An unfair attack on abstinence education
Lisa Miller’s Aug. 25 On Faith column, “Rep. Akin could use some accurate sex education,” demonstrated not only a striking lack of understanding of abstinence education but also a rather tortured stretch to connect such education to the recent foolish remarks of Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.).
In a rush to create her negative narrative, Ms. Miller referred to the National Abstinence Education Association’s Web site. Did she take the time to read our recent report, “Considerations for Protecting Teen Health”? If so, she would know that Sexual Risk Avoidance Abstinence Education is primarily concerned with protecting the health of teens by giving them all the information they need to stay healthy, including medically accurate information on reproductive anatomy. She would understand that research shows that teens who are part of successful abstinence education programs are less likely to have sex than those who are not in such programs, and those who do have sex usually have fewer partners and are no less likely to use condoms.
This debate should be about health, not politics. It is ironic that Ms. Miller claimed that Mr. Akin has a “disinterest in facts and science” because her own apparent disinterest in facts created a caricature of abstinence education.
Valerie Huber, Washington
The writer is executive director of the National Abstinence Education Association.