Just three years ago, 94 percent of the state's school districts told their kiddos: Just say no to sex. And that was that when it came to sex ed -- abstinence only and nothing but, which was working out real well considering that Texas's teen-pregnancy rate was the third-highest in all the land. Still is, or close to, say most -- and tops in repeat teen pregnancies. But, just maybe, things are looking up:
This morning, the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund follows up its '09 report by noting the ginormous increase (for Texas, anyway) in districts actually adding contraception talk to the curriculum. According to its latest survey once again done in conjunction with Texas State University, wherein 677 ISDs out of more than 1,000 school districts responded to a questionnaire, slightly more than 25 percent of Texas's ISDs went with "abstinence-plus curricula for sex education in the 2010-11 school year." Says the survey:
This shift away from abstinence-only programs and toward sex education that includes medically accurate information about contraception actually reflects public opinion. A statewide poll of likely voters last summer commissioned by TFNEF revealed that 80 percent of Texas voters favor "teaching about contraception, such as condoms and other birth control, along with abstinence, in high school sex education classes."4 Shockingly, state policy-makers ignore this overwhelming public support. Texas' policy emphasizing instruction on abstinence has been unchanged for more than 15 years, and Gov. Rick Perry continues to tout that policy (even declaring that his personal experience demonstrates that "abstinence works").
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