Feature

Sex scare

The week's news at a glance.

Washington, D.C.

Many federally funded abstinence-only programs are misleading schoolchildren by teaching them that condoms don’t work, that abortion leads to sterility and suicide, and that touching a person’s genitals “can result in pregnancy,” according to a congressional analysis released last week. Rep. Henry Waxman, the California Democrat who spearheaded the report, said that while he favors encouraging teens to abstain from sex, “I don’t think we ought to lie to our children about science.” Alma Golden of the Department of Health and Human Services responded that the Waxman report had taken statements out of context to present the program in the worst light. “One thing is very clear for our children,” Golden said. “Abstaining from sex is the most effective means of preventing” pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

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