“The research has been there for quite some time, but the funding has not. We are delighted the president has made teen pregnancy prevention a priority. Moreover, we are encouraged to see his support of programs that have an evidence-based, scientific foundation.”
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