Monday, April 16, 2007

Bush's Abstinence Campaign... Another Failure

I think Bush has the anti-Midas touch. Everything he tries to do ends in total disarray. According to the Guardian's Ed Pilkington, new research shows that Bush's vaunted abstinence program is another total failure.
Since his days as governor of Texas, George Bush has been a firm advocate of abstinence education programmes, which teach that keeping zipped up is the only certain way to avoid unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, and that to deviate from the norms of human sexual activity is to risk harmful psychological and physical effects. "Abstinence hasn't been given a very good chance, but it's worked when it's tried. That's for certain," he said.

But even in 1990s Texas, where Mr Bush spent $10m a year on abstinence education, the state had the fifth highest teen pregnancy rate in the US. Over the past six years he has stepped up the programme to more than $100m a year. He recently braved ridicule by extending it to adults aged 20-29, an age range in which 90% of people are sexually active.
Many of Bush's programs fail because of cronyism. This adminstration prefers to hire "loyal Bushies" rather than those qualified for the job. This is one of the things that doomed the Iraqi reconstruction project. It's also at the heart of the US Attorney firings scandal. (See the Boston Globe's coverage for more on Monica Goodling and Regents Law School.)

But in the abstinence program case, it's not so much cronyism as the very concept underlying the program is unworkable, on its face. I'd even go so far as to say moronic.

So we've wasted a billion dollars on abstinence-based sex education and have higher rates of disease and teen pregnancy to show for it.

Worst. President. Ever.

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