Ross Olson's Web Site

Social Issues: Letters

Sent: Saturday, April 21
To: Editor Star Tribune (
Subject: Abstinence Education

Your call for defunding of abstinence education (4/21/07) suffers from faulty data and faulty reasoning. What if the programs really did not make a difference in delaying intercourse or use of contraceptives? Then the call to defund the programs would only make sense if you endorsed NO SEX EDUCATION! Instead you want "comprehensive sex education" which ALSO COSTS MONEY.

Further, the study did not prove what you claim. Look at THE MEDICAL INSTITUTE FOR SEXUAL HEALTH analysis at "The Mathematica report does not support a conclusion that abstinence education programs should no longer be funded. To the contrary, the report specifically indicates that programs should continue with changes where necessary to make them more effective, particularly 'promoting support for abstinence among peer networks' as an important feature."

The programs waiting to take the place of abstinence education could very possibly do worse than "make no difference." This is because the philosophy behind many of these programs calls for sexual liberation, including "intergenerational sex." Look at what Minnesota's own Judith Levine wrote about her book "Harmful to Minors." "My book says that sexuality is a fact of life, and a potentially wonderful part of growing up for children at all stages of their lives. It's not sex itself that is harmful to children, but the conditions under which they might express themselves sexually that can leave them vulnerable to harms like HIV, unwanted pregnancy, or sexual violence."

Ross S. Olson MD

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