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SIECUS State Profiles: A Portrait of Sexuality Education and Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs in the States Released Today

For Immediate Release

Contact: Patrick Malone (212)819-9770 ext. 316,

, DC
The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) is pleased to announce the release of the fifth edition of SIECUS State Profiles: A Portrait of Sexuality Education and Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs in the States. The publication is the most comprehensive document of its kind, detailing sexuality education and abstinence-only-until-marriage programs in states and communities across the country during Fiscal Year 2007. It contains information on each state’s laws, recently proposed legislation, and noteworthy events related to sexuality education. The profiles also detail the amount of money states and state-based entities receive for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs and how the funds are used.

Since 1982, the U.S. government has spent over $1.5 Billion on failed abstinence-only-until-marriage programs through three major funding streams. These funding streams are: Title V, passed as part of the 1996 Welfare Reform Act; Community-Based Abstinence Education (CBAE) Grants; and the Adolescent Family Life Act (AFLA). In Fiscal Year 2007, $176 Million in federal tax dollars were squandered on abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. Almost half of the funding was concentrated in southern states. This year, Texas received the highest amount of abstinence-only-until-marriage funding at $18,213,472.

However, the past year witnessed some major victories for comprehensive sexuality education. At the first ever Congressional hearing on the effectiveness of federally funded abstinence-only-until-marriage programs the majority of the health professionals called for an end to federal funding for the programs and said that funds should instead be spent on comprehensive sexuality education that has been proven to be effective.

“There is a growing evidence and recognition across the country that abstinence-only-until-marriage programs don’t work. Study after study has shown that these programs are based on fear and misinformation and do nothing to teach young people the information they need to be healthy and responsible adults. Pouring millions of dollars into ineffective abstinence-only-until-marriage programs each year is a failed experiment that we can no longer afford,” said William Smith, vice president for public policy at SIECUS.

Meanwhile, many of the states themselves are echoing that message. Half of the states have chosen not to participate in the Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage program, up from only nine states at the last publication of the State Profiles. As a result, states have turned back more than $23 million in funds.  Four states—Minnesota, Montana, Wyoming, and Vermont—received no abstinence-only-until-marriage funding, and three states passed laws requiring sex education to be medically accurate if taught in public schools. In addition, the State Boards of Education in California and the District of Columbia passed updated standards for sex education, requiring it to be comprehensive, age-appropriate, and medically accurate.

“A paradigm shift is underway as the evidence continues to mount against abstinence-only-until-marriage programs and in favor of a more comprehensive approach to sex education. More and more states are beginning to send a message that they are unwilling to continue to support programs that place ideology over the health and futures of our nation’s young people,” concluded Smith.  “The time has come for Congress to listen to what states need and end the decade-long and failed expansion of abstinence-only-until-marriage programming.”

To view the full state profiles, click here.

If you have questions, or would like to receive the report for a specific state, please contact Patrick Malone at or (212)819-9770 ext. 316.