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Government Suppresses Positive Results of Abstinence Ed Study

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Journalist The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the same agency in charge of enacting ObamaCare, is not allowing behavioral scientists to view the data in a study that found the majority of parents and adolescents think sex belongs in marriage. is reporting that the HHS' Administration for Children and Families (ACF) funded a national survey of 1,000 adolescents aged 12-18 and their "most knowledgeable parent" to determine the effect of parental and peer attitudes on the choices adolescents make about sexual activity. According to the executive summary, 70 percent of parents agreed with the statement: "It is against your values for your adolescents to have sexual intercourse before marriage.” Another 70 percent of parents agreed with the statement: "Having sexual intercourse is something only married people should do." The majority of adolescents agreed with their parents, with 60 percent saying sexual intercourse should be reserved for marriage and slightly less than 60 percent saying it is against their values to have sexual intercourse before marriage. Another key finding showed that “attitudes” of parents and peers toward sexual intercourse were key in an adolescent’s choice to abstain from or engage in sexual intercourse, LifeSite reports. It found that “conservative parent attitudes were strongly associated with conservative adolescent attitudes.”  Surprisingly, levels of communication between teens and parents regarding sex were found to make no difference in a teen's overall attitude, but peer-to-peer communication tended to influence teens toward becoming "less conservative" in their attitudes toward sex. "The study concluded that, while adolescents in abstinence classes increased parent-adolescent communication, these had 'no influence on adolescent attitudes'," LifeSite reports, "again indicating that parental attitudes were far more influential." But because the taxpayer funded study does not support the Administration's goal of doing away with all abstinence education funding, the HHS is not permitting scientists to study the data in an effort to improve their programs. According to, Lisa Rue, Ph.D., who specializes in adolescent behavior, wrote an editorial in her local newspaper, the Times Call, informing the public about how the department refused her request for the full report. She then resorted to filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) which was also denied. “We have to know cultural norms and values before we ever do any kind of research, or develop initiatives,” Rue said. “If you ignore that, you’re ignoring a premise, a key premise in evaluation science and research.” Rue suspects the HHS is stonewalling because the results of the study undermine the Obama administration’s priorities on sex education, which do not include sexual abstinence. Rue concluded, “At this point in time, we must ask ourselves: Is this valuable process being suppressed by those who wish to repress American values in an effort to exert control over sex education offered in the United States?"  Chad Hills, a social policy analyst with CitizenLink, expressed his disappointment in the department's decision not to release such a valuable study to researchers. “This information would better inform policymakers concerning the standard which a majority of the public wants them to uphold in public education,” he said. “If they are not fully informed, how can they establish good policies?” He added: "To undermine this standard by promoting casual sex is to undermine the stability of the family and, ultimately society.” © All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace®




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