Claim: Heritage Foundation article asserts that Sex Ed programs encourage porn use

TheNZThrower

New Member
Hi everyone! I have found this article by the Heritage Foundation that alleges that a ''Focus on Kids'' sex ed program teaches students to use erotic media as follows:

''Teachers are told to have the kids "brainstorm ways to be close. The list may include … body massage, bathing together, masturbation, sensuous feeding, fantasizing, watching erotic movies, reading erotic books and magazines …"

It also alleges that the course uses dildos to demonstrate how to put on a condom:

''Focus on Kids also has teachers stage "condom races" between teams of students. (Warning: Explicit language ahead.) "Each person on the team must put the condom on the dildo or cucumber and take it off," the program says.''

The thing is that the article provides no source or citation for their claims, thus I find them very suspect. Hope you guys can help dig something up.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
They give more details and citations in their 2009 Study, page 9
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/TR/Transcripts/2009_0215_0011_TSTMNY.pdf
These are not really "sex ed" programs, but rather HIV prevention programs. Focus on Kids was aimed at "Urban teens"
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4800004/
[
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
The OP article is from 2003. Is that program even still going on? in that way?

I found a "Focus on Youth" program, but i dont want to register to see the curriculum.

Article:
2018 ABOUT THIS PRODUCT:
Focus on Youth with Informed Parents and Children Together (ImPACT) is an HIV, STD and pregnancy prevention intervention for African-American youth ages 12–15. The intervention was updated from Focus on Kids, a community-university linked research and intervention program.
 

TheNZThrower

New Member
They give more details and citations in their 2009 Study, page 9
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/TR/Transcripts/2009_0215_0011_TSTMNY.pdf
These are not really "sex ed" programs, but rather HIV prevention programs. Focus on Kids was aimed at "Urban teens"
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4800004/
[
Hi Mick, were you able to source the pages of the programs cited by the Heritage Foundation? If so, can you post a link to them?
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
I don't think it is unlikely that these pages exist/have existed.

Via https://udspace.udel.edu/handle/19716/21406 :
The data says, if you want fewer teen pregnancies and abortions, offer comprehensive sex education.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Hi Mick, were you able to source the pages of the programs cited by the Heritage Foundation? If so, can you post a link to them?
From the study that Mick cited:
SmartSelect_20211018-202608_Samsung Internet.jpg
That book is no longer available. I found a CDC fact sheet about the program on the Wayback Machine:
Article:
Curriculum Fact Sheet
Suggested Target Audience

African-American youth aged 9 to 15 years, and other youth, especially those living in urban low-income areas.
Length
Eight sessions including seven sessions lasting 1 1/2 hours each and one all-day outing.
Behavioral Findings
  • Six months after the program, condom-use was significantly higher among the Focus on Kids intervention group than among the control group.
  • Increased rates of condom use were particularly evident among boys and among teens aged 13 to 15 years.
Objectives
At the completion of this program, participants will be able to
  • state correct information about HIV, AIDS, and other STDs including modes of transmission and prevention, and severity;
  • state their own personal values and understand how these relate to pressures to engage in sexual risk behaviors;
  • be skilled in communicating and negotiating with other young people regarding sex and drug topics and be able to use a condom correctly

[...]

To Order Materials
Contact the publisher, ETR Associates, (800) 321-4407.

So it looks like the course material was never online.

P.S. ETR also offer books like this:
SmartSelect_20211018-203520_Samsung Internet.jpg
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
Two more items from the fact sheet quoted in my previous post:
This was apparently not a classroom program!

The second item is that the materials include "Consent forms".

Now we can start debunking the heritage foundation article quoted in the OP.

Article:
It's "Back To School" time again, and here's the first pop quiz. No, it's not for the kids. It's for parents, and they have to answer only one question: Do you know what your children are learning in sex-education classes? If you're like most parents, the answer is no. But if the program is billed as "abstinence-based," you probably don't feel particularly concerned.

[..]

More likely, though, their children are being exposed to programs such as "Focus on Kids" (which, like other abstinence-plus programs, is heavily promoted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

I've bolded the bunk: "Focus on Kids" is not a school program, it requires the parents to sign a consent form, and nowhere in the fact sheet is abstinence even mentioned.

Even the Heritage Foundation do not classify "Focus on Kids" as an "abstinence-plus" program in their own study:
Article:
SmartSelect_20211018-220920_Samsung Notes.jpg

Obviously, the Heritage Foundation article is misleading the readers.


From the same study:
Note also the different emphasis on STD awareness and General Behavioral Skills.

That is why comprehensive sex ed is good at preventing pregnancies (see the study I quoted in a previous post) and risky sexual behaviour (see e.g. CDC fact sheet for "Focus on Kids").

However, the Heritage Foundations says abstinence programs are effective, too:
Article:
Critics of abstinence education often assert that while abstinence education that exclusively promotes abstaining from premarital sex is a good idea in theory, there is no evidence that such education can actually reduce sexual activity among young people. Such criticism is erroneous. There are currently 10 scientific evaluations (described below) that demonstrate the effectiveness of abstinence programs in altering sexual behavior.[18] Each of the programs evaluated is a real abstinence (or what is conventionally termed an "abstinence only") program; that is, the program does not provide contraceptives or encourage their use.

That article headlines concerns like "Sexually Transmitted Diseases" and "Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing", but the actual benefits of the abstinence programs are described as "delaying early sexual activity", "reduced the rate of onset of sexual activity", "delaying the onset of sexual activity" and the like. That means kids lose their virginity later in life; but it doesn't actually say that less of them get pregnant or that they're less at risk of contracting STDs. If you thought abstinence programs generally achieve that, you've probably been misled.
 
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