Paul Weyrich
July 21, 2004
A closer look at sex ed funding
By Paul Weyrich

An ambush occurred when the Abstinence Clearinghouse held its annual meeting in Nashville last month.

There is no doubt among the supporters of abstinence education that the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) chose to the release its report during the Abstinence Clearinghouse's 2004 Conference in order to prevent an effective response. The report (ideological tract may be the more appropriate term), titled SIECUS State Profiles: A Portrait of Sexuality Education and Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs in the States, criticizes state abstinence programs.

Morale among the pro-abstinence forces remains undiminished. Just as the Nazi blitz strengthened the resolve of the British to fight their mortal foes, the ambush staged by the SIECUS has steeled the will of the pro-abstinence forces to prevail no matter the disinformation they confront.

SIECUS' news release announcing the publication had the gall to claim that the only method capable of providing 100% protection against teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases — abstinence — is "unproven." SIECUS insists on complicating a very simple fact. No sex before marriage: no illegitimate pregnancies and no STDs. It's that simple.

Leslee Unruh, president of the Abstinence Clearinghouse, responded to SIECUS: "If SIECUS is honestly motivated by the health of our nation's children, why would they be opposed to sharing the best way of protecting the next generation from hurt and disease? It is time to question the motives of SIECUS."

If SIECUS wants a fight, then bring it on!

Here's the background about SIECUS. It was spawned at the Kinsey Institute in the mid-1960s. Its mission was to incorporate sex education into the curricula of the public schools. One of its early leaders was Dr. Mary Calderone, who had been medical director of Planned Parenthood.

SIECUS has, and still does receive, funding from the Federal Government. Over the years it has obtained plenty of foundation money too. Dr. Judith Reisman in the third edition of her book Kinsey Crimes & Consequences: The Red Queen And The Grand Scheme details how the Playboy Foundation, which produces sexually explicit printed and online materials, had provided grants to SIECUS including one to establish an "Office of Research Services."

SIECUS strives to push sexually explicit material on children, even those who are in elementary school. The organization's February/March 1996 "Position Statement" stated:

    "When sensitively used in a manner appropriate to the viewer's age and developmental level, sexually explicit visual, printed, or on-line materials can be valuable educational or personal aids helping to reduce ignorance and confusion and contributing to a wholesome concept of sexuality."

That "wholesome concept" of sexuality really means "anything goes." It gives license to children and teens to engage in any number of sexual behaviors from premarital sex to homosexual sex. SIECUS's "About Us" section on the webpage states:

    "SIECUS provides major news source with information on...the inadequacies of abstinence-only-until marriage programs, and the many issues faced by gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth."

SIECUS' "Six Ways You Can Support Sexuality and Sexual Health Issues" webpage states unabashedly:

    "We also work to prevent increased funding for damaging 'abstinence-only-until marriage' programs, ensure young people have access to critical sexual and reproductive health information, and protect a woman's right to choose abortion."

SIECUS cloaks itself as a respectable dispenser of information about sex; in reality, it peddles a message that is diametrically opposed to traditional morality. When it comes to sex, SIECUS' agenda effectively places pleasure above responsibility and health. "Relationships" matter more than marriage. Long-accepted moral wrongs are to become rights: be it abortion, homosexuality, or bisexuality.

Furthermore, SIECUS does this at your expense!

Last year, U.S. Representatives Chris Smith, (R-NJ) and Joe Pitts, (R-PA) requested the Government Accounting Office to review the Fiscal Year 2001 expenditures of the organizations whose agendas effectively promote promiscuity such as Planned Parenthood, Federation of America, the Population Council, Advocates for Youth, and...SIECUS.

What did it find?

The organizations listed above including SIECUS "reported spending approximately $170 million in federal funds to support their domestic health-related activities."

Obviously, pro-family advocates do not use the neutral terminology employed by the GAO when discussing SIECUS. The agenda pushed by Planned Parenthood and SIEUCS does not promote good health — physical or emotional — for young Americans. The fact that these groups can command millions and millions of federal dollars to promote unsafe sex and debase traditional morality is unacceptable. It demands action!

A Zogby poll of one thousand parents with children age 17 or under, conducted for Focus on the Family in late December 2003, was released earlier this year. It showed that over two-thirds of the parents surveyed want schools to teach teens that remaining abstinent until married is the best guarantee of a stable and satisfying marriage. Only 40% thought that abstinence and contraception should be combined in a single class. Only 2% of parents believed that sex education programs should emphasize instruction on how to use condoms.

Linda Klepacki, manager of the abstinence department at Focus on the Family, commented, "That is a shocking number because the vast proportion of government programs in the past had as their goal getting more teens to use more condoms. It is clear that the public health establishment has been out of step with the will of America's parents. Only with the current administration has funding been dedicated to abstinence."

The Heritage Foundation has found that $4.50 has been spent on the comprehensive sex education that SIECUS appears to favor for every $1.00 spent on abstinence education.

What is the value of having conservatives control the White House, the Senate and the House if we continue carrying out the liberal agenda, showering money on organizations such as SIECUS and its cohorts such as Planned Parenthood that essentially push promiscuity on kids by promoting their "anything goes" agenda?

Senator Jim Inhofe, (R-OK), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, understands the need for conservatives to be resolute. He is one legislator who not only talks about conservative principles; he really does act upon them. Time and again, he delivers results. The grant-making process at the Environmental Protection Agency has been a source of controversy for some time. Report after report had been issued about its lack of oversight and accountability. However, the bureaucrats continued bestowing discretionary grants on their favored friends and allies in environmental organizations. Senator Inhofe, working with the EPA's new administrator, Mike Leavitt, former governor of Utah, is raising the STOP sign on EPA's runaway grant making.

It's time to instill stricter standards of accountability at the Department of Health & Human Services and break up the favoritism displayed by HHS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in bestowing federal funds on promiscuity-promoting organizations whose agenda leads to teen pregnancies, abortions, and STDs.

If there is a Jim Inhofe among the committee and subcommittee chairmen in the House and Senate dealing with HHS funding who wants to fight for what is right, then I wish that legislator would please rise up and do battle.

© Paul Weyrich

Comments feature added August 14, 2011

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Paul Weyrich

Paul M. Weyrich is Chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation... (more)

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