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Profit from Abstinence only Education

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Joined: 08 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 2:17 am    Post subject: Profit from Abstinence only Education Reply with quote

Welcome to the exciting world of Abstinence Only Education. Once a money losing non-profit endeavor, thanks to generous funding from the Bush administration, its become a billion dollar business.

Catholic multi-millionaire Raymond Ruddy of the Gerard Health Foundation has taken in more than 25 million dollars in federal abstinence education contracts. The loose rules on funding and the lack of requirements for any proof that your classroom materials are either effective or scientifically accurate has led many less than qualified to jump into curriculum development.

Some of these people are of questionable integrity. Anne and Gordon Badgley set up a non-profit abstinence program, had the nonprofit pay off their student loan tax free, and banked $174,000 in salary for themselves, all paid for by taxpayers. Shepherd and Anita Smith made more than $200,000 in salary in a single year, plus their non-profits gave them tax free loans, and they leased their own property to the non-profits for an additional $200,000 a year.

The misinformation being peddled to children is appalling. Congressman Henrry Waxman has documented many basic science errors, as have many others. These include using the gambler’s fallacy to calculate the odds of failure of methods of STD prevention. Here are just a few examples of misinformation found in many Abstinence only classroom materials:

Increased condom use has led to an increase in STDs.

Abortions cause cancer

Premarital sex leads to depression and suicide.

Chlymidia, one of the most common STDs, can lead to heart failure. (Actually, this is partly true, except that the form of Chlymidia that does this is not sexually transmitted).

Every legitimate study shows that Abstinence Only education is ineffective, and yet we’ve spent over a billion dollars on it so far. With loose controls and no oversight, it is more than just a way to insert religiously based moralistic ideas and bad science into the classroom. For many involved, it is little more than a scam.
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