Great news, America: the federal government finally realized what the rest of us have known for years — that abstinence-only programs don't work and that we should try "real" sex education. The government is releasing $375 million over the course of this school year to tell everyone to burn their chastity belts, never get married and that STDs are all fun and games!
That is what sex ed teaches us, right? Seriously, though, this is a major step forward for sexuality in this country… sure to be reversed and sent spiraling back to the Dark Ages once the next Congress takes over.
Beginning this school year, a five-year, $375 million grant is being divided among 28 programs that have been proven to lower the pregnancy rate among participants, no matter their focus. Many programs distribute condoms, but about half also aim to boost teens' academics, get them involved in extracurricular activities and even improve their parents' job status.
"There's a growing realization that we have to talk to young people about relationships. It's not just body parts," said Bill Albert, the chief program officer for The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. "It's saying, 'What are your goals?' and helping young people understand what they need to do to get there." [Yahoo! News]
Of course, we still have to remind people that abstinence programs have little to no effect on teen pregnancy rates and other problems. Many Americans still stubbornly refuse to admit that the old models no longer apply.