Republican Pseudo-Science and Condoms

Republican pseudo-science isn’t limited to intelligent design and twisting any unrelated fact to be “evidence” against climate change.  It comes as no surprise that abstinence-based education programs are providing misinformaiton, according to this report in The Washington Post:

Each of these assertions turns up in federally funded abstinence-only sex education programs: Condoms fail to prevent HIV infection 31 percent of the time during heterosexual sex. The chances of getting pregnant while using a condom are 1 in 6. And condoms break or slip off nearly 15 percent of the time.

And each of them is wrong, says John S. Santelli, a pediatrician and a professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

In a 20-page document submitted to the Department of Health and Human Services this week, Santelli detailed what he calls “misleading” and “scientifically inaccurate” information in three curricula used by programs that receive federal abstinence-only funding. His analysis accompanied a letter from the American Civil Liberties Union demanding that HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt ensure that such programs provide medically accurate information about condoms and sexually transmitted diseases, as required by federal law.

“They have been alerted numerous times, and they haven’t done anything,” said Ava Barbour, an ACLU staff attorney. “Studies have shown that the vast majority of Americans do not remain abstinent until marriage, and they need to have this vital information to protect themselves.”

Two other nonprofit advocacy groups joined the ACLU — Advocates for Youth, and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States.

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