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July 14, 2016 12:00 pm
NC Family president John Rustin talks with Valerie Huber, president of Ascend (formerly the National Abstinence Education Association) about a new CDC study that shows a remarkable decline in teen sexual activity in recent years.
That money going toward the president programmed more and more community is family policy with NC family Pres. John Rustin thanks for joining us this week with policy matters. We are pleased to have Valerie Huber with us today to talk about two recent studies that confirm the importance of providing assistance and common sense messages to you about delaying sexual activity until marriage Valerie as president of assumed a national pro-abstinence education group, formerly known as the national abstinence education Association or in sin represents organizations and individuals who support a priority of risk avoidance through abstinence education Valerie welcome back to family policy matters are having. It's always good to have good news to discuss Valerie.
I know the last time that we had you on the program a few months ago we talked about the decline in teen sexual activity that we been seeing in recent years, but a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the CDC shows an even sharper or steeper decline.
Tell us about the CDC's latest findings regarding teen sexual activity and what makes these findings so significant what the last time we chat and we look at the data from 1991 through 2013 and at that time there had been about a 16% drop in the percentage of team ever had facts alleged really great improvement just two years different now looking at 1991 through 2015. There is now a 28% change that median from 1991 when things were just getting to know being a culture where normalizing team fax to now where everything seemed is promoting casual sex younger and younger aged were seeing fewer and fewer teens actually happy that an astounding but very good. Valerie, one of the things that you pointed out about this new CDC study is that you expect a result of it to be a public acknowledgment of the relevance and effectiveness of the sexual risk avoidance message in both the press and in policy.
First of all, for those who don't really know what sexual risk avoidance means describe that for us. And isn't this pretty much what we used to refer to as abstinence education but risk avoidance are what we call SRA for short and really a lot more descriptive of the term that show how waiting perfect. Hopefully until marriage is really a healthy choice sand and transsexual risk avoidance is taken from public health and to think like CDC so it the choice to avoid all the risk located west back, particularly as a team because I think that we work with, but the research is pretty compelling, among all age groups, but more specifically and much more strongly among team just to follow up on that.
What kind of reaction have we seen so forward to the new CDC data on teen sexual activity in this great reduction. Do you think we could see a renewed emphasis on programs that teach teens how to delay sex until marriage or do you think were going to continue to see, this battle between sexual risk avoidance and what we refer to as more comprehensive sex education that often promotes condoms contraceptives and other activities and devices about nature in terms of what kind of reaction so far. Among those who are promoting that normalization kind of message Facts. Just make sure you contraception the so-called comprehensive sex addict approach. They are befuddled and kind of beside themselves, that teens are not having sex. At the same rate that they were a few years ago. It kind of undercuts their message that La Quinta can affect anyway. So of course they need an array of contraception available to them. It's unrealistic to think that in this day and age that waiting for sexes is a realistic or relevant message to them. Well, that when their messaging for far too many years and teens are showing that their message is really an truth is not relevant interferes your second question, could we see a renewed emphasis on the third the program. While I certainly hope so and were starting to see some positive signs will go into a little more detail later, but Sen. Blunt and police chair of the labor, and Health and Human Services subcommittee of appropriation recently championed sexual risk avoidance education where we saw an increase in funding by 50% in the Senate bill, the House bill led by Chairman Tom Cole is going to be released. We think after the July 4 Congressional recess and were hopeful that we'll see something approaching parity between so-called comprehensive facts add and SRA education and despite the fact that most of the money is going towards the president promo cleantech program were seeing more and more communities choosing sexual risk avoidance.
Instead, in fact, the Guttmacher Institute recently released a report where they were hoping to be able to laud all of the advancements in sex education made because of the president big push on his explicit program, but instead their study showed that fewer and fewer communities are interested in teaching that kind of sex ed instead they want to teach SRA education that was also very encouraging. It really is great news nobility. Some commentators who suggested in the looking. It seems the audience of the focuses on much of these programs that the social media used by teens may be driving this trend in teens not having sex, but I believe that you have disputed that notion. What you believe the impact of social media use is in relation to teen sexual activity. Are there other factors that are driving this declawed we really don't know exactly what the factors are contributing to the decline if possible that social media may play a part. But the fact of the matter.
As John that the numbers were already decreasing before social media with such a thank you look around and when you look at middle school and high schoolers that they have a phone there, staring at the phone instead of human cases.
