Posted by: Jason | October 11, 2010
My Local Teen Pregnancy/STD report card and why it matters
These are the 2008 numbers for Charlotte County FL, an average-in-every-way-middle-class-sleepy-Gulf-Coast-community.
County Population: 165,827
Number of Teen births, Girls Age 10-19: 130
Reported Chlamydia Cases in 15-19 year olds: 82
Reported Gonorrhea Cases in 15-19 year olds: 11
Average Number of Reported New AIDS Cases: 18
Average Number of Reported New HIV Cases : 27
Number of Reported Chlamydia Cases: 227
Number of Reported Gonorrhea Cases: 46
I happen to think these numbers are horrific! And let me tell you, for what we Floridians pay for Sex-Ed it should be a heck of a lot better! But guess what, America? You all chip in an average of $4 to FL for every $1 we spend on our Sex-Ed. So you’re paying for this too! As this report explains:
Beginning in 1981 under the Reagan administration, the federal government increasingly put its support and money behind abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. Today, there are threeseparate funding streams supporting these programs, including the Adolescent Family Life Act(AFLA), the Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage program, and Community-Based AbstinenceEducation (CBAE) funding.
Currently about 1/2 of the states have figured out that this crap fails kids and have actually chosen not to take any of this money and instead fund medically accurate and comprehensive Sexual Health Education. An estimated 80% of these states that backed out cited well researched evidence as their reason and have come from a broad spectrum of the country.
Florida, meanwhile, is actually putting in more state money than the federal government requires! We are second only to Texas in dollars taken in from these 3 programs, as well as state funded contributions.
Since 2003 Florida has spent over $15 million in this abstinence only education programs. In 2009 alone, the rest of you sent us $13 Million to fund this! Thanks America!
All this money is going to 33 entities in the state:
- one private school,
- three crisis pregnancy centers (a little late, eh?)
- five community health clinics or departments, and
- 24 community-based organizations (including 16 faith-based groups.)
Meanwhile Florida currently has no statewide standards for teaching sex education. A recent University of Florida study identified the following inadequacies in sex education in Florida:
- Sex education is rarely afforded an effective amount of time.
- It occurs too late in students’ academic careers (usually in 9th or 10th grade).
- There is little uniformity or standards (in terms of training or quality assurance).
- Sex education is not accessible to all students (especially Latinos).
- It fails to adequately address students’ needs.
The net effect is a sort of sex-ed by proxy. Again, from the report:
Though no school systems are direct recipients of federal funding for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, it is not surprising that these programs have worked their ways into public schools in theform of speakers, courses, curricula, student clubs, and after-school programs. Such services are undoubtedly very appealing, as the federal money allows grantees to provide them free of charge.
Well, the results must be great then right? I mean, this Red State of Small Government – Control Spending politicians wouldn’t keep investing in it otherwise would they?
Sadly, the results are not good. Our young people are as sexually active as anywhere else, but we have more teen pregnancies and more sexually transmitted diseases.
In my next post I will discuss what Florida, and the rest of the 1/2 of America that participates in this fraud, can do about it.