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State Profiles Fiscal Year 2009 Press Release


For Immediate Release:                                                           Contact: Patrick Malone
June 30, 2010                                                                          (202)265-2405
New SIECUS State Profiles Highlights Shifting Momentum from Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs to More Comprehensive Approach
Washington, DC – Today, the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) is releasing the seventh edition of the SIECUS State Profiles: A Portrait of Sexuality Education and Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs in the States. In this Fiscal Year 2009 edition, SIECUS continues to offer the most in-depth resource for advocates and agencies across the country working to implement comprehensive sexuality education in public schools and communities and eliminate harmful abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. Our in-depth research allows us to provide detailed information on each state, as well as graphs, charts, and thoughtful analysis on the overall trends we are seeing at both the federal and state levels. 
However, this year’s publication has a twist to it. After nearly thirty years of strong support from the federal government for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, the Obama administration and Congress have ushered in a new era of sex education in this country, eliminating two-thirds of federal funding for ineffective abstinence-only-until-marriage programs and providing funding for evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention and comprehensive sex education initiatives totaling nearly $190 million. 
But, our progress was hampered by the resurrection of the Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage program in the recently passed health care reform bill, reminding advocates for comprehensive sex education that, as we advance towards our goal of comprehensive sexuality education for all young people, we must remain vigilant in our efforts to mitigate the misinformation foisted upon them. So, while we continue our tradition of following harmful abstinence-only-until-marriage programs and their funding, this edition also provides examples of model programs, policies, and best practices of more comprehensive approaches to sexuality education being implemented by states and localities in public schools across the country.
“Fiscal Year 2009 really represented a sea change in the focus of sex education,” said Joseph DiNorcia, Jr., president and CEO of SIECUS. “Our new State Profiles reflect this changing environment, and we hope that over the coming years, we will be able to focus entirely on more comprehensive programs once all abstinence-only-until-marriage funding is finally ended.”
Not all of the news is good this year, however. While we have seen policies and funding take a major turn, there is still work to be done on real program implementation on the ground. Data released over the last year prove that we have not yet gotten the right messages to enough young people and teen health statistics show that we are not making needed progress. Every two years, the CDC conducts the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS). This extensive study monitors several health risk behaviors among youth and young adults, including sexual behaviors that may contribute to unintended pregnancies, HIV, and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). When compared with data from 2007, we see that no real progress has been made in the status of adolescent sexual health practices. In fact, much of the progress made during the 1990s has stagnated since 2001. 
“We are winning the fight in the policy and funding arenas,” continued DiNorcia, “but we need to continue the fight to show any policy makers who are still holdouts that the decision of whether to support comprehensive sexuality education or failed abstinence-only-until-marriage programs has real consequences for the health of our young people. Hopefully this new edition of the SIECUS State Profiles will help shed light on best practices that can be replicated across the country and where we still need to eliminate harmful policies that aren’t serving the best interests of our nation’s young people. ”

The full State Profiles are available here.

If you have questions, or would like to receive the report for a specific state, please contact Patrick Malone at or (202)265-2405.