As a public service, the Department of Health and Human Services keeps an updated list of "evidence-based" teen pregnancy prevention programs that it endorses. It's a refreshing change of pace from the Bush administration, which relied more on scripture than science for their sex education policies.
Unfortunately, according to the hawk-eyed bloggers over at RH Reality Check, the list received an unexpected addition some time last month. If you scroll down a bit, you'll find a little program called Heritage Keepers Abstinence Education.
So, what is this scientifically proven, fact-based program the Obama administration now endorses?
Heritage Keepers contains little or no information about puberty, anatomy, sexually transmitted diseases, or sexual behavior. Instead, most of its lessons are devoted to promoting the importance of heterosexual marriage and the value of abstinence before marriage. Students are asked to take virginity pledges and class time is devoted to having students envision and plan their wedding days…
[A]t best Heritage Keepers Abstinence Education ignores LGBT youth – and at worst it promotes homophobia. The stigmatization of LGBT youth throughout the program reinforces the cultural invisibility and bias these students already face in many schools and communities.
Oh. That sounds, um, scientific.
It's unclear how President Obama can urge anyone to take a virginity pledge when he's clearly in bed with social conservatives on this one.
In any case, I don't think Heritage Keepers is really as anti-gay as its critics claim. The curriculum includes wedding planning. And who doesn't love envisioning their own wedding day? Newt Gingrich loves it so much, he did it three times!
Tags: Abstinence, Barack Obama, Children, Conservatives, Education, Health, Health Care, Homophobia, Kathleen Sebelius, LGBT, Sex