No more “no” to the “yes word”?

With the power of outgoing U.S. President George W. Bush is also losing traction on some of his ideas. In addition to a change of course in U.S. foreign policy, the strengthened Democratic opposition is waiting to be able to set a new course in domestic policy as well. A particular thorn in the side of liberals is values-based ies. In recent months, for example, the so-called Virginity Rules and the 700 or so sexual abstinence programs across the country have come under increasing fire.

"Abstinence only" programs for public schools, a central project of Christian conservatives, involve teaching that rejects all sexual contact before marriage as immoral. Critics criticize only incomplete information and the complete lack of information on the use of contraceptives.Eleven U.S. states have rejected abstinence-only education for this year. States such as Colorado, Iowa, and Washington wrote into their school laws that such programs must henceforth be based on a broad "scientific basis". In addition, for the first time since Bush took office in 2001, the U.S. Senate cut the budget – which had since increased fivefold to the equivalent of 129 million euros.Opponents of the abstinence philosophy were helped in April by a long-term study that for the first time comprehensively examined the effectiveness of school-based abstinence programs. The Mathematica Policy Institute found no evidence that they help delay the onset of teen sexual activity.However, according to the study, teenagers have become more cautious overall with the "first time" – and are more likely to use contraceptives than in the past. The government statistics evaluated show that this trend began even before the abstinence program had grown into a statewide initiative. Since 1991, the much-discussed rates of teenage pregnancy in the U.S. have been falling.Oddly enough, however, everything is different in Bush's home state of Texas, where evangelical Christianity flourishes. Texas alone gets a total of 12.4 million euros for abstinence education, more than any other U.S. state. The question of virginity is as normal here as the question of faith.Posters with serious-looking young people stand along the highways with the inscription: "No is my answer until I say yes". Yet Texas has the least decline in teen pregnancies.Many abstinence advocates are less concerned with preventing early pregnancies and HIV infections than with spiritual rescue work. "Sex was made to bind two people together," explained Eric Love, in charge of abstinence education in Northeast Texas. Those who damage this bonding power need not be surprised that later marriages do not last. With people, it's like duct tape: "Once it's soiled, it doesn't stick well anymore.".

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