The American University Wellness Center
United States of America

Late last night, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) pushed through an amendment in the Senate Finance Committee authorizing $50 million in funding for abstinence-only programs as part of Health Care Reform- despite over 10 years of evidence that these programs do not work.

The researchers at Mathematica Policy Research Inc., "found no evidence that these abstinence-only programs increased rates of sexual abstinence. The study also showed that the students participating in these abstinence-only programs had a similar number of sexual partners as their peers not in the programs, and that the age of first sex was similar for both groups too."

According to Christopher Trenholm, the lead author of the study, "The basic takeaway message is that there are no differences between the two groups on any behavioral outcomes." These discoveries have been supported by many other studies. The DC community in particular has suffered from lack of information around the practice of safe sex. Our HIV rate is the same as much of Western Africa at around 3%.

The situation is even worse among women of color and gay, bisexual and MSM men in the district. There is a desperate need for accurate and comprehensive sex education in the District and the country at large.

Yesterday Advocates for Youth sent out an action alert calling for October to be a sex education Month of Action because Congress is still trying to support and fund ineffective abstinence-only Sex Ed programs.

Given that students are not receiving adequate education on safe sex in public schools and that the Wellness Center's mission, "is to provide students with wellness resources, to promote healthy lifestyles, [and] reduce risk behaviors," we call on the Wellness Center to take part in this mass student education movement by partnering with other AU offices, student groups, and resident assistants to put on safe-sex education events for all students.

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The Bring the Sex Ed Month of Action to American University petition to The American University Wellness Center was written by Canyon Bosler and is in the category Education at GoPetition.