It's been a couple days since I last posted. But I'm back with a round-up of recent sex ed/ab-only news:
The sexist theme that seems to come up the most often in these classes is that girls just don't like sex, and therefore their main "job" is to keep boys, who do like sex, from getting any.
And this return to traditional gender roles is not just being pushed in our schools... Oddly, there are no Mother-Son purity balls.
Recently conservative organizations and abstinence educators have turned their focus to the debate over the new HPV vaccine--yet again, something that will overwhelmingly affect young women.
Under the guise of helping young people, abstinence education is actually putting girls' health and lives at risk. For these programs, "purity" is not about sex, health or even happiness. It's about a return to "traditional" gender roles at any cost.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is a fifteen-member panel that advises the CDC on which vaccines should be recommended nationwide. Their decisions have a significant effect on whether private insurers will pay for the vaccine. ACIP also recommends whether a vaccine should be included in the Vaccines for Children program, run by the CDC. This is crucial if poor people - those most at risk for sexually transmitted diseases - are to get the vaccine. It's the Vaccines for Children program that supplies vaccinations to Medicaid, the uninsured and some underinsured patients, but only if the CDC designates it as recommended. The ACIP meets June 29th to make recommendations to the CDC on the HPV vaccine. The CDC traditionally follows the ACIP's advice. Also traditional is for states, individually, to adopt the ACIP vaccination advice and to require any recommended vaccine for public school admission. School vaccination requirements are widely accepted as the most effective way to ensure the greatest number of children are immunized.
The AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland calls on the Ohio Department of Health to review abstinence-only-until-marriage curricula and ensure that misleading claims that imply condoms afford little or no protection against HPV be removed in light of new research.
Finally, the Lansing State Journal reports that the middle school health curriculum just got a little more comprehensive.