Will the Culture Wars Never End?

I guess not. Here’s the latest: Citing the budget shortfall (yeah, right) Gov. Timothy M. Kaine has cut $275,000 in state matching funds for for abstinence-only sex education programs. Quotes the Washington Post:

“The governor supports abstinence-based education, but the governor wants to see us funding programs that are evidenced-based,” said Skinner, who added that Virginia will now offer “more comprehensive” sex education.

Predictably, conservative legislators are working themselves into a state.

Meanwhile, oil shoots past $90 a barrel, Virginia continues to pour money into a transportation system designed for cheap fuel, schools continue to fail Virginia children, college tuitions continue to soar — as do salaries for college presidents (up 37 percent over five years for private institutions), health care costs are out of control, the dollar is plunging, the sub-prime mortgage debacle gets worse, and nuclear-armed Pakistan is descending into chaos.

The world seems so out of control, and the big problems seem so intractable, that I guess it’s only human nature to fixate on the little problems they have some influence over.

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6 responses to “Will the Culture Wars Never End?”

  1. Anonymous Avatar

    Little problems they have some influence over, like sex?

  2. E M Risse Avatar

    Jim Bacon:

    I am not sure this is a culture war issue.

    Sounds like sound policy, given the scientific evidence.

    Lets us spend money on programs that have a positive impact.

    On the other hand the critical issues you raise suggest a need for more attention on the shape of the future.


  3. andrea epps Avatar
    andrea epps

    So no one thinks I am heartless, I will begin by stating that I adore children and I am not picking on a particular group of individuals. I am making no assumptions that mom and dad will be there to rescue this imaginary teenager. We were all 16 once; remember the mentality for a moment please.
    So, $275,000.00 was cut from the abstinence program.
    If the message of that program reaches ONE child under age 18, who does not become pregnant because of it, it has paid for itself.
    On the other hand, say the 16 year old becomes pregnant, how much does the Governor think this will cost Virginians? At 16, you have no independent healthcare so all prenatal and birth related medical expenses are on the taxpayers. You have no marketable skills and without college, no education that would enable you to support yourself and your child. Ahh…welfare. WIC, Formula, diapers, check ups, daycare vouchers….
    By the time the child is five years old, the taxpayers have paid more than $250,000.00 for ONE child.
    This is assuming both mother and child are healthy.
    Why can’t the professors take a collective cut in pay to make up the difference? I would think they would be the group that should be willing.
    I apologize for the tone and appreciate funding proven initiatives, but the ONE child IS THE PROOF. All that should be necessary is a testimonial from one child who still has a future because of that program.

  4. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Heard yesterday in Richmond that there is a longitudinal study in Fauqier County that shows the proof is about a 15% reduction in teen pregnancy.

    Well worth the money, Gov Kaine.

  5. Jim Wamsley Avatar
    Jim Wamsley

    I found this. Can you post a reference to the Fauqier County study.

    Abstinence-only sex education programs are not effective in preventing or delaying teenagers from having sexual intercourse, according to a report released on Friday by Mathematica Policy Research, the Washington Post reports (Sessions Stepp, Washington Post, 4/14).

    The abstinence education programs “had no impact on the age of first sex,” Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said in a statement following the release of the report, adding that the programs also “had no impact on the number of partners, … reported rates of pregnancy” or sexually transmitted infections.


  6. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Jim Wamsley: I’ll try to find the reference. I dunno if it is on line and I don’t remember the guy’s name who quoted it yesterday. I’ll ask.

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