Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"Ignorance Only" Idiocy From Texas...where else?


Why am I not surprised that this is coming from the state that gave us our former President?

From the website of the Texas Freedom Network

Texas has long been held up as the poster child for abstinence-only sexuality education. In fact, Texas consistently leads the nation by a wide margin in federal abstinence education dollars more than $18 million in 2007 alone. What has not been known until this study, however, is what public schools are actually teaching students about sexuality education in their classrooms. And the news is not good.

Just Say Don’t Know: Sexuality Education in Texas Public Schools conclusively demonstrates that Texas is failing families and students when it comes to sexuality education. Classrooms are perpetuating a “conspiracy of silence” that robs young people of the reliable information they need to make responsible life decisions. Even worse, the information students do receive about sexuality and health is often grossly distorted or simply wrong.
From the report's executive summary.

Finding 1:
Most Texas students receive no instruction about human
sexuality apart from the promotion of sexual abstinence.
Materials returned for this study demonstrate that
abstinence-only programs have a stranglehold over
sexuality education in Texas. More than 96 percent of
school districts – with more than 3.7 million students
– fail to teach any medically accurate information on
responsible pregnancy and disease prevention.

Finding 3:
Sexuality education materials used in Texas schools
regularly contain factual errors and perpetuate lies and
distortions about condoms and STDs.
Regardless of one’s personal opinions about sexuality
education, we should all be able to agree on this point:
students should not be taught incorrect information
in school. Unfortunately, the numerous examples of
blatantly incorrect and misleading information in
classroom materials make clear that many Texas public
schools fail this most basic test.
Sexuality Education IN Texas Public Schools

TYPE OF FACTUAL ERROR % of Texas School Districts
Errors of any type: 41.0%
Errors related to…Condoms 40.1%
All STDs (including HIV and HPV) 38.9%
HIV (exclusively) 23.6%
HPV (exclusively) 20.9%

Inaccurate information about condoms is the most
common type of factual error in sexuality education
materials used in Texas, occurring in 40.1 percent of
school districts. Most examples share a common purpose
and likely effect – discouraging young people from using
condoms. While many districts utilize materials that
exaggerate condom failure rates, some districts provide
more extreme examples of condom-bashing. This
student exercise used in one Central Texas school district
provides an example:

Giving a condom to a teen is just like saying, “Well
if you insist on killing yourself by jumping off the
bridge, at least wear these elbow pads – they may
protect you some.” (page 21 of report)
An astounding 38.9 percent of districts utilize
curriculum materials or presentations that contain
inaccurate information about sexually transmitted
diseases. Instruction about HIV and human
papillomavirus (HPV) is especially prone to error or
misrepresentation in Texas classrooms, though no STD
is exempt from distortion.

A number of abstinence-only curricula repeat the
decades-old and widely discredited canard “HIV is
so small it passes through a condom.” The FACTS
curriculum (used in 20 districts) provides one common
version of this argument:

Any imperfections in the contraceptive not visible
to the eye could allow sperm, STD or HIV to pass
through the latex…If a sperm cell can get through,
how much more can the HIV virus only 1/450th the
size of a sperm! (page 20 of report)

Numerous materials falsely teach students that condoms
do not provide any protection from HPV. For instance,
the WAIT Training program (used in 53 districts)
dictates that students “be told that condoms do not
appear to provide any protection from HPV, (which
causes 99% of all cervical cancer).” (page 22 of report)

Other Errors
Some of the “facts” in Texas sexuality education
materials simply defy description or categorization. One
example is this strange statement from the Wonderful
Days abstinence-only program (used in three districts):
“If a woman is dry, the sperm will die. If a woman is
wet, a baby she may get!” (page 24 of report)

The full report is here.Is it too late to ask Mexico if they still want Texas?

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