Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Four More Years of Guv'na GoodHair:
Time to Break the Abstinence Industrial Complex

This comes verbatim from Pam Stenzel's "Sex Still Has a Price Tag," used in Texas public schools

Now that Governor Goodhair has won the primary we in Texas can look forward to 4 more years of the same old funneling of state and federal money to abstinence pushers who are team players in the great conservative quest to punish women for having sex. If you haven't been paying attention to abstinence education in Texas for the past 10 or so years, now is a great time to start. Here's a to-do list:
Once you've done that, you'll be good and fired up to attend a training in April put on by the Texas Freedom Network, Planned Parenthood of North Texas, and a host of other partners that will teach attenders how to advocate for better sex education as allies for LGBTQ youth specifically.

Abstinence education is bad for everyone but it is especially harmful for LGBTQ youth who are, at best, entirely ignored by the programs and, at worst, taught religious extremist anti-gay views. In public schools. Since gay marriage is illegal in Texas (though not, apparently, gay divorce), programs that teach that sex is only acceptable in the context of marriage deliberately exclude anyone who isn't straight--or willing to pretend they're straight and, you know, be gay with a meth-head male hooker on the side.

Here's the training description:
Come learn how abstinence-only programs fail and ignore LGBTQ youth and what you can do to advocate effectively for responsible sex ed policies that help all young people. This training is for youth ages 15-24.
We will also provide specific training opportunities for adult allies and youth ministers.
Sounds good.

*# 4 in new AIDS cases; #15 in abortions; STD testing nor emergency contraception covered by Medicaid; #4 in teen pregnancy (for now); etc.

**like the military industrial complex, the abstinence education complex demonstrates the cozy relationships between political conservatives and faith-based "organizations" (read: businesses) that put together abstinence curricula and programs. the states that have received the most federal abstinence funding (Georgia, Texas, and Illinois) also happen to be the states with the biggest producers of program materials.

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