The Bush administration is funding sexual health projects which
teach children that HIV can be contracted through sweat and tears,
touching genitals can result in pregnancy and a 43-day-old foetus
is a thinking person.
A survey by the staff of Californian congressman Henry Waxman examined
13 of 100 "abstinence-only programmes" in 25 states, involving
several million children aged from nine to 18. The programmes are
funded by the federal government to the tune of $170m, twice the
amount when George Bush came to power.
The survey found what it called a litany of "false, misleading
and distorted information". Other assertions presented as facts
were: abortion can lead to sterility and suicide; half the gay male
teenagers in the US have tested positive for HIV; and condoms fail
to prevent transmission of HIV in 31% of heterosexual intercourse.
Mr Waxman also criticised some programmes for reinforcing sexist
stereotypes. One says: "Women gauge their happiness and judge
their success by their relationships. Mens happiness and success
hinge on their accomplishments." Another programme says: "Just
as a woman needs to feel a mans devotion to her, a man has
a primary need to feel a womans admiration. To admire a man
is to regard him with wonder, delight and approval. A man feels
admired when his unique characteristics and talents happily amaze
From The Guardian Weekly December 10, 2004