Tell me again what the difference is?

In another demonstration that Democrats are not an alternative to Republicans, abstinence-only education “could even get an increase [in funding] with the aid of an unlikely ally: House Appropriations Committee Chairman David R. Obey (D-Wis.), one of the old liberal lions,” according to a Los Angeles Times article. “Expectations that a Democratic-controlled Congress would gut abstinence-only education rose this spring after a major federally funded study concluded that such programs do not appear to have any effect on sexual abstinence among youth, nor on age of sexual initiation or number of sex partners.” But Obey is not alone; according to the article, “some Democrats are suddenly protecting the programs.”

“The Democrats, and most notably Henry Waxman, used the abstinence-only issue as the cornerstone of the claim that the Bush administration was putting ideology and politics ahead of science,” said James Wagoner, president of Advocates for Youth, a nonprofit policy organization on sexual health. “Now they suddenly have gone mute and silent when their own people are in power. There is an element of political hypocrisy here.”

Hypocrisy? Would Wagoner still call it mere hypocrisy if one of the over 750,000 U.S. teens who get pregnant each year was his daughter? When it is well-established that abstinence-only education does not stop children from having sex, but only from using protection, this can only be about keeping children in ignorance so that conservatives can point to teen pregnancies (though the rate of teen pregnancy is in decline) as evidence of a “decline of traditional values.”

Author: benfell

David Benfell holds a Ph.D. in Human Science from Saybrook University. He earned a M.A. in Speech Communication from CSU East Bay in 2009 and has studied at California Institute of Integral Studies. He is an anarchist, a vegetarian ecofeminist, a naturist, and a Taoist.

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