Thursday, December 02, 2004

Your tax dollars at work

Shocker: federally funded abstinence education programs are rife with bias and errors. Some excerpts from this informative report (PDF):
Several curricula teach that girls care less about achievement and their futures than do boys. One curriculum instructs: “Women gauge their happiness and judge their success by their relationships. Men’s happiness and success hinge on their accomplishments.”
One curriculum teaches that men are sexually aggressive and lack deep emotions. In a chart of the top five women’s and men’s basic needs, the curriculum lists “sexual fulfillment” and “physical attractiveness” as two of the top five “needs” in the men’s section. “Affection,” “Conversation,” “Honesty and Openness,” and “Family Commitment” are listed only as women’s needs.
The curriculum states, “Sterility: Studies show that five to ten percent of women will never again be pregnant after having a legal abortion.” In fact, obstetrics textbooks teach that “[f]ertility is not altered by an elective abortion.”
Several curricula cite an erroneous 1993 study of condom effectiveness that has been discredited by federal health officials. The 1993 study, by Dr. Susan Weller, looked at a variety of condom effectiveness studies and concluded that condoms reduce HIV transmission by 69%.Dr. Weller’s conclusions were rejected by the Department of Health and Human Services, which issued a statement in 1997 informing the public that “FDA and CDC believe this analysis was flawed.” The Department cited numerous methodological problems, including the mixing of data on consistent condom use with data on inconsistent condom use, and found that Dr. Weller’s calculation of a 69% effectiveness rate was based on “serious error.”

Oh! I forgot to include my very favorite part!
One book in the “Choosing the Best” series presents a story about a knight who saves a princess from a dragon. The next time the dragon arrives, the princess advises the knight to kill the dragon with a noose, and the following time with poison, both of which work but leave the knight feeling “ashamed.” The knight eventually decides to marry a village maiden, but did so “only after making sure she knew nothing about nooses or poison.” The curriculum concludes: Moral of the story: Occasional suggestions and assistance may be alright, but too much of it will lessen a man’s confidence or even turn him away from his princess.

Don't show those smarts, girls!
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