In the george w bush administration the federal

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about the types, availability, and use of contraception. In the George W. Bush administration, the federal government promoted abstinence until marriage (“abstinence-only”) programs and restricted federal funding to schools that used such programs. The requirements for abstinence-only programs speci- fied “that these programs must have as their ‘exclusive purpose’ the promo- tion of abstinence outside of marriage and that they must not, in any way, advocate contraceptive use or discuss contraceptive methods other than to emphasize their failure rates” (Santelli et al., 2007, p. 150; also see Luker, 2006; Santelli et al., 2006). Some abstinence-only advocates bring great reli- gious fervor to the debate, leading to the promotion of youth’s making vir- ginity pledges in some schools and even purity balls where preadolescent and teenage girls pledge virginity until marriage to their fathers at formal dances or balls (Gibbs, 2008; see Valenti, 2009, for an interpretation and critique of the practice). Progressives, including many health care specialists, agree that abstinence (especially for preadolescents and young teens) should be part of sex education in schools. However, they argue strongly that abstinence-plus programs, which provide information about the types, availability, and proper use of contraception, are essential. Santelli and colleagues argued that public policies and programs in the United States and elsewhere should vigor- ously promote provision of accurate information on contraception and on sexual behavior and relationships, support increased availability and accessi- bility of contraceptive services and supplies for adolescents, and promote the value of responsible and protective behaviors, including condom and contra- ceptive use and pregnancy planning. (2007, p. 155) Such arguments have had effects, as there has been a nationwide trend against abstinence-only sex education, with 43 states and the District of Columbia no longer accepting funds under the Title V abstinence-only edu- cation program (Boonstra, 2009). Research studies comparing a range of sex education programs, including abstinence-only programs, virginity pledges, and more comprehensive pro- grams (often called abstinence-plus), have been mixed. They show that abstinence-only programs and virginity pledges do not generally increase the Copyright ©2018 by SAGE Publications, Inc. This work may not be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means without express written permission of the publisher. Draft Proof - Do not copy, post, or distribute
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CHAPTER 11: Children, Social Problems, and Society 337 age at which youth initiate sexual behavior, reduce their number of sexual partners, or reduce their likelihood of contracting a sexually transmitted disease, becoming pregnant, or causing a pregnancy (see Santelli et al., 2006, for a review). Regarding virginity pledges, studies find that students who take such pledges are more likely to delay sexual activity longer compared to those who do not pledge. However, once those who have pledged become sexually active, they are less likely to use contraception than, and are equally
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