There are a million and one reasons we’re giddy with excitement that Obama takes office today, and here’s just one: We are so ready to kiss abstinence-only sex education goodbye. Or at least, the federal funding for it. We know there’s no guarantee that Obama will turn off the faucet on these funds, but we have a pretty good feeling about it. After all, he’s a smart man, and funding these programs was classic Dubya (et al) stoopid.
Over the past decade, more than $1.5 billion has been spent on abstinence-only programs, and numerous studies — including a federally funded one! — have found zero evidence (that’s right, zero) that they deter teen sex. In fact, some studies have even found that abstinence-only programs make teens even less likely to use condoms when they eventually break their virginity pledge (and most of them do, eventually, break that pledge — and we’re not talking about the honeymoon). That’s because they haven’t learned the truth about sex: Instead of getting their sex ed from responsible, authoritative, fact-based resources, they’ve had to rely on uninformed friends, the rumor mill, and really bad internet porn.
So a premature ovation to you, Obama! May young adults across the country thank you when they fall in love, wait, respect each other, and — should the time come (as it were) — break out the latex while using a backup birth control method…after having visited their trusted doctors first. Oh, and Dubya? The next new STD that they discover, we’re naming it after you.