Congressional Committee on Government Reform Finds Rep. Henry Waxmanâ€™s Report on Abstinence Education Inaccurate and Misleading
Glenview, IL – An official Congressional Report, released this October 27th by the Committee on Government Reform, has found that a Democratic Staff Report released in December, 2004, entitled â€œThe Content of Federally Funded Abstinence-Only Education Programsâ€ is inaccurate and misrepresentative of abstinence education programs nationwide. The 2004 report, commonly referred to as â€œThe Waxman Report,â€ was widely and misleadingly critical of federally funded abstinence education programs. It was prepared by partisan staff and released by Rep. Henry Waxman, the Minority Chair of the Committee on Government Reform. This report received widespread and favorable media coverage and was hailed as a â€œCongressional Reportâ€ despite the fact that it was prepared by Minority Staff and never reviewed by the full committee. It referred to abstinence education programs as â€œinaccurateâ€ and â€œdangerousâ€ and called for more funding for so-called â€œcomprehensiveâ€ sex education programs. Since its release, The Waxman Report has been used by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Planned Parenthood and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) to perpetuate national campaigns against abstinence education programs and funding. The new report â€œAbstinence and Its Criticsâ€ released on Friday by Rep. Souder, reveals that The Waxman Report itself was misleading and dangerous in that it failed to examine any content of the sex education programs it recommended and contained errors and half-truths in its analysis of abstinence education programs. The accuracy, age-appropriateness and truth-in-advertising of comprehensive sex education programs were called into question by the new report. Previous studies of so-called â€œabstinence-plusâ€ or â€œcomprehensiveâ€ sex ed programs have found that a mere 4.7% of these programs contain any abstinence content. Many so called â€œabstinence-plusâ€ programs actually encourage sexual activity among youth by assignments such as condom relay races, condom shopping trips and fantasizing about sexual activity and condom use. â€œThese are the programs that need to be examined and defunded. We are glad that Congress has confirmed that The Waxman Report is erroneous and misleading,â€ stated Libby Macke, director of Project Reality. â€œRep. Waxman has a track record of bias against abstinence education and receives campaign contributions from anti-abstinence groups. This new report not only reveals his bias but calls into question the content and effectiveness of the condom-based programs the 2004 Waxman report recommended for Americaâ€™s schoolchildren.â€ To read the full report, including the Waxman Report, please click here or click here for pdf.
Also, for Illinois teens: Project Reality is now accepting entries for its annual Teens Speak Out essay contest. This year’s theme is: â€œSex and the Media — What messages do you think the media should communicate to teens about abstinence?â€ More information is here.