It's comparatively crumbs under the table funding compared to less effective programs, but yesterday the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families, released the names of successful grantees for the sexual risk avoidance (SRA) abstinence education program. Entitled the Competitive Abstinence Education Grant Program (CAE), the $5 million dollar program was authorized by Congress as part of the FY 2014 spending bill.
Eleven programs across the United States received two-year grants to provide information and skills that help teens avoid the risks associated with sexual activity.
My colleague Valerie Huber, President/CEO of the National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA), noted,
The Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA) abstinence approach is vital to the optimal health of America’s youth. SRA programs empower teens to successfully navigate adolescence by focusing on their goals and dreams, rather than sex.For more information from medical experts, download Sexual Risk Avoidance Education.
Currently almost 95% of sex education spending in the federal budget goes to federal initiatives that are not centered on the risk avoidance abstinence message. We hope that Congress will expand this program so that the focus on abstinence education can achieve parity in both priority and funding with contraceptive-focused programs.
Since almost 75% of the age group often targeted for sex education (15-17 year olds) have never had sex, we are eager for students to receive the reinforcement they need to continue to make healthy sexual decisions. They will singularly receive this important reinforcement in successfully implemented abstinence programs.