Parents Want Their Kids to Practice Abstinence, Support Education Programs

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 8, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Parents Want Their Kids to Practice Abstinence, Support Education Programs

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 8
, 2007

Washington, DC ( — An overwhelming number of parents want their kids to practice abstinence until marriage and support abstinence education programs that drive that point home. Though six states have announced their intent to refuse federal funding for abstinence-only education, a new Zogby poll shows they are out of touch with Americans.

The poll found that 83% of parents want their children to save sex until marriage and a majority of families believe that programs should reinforce the abstinence message when broaching sex ed in the classroom.

"Despite left-wing pressure to abandon abstinence-only education, a survey of over 1,000 parents found overwhelming support for the programs," Family Research Council president Tony Perkins told on Monday.

"When the differences between comprehensive and abstinence education were explained, moms and dads supported abstinence by a two-to-one margin," he added.

Valerie Huber, executive director of the National Abstinence Education Association, also commented on the poll.

"There’s so much misinformation out there about what abstinence education is," she told CitizenLink. "We were convinced that once parents understood the real content of abstinence education, they would overwhelmingly support abstinence.”

Perkins said he wasn’t surprised to see the poll found that two-thirds of parents thing the abstinence message is wrongly compromised when presented alongside a safe sex theme.

Once they understand what abstinence education actually teaches, 6 out of 10 parents would rather their child receive abstinence education vs. comprehensive sex education. Only 3 out of 10 prefer comprehensive, Zogby showed.

He said that FRC is planning to meet with Capitol Hill members and staff on May 22 for Abstinence Day to stress the importance of helping teenagers and young people wait.

Perkins also said the poll is yet another reason why Congress should be persuaded to reauthorize funding for Title V abstinence education this June. He pointed out that California Rep. Henry Waxman and others have openly attacked abstinence programs and made clear their intentions of redirecting that money to groups like Planned Parenthood.

However, he said that FRC’s vice president for government affairs, Tom McClusky, who was just named by The Hill newspaper as one of "The Greatest in Helping the Grassroots Grow," will spearhead an effort against that.

"As Tom says, his voice would carry very little weight on the Hill without yours," Perkins concluded. "Urge your congressmen to uphold the wishes of parents across America who believe in abstinence education as the way to promote healthy and happy futures for kids."

The poll, commissioned by NAEA, was conducted through a telephone survey of parents of children age 10-16 by Zogby International. The target sample was 1,002 interviews with parents from across the United States, representing a variety of demographics and is has a 3.2 percent margin of error.

Related web sites:
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