We know that they're involved in whether that is the reason they're not having sex. I really think that that that amplification we know one thing that when we partnered with Barna research to ask older teens why they weren't having sex and were 18 and 19-year-old two top reasons that they gave and actually he's two reasons were tied for first place one lies because they were waiting to have sex for a committed relationship that we don't know exactly how they find that. But that was number one.
The second was there waiting because of their values. Social media was not in their so this is actually very encouraging to us and it's showing that perhaps there waiting for the right reason you're listening to policy matters a resource to listen to our radio show online, and for more resources that will be a voice of persuasion in your community to our website and see family.org novella you want to ask you about another recent strengthens arguments for sexual risk avoidance and all positive messages about resisting engagement in those risky activities. This study looked at school, condom distribution programs and the teen birth rate as well as sexually transmitted diseases. One of the study by Notre Dame research respond and why are these findings so important to the debate over sex education across our nation. Very dotty. They looked at school where and without condom distribution and those that had condom distribution with no counseling attached to lead and had counseling attached to and they found that those that gave out condoms without any kind of counseling attached to it had an increase in teen pregnancy, and I think that it was about a 10% increase, but this study is a little tricky for a couple of bracelets.
First of all, the result may be more historical than a commentary today because they were looking at behavior from about a decade ago.
As we know the state of sex ed today differs from 10 to 15 years ago and so the study does tell us that giving teens a bowl of condoms in the school nurse's office is really selling them short. They deserve a lot more than that in this study does show that that minimalistic attempt at" sex education really only adds to the problem is real not know, and for the benefit of the listeners. How can parents, educators, pastors and youth workers reinforced the good choices. The teams are making about six and help them to continue to make similar choices is Izzy, just as they enter into early adulthood prior to marriage. That's a good question. We really have to ask ourselves whether we are parent youth workers, teachers, any of those categories that you mention what is it that we are saying and are we saying anything to teens about this issue. If we are talking about it. Are we reinforcing that healthiest choice to wait for sack hopefully until marriage or are we giving into the cultural narrative that kind of expects teens to have sex.
What is the message that will giving to that team who's already had sex. Are we offering condemnation are we offering hope for healthier choices in the future, and I'm not suggesting that we would probably knowingly do the former, but we need to be intentional in doing the latter. The truth as what we say matters and it's also important for us to be good good role models as well because the words that are coming out of our mouth to match the life that were living as well. Before we go on socially just about out of time. But before we go. Could you give us a brief update on what is happening in Congress with respect to federal funding for such education. I know you mentioned a couple bills in the U.S. Senate in the U.S. House, but what do you anticipate will happen with those I know it's tough without a crystal ball to foretell the future, especially as it pertains to Congress. But what what do you see is the status of this funding right now and what are some things with our listeners might do to help with the great efforts that you all are making only very good in the last year of Congress and right now were looking at a very short laughed because of the upcoming election and Congress has a lot of work to do on one of them to pass a spending bill for this next year as I mentioned earlier than July 4 recess kinda going to be the turning point and were expecting a release of the house Dell for sex ed funding we need to watch and see what it looks like and if favorable, as were hoping that it will be your listeners could call their members of Congress encourage support for that bell.
In addition, we have a healthy relationship fact, both in the house and the Senate and as this session Wayne it's really important for many members of Congress to sign on as cosponsors for that bell. Not because were expecting it to be voted on yet this year, but because it sets a good precedent for the beginning of next year's session before we go will give you an opportunity to let our listeners know where they can get more information about soon, but we certainly will be tracking very closely. These activities and the status of this legislation in Congress. But I'm sure many of our listeners would like to develop a personal relationship with you and with you soon. If you would provide your website for listeners and also believe that you have an event coming up in Greensboro North Carolina shortly and I would like to give you an opportunity to miss not as well. We are actually working to launch our new website, which is what we.org and) North Carolina as you said July 20 627. Spending time in Greensboro, North Carolina. Training those who want to either advocate for or teach sexual risk avoidance education in the school and their church, or who want to know how to confidently promote this best method in their communities. Contact us and ask if anyone would like to tell you I can be taking registrations up until the day before that training which is unprecedented typically do not do that. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and without Valerie Huber. I want to thank you so much for being with us on family policy matters and for the excellent work that you do, promoting sexual risk avoidance education nationwide taking time and thank you for your good work as well used in listening to family policy matters. Production of NC family to listen to our radio show online valuable resources and information about issues important to families in North Carolina. Our website NC family.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook