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Not Everyone's Doing It and That's a Good Thing, Health Department Says

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services lists the Heritage Keepers Abstinence Education, a pro-abstinence program aimed at middle and high schoolers, as one of almost three dozen “evidenced-based” sex education programs that qualify as effective in preventing teenage pregnancy. –ARK

Kate Sheppard at Mother Jones:

The HHS fact sheet on the program lists five different sections, on topics like “sexual abstinence” and “family formation.” The “STD Facts” section “discusses how to refuse sex in different settings.” Students are also taught a “four-step plan for resisting sexual activity,” and provided with “role-playing exercises to help students practice it.” In other words, don’t count on learning anything along the lines of what young people should do if they are having sex. There’s no talk about condoms or birth control. And if you’re gay, forget about it.

The RH Reality Check piece notes that an August 2007 report on the Heritage program prepared for HHS found that it “had little or no impact on sexual abstinence or activity.” So it’s not exactly clear why it’s on a list of “evidence-based programs” that “met the effectiveness criteria” for HHS.

Yet the Heritge website now proudly boasts that it is “the only authentic abstinence education program in the United States identified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as having demonstrated it’s [sic] effectiveness.”

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