Information on the urgency of the project- what factors are contributing to the ripeness of the conservation opportunities? Why should we invest now? (You may provide this information either in the Statement of Need or in your project descriptions).
The Need for Comprehensive Sex Education: When boys and girls reach adolescence, they must make a series of decisions regarding their sexual choices that could have ramifications for the rest of their lives. They usually derive information on sex and related subjects from sources such as friends, books, the media (including advertising, television, radio, magazines), and the internet. They are being bombarded by sexual images everywhere while being told to “just say no.” The problem is that these sources may not provide them correct or accurate information.
Age-appropriate, comprehensive sex education is proven more effective for teens and young adults. These education programs not only provide accurate information, but they also correct any misinformation that participants have acquired. Young people deserve complete and accurate information, open and honest discussion, and accessible, affordable services. Accordingly, one of PPG’s priorities is providing such programs that help educate and empower girls and boys to make strong and healthy choices in their lives.
Unfortunately, for over two decades, the federal government has put millions of taxpayer dollars into abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. Some states are working to mandate comprehensive sex education, and many have rejected abstinence-only funding. In fact, only 28 states are currently accepting abstinence-only-until-marriage funding. However, the politics around this issue are not the same in all states. Georgia’s current political structure continues to promote abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. With our coalition partners, PPG has met with education officials at the state level and have concluded that, for many reasons, there is not enough political support at this time to attempt to change policy at the state level in Georgia.
Many abstinence-only-until-marriage programs have been widely criticized for being ineffective as well as denying teens lifesaving information. Studies have found over two-thirds of abstinence-only education programs contain scientific and medical inaccuracies, including vastly understating the effectiveness of contraceptives in protecting against STIs and unintended pregnancy. Further, many programs contain fear- and shame-based messages, and exclude communities for whom marriage is either not desired or not permitted.
In April, 2007, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a report conducted by the Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., which revealed that students who attended abstinence-only programs were no more likely to delay sexual activity or have fewer sexual partners than those in a control group. The programs analyzed were “cherry picked” because they were...