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From the Publisher
"An indictment of abstinence-only curricula."
"The notion that the only sex education teenagers need are zippy t-shirt slogans like "Earn your right to wear white: ABSTAIN" would make many of us who remember being a teenager snort with laughter. It's hard enough to get a teenager to clean their room—forcing them to abstain from one of life's most pleasurable activities? Forget it. As The Politics of Virginity points out, a recent survey shows that, despite the preaching of abstinence, half of US teens engage in sexual intercourse. But while these school curricula, supported by America's religious conservatives, may not be stopping teenagers from having sex, they are far from benign. Alesha Doan and Jean Calterone Williams detail the insidious dangers of "morality politics" that is thrusting outdated notions of gender roles and sexuality on to young people under the guise of tackling disease and teenage pregnancy. Moreover, the decision not to educate teenagers about emergency contraception may mean that a young person ultimately finds herself having to choose between an abortion or an unwanted pregnancy. Many of these abstinence-only lessons tell teenagers that "normal" young women don't want sex outside of marriage and that girls do not have the same "biological urges" that boys have. Most repellent of all, several curricula exhort young women to dress conservatively so as not to provoke young men into a sexual frenzy that could lead to assault."
"This book attempts to explain how conservative Christians have politically mobilized to support abstinence-only sex education policies in schools. Doan (Univ. of Kansas) and Williams (California Polytechnic State Univ.) show that the interest groups on the Christian Right are pursuing a stealth political strategy to achieve their goals by inserting abstinence-only provisions in omnibus congressional bills….Recommended. General readers, students of all levels, and research faculty."