Expert Comment on Abstinence Education

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Rebecca Maynard

Professor, Graduate School of Education

Officials in Maine recently announced that they are joining California and Pennsylvania in turning down federal funding to help finance sex education due to requirements that programs receiving funding focus on abstinence.

Dr. Maynard is currently conducting the largest and most rigorous evaluation of abstinence education programs ever done.  It will be the first rigorous study of multi-year interventions, and it will be the only study that has tracked its sample members for as long as five years.

Dr. Maynard and her co-researcher issued a reporter earlier this year on the effectiveness of abstinence programs in conveying their messages and will publish a report in 2006 on how effective the programs they're studying have been at actually changing sexual behavior.

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