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SIECUS Releases the Fiscal Year 2007 Edition of the SIECUS State Profiles

On August 21, SIECUS released the State Profiles for Fiscal Year 2007.  The most comprehensive resource of its kind, this annual publication, includes individual profiles of every state and the District of Columbia that are intended to serve as a guide and major resource for advocates, policymakers, and other interested parties.  This fifth edition includes information from federal Fiscal Year 2007, which began on October 1, 2006 and ended on September 30, 2007, and tracks approximately $176 million in federal funding to abstinence-only-until-marriage grantees.

The State Profiles were compiled through extensive research, monitoring, and tracking of state and local developments around comprehensive sexuality education; conversations with state health officials and state advocates; and the solicitation of state records on federal abstinence-only-until-marriage grantees.  Our analysis for this edition looks at trends in the movement towards comprehensive sexuality education and, similarly, developments in the abstinence-only-until-marriage movement.

The State Profiles follow abstinence-only-until-marriage funding from its origin at the federal government to its destination in the hands of grantees in order to paint a picture of how the funding is dispensed and how recipients use it to support their abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. In addition, to shed light on the ideology behind abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, the State Profiles includes information on the nature and philosophies of grantees.

Highlights and trends from this edition of the State Profiles include:

·        According to the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and confirmed by SIECUS’ research, which oversees the Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage program, 25 states will no longer be participating in the program at the end of Fiscal Year 2008.  This totals nearly $24 million in unspent monies. 

·        Health data released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the last year reveal one in four teenage girls are infected with an STI and nearly half of all African American teenage girls are infected.

·        Other data from the biennially released Youth Risk Behavioral Surveillance System shows little change in important health behaviors.  This data shows disparities in sexual health behaviors among race, ethnicity, and geographic location.

·        Texas received the highest amount of funding: $18,213,472.

·        Four states received no abstinence-only-until-marriage funding: Minnesota, Montana, Wyoming, and Vermont.  This is the first time since 1998 that any individual state has no federal abstinence-only-until-marriage funding coming into its jurisdiction.

·        The majority of abstinence-only-until-marriage funding is concentrated in southern states; these 17 states received nearly half of all allocated funding ($84.6 million).

·        Kentucky and Illinois distribute the greatest amount of funding to anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs).

·        CPCs receive abstinence-only-until-marriage funds in 23 states, totaling nearly $14 .

·        Evidence continues to mount against abstinence-only-until-marriage programs with the first ever Congressional hearing on the effectiveness of federally funded abstinence-only-until-marriage programs.  The majority of the health professionals called for an end to federal funding for the programs and said that funds should instead be spent on comprehensive sexuality education that has been proven to be effective.

·        Three states passed laws requiring sex education to be medically accurate if taught in public schools. Additionally, the State Boards of Education in California and the District of Columbia passed updated standards for sex education, requiring it to be comprehensive, age-appropriate, and medically accurate.

SIECUS encourages colleague organizations and supporters of sexuality education to use these State Profiles in advocacy efforts geared toward legislators, policymakers, opinion leaders, and the media on the national, state, and local levels.  It is our hope that each State Profile will empower individuals and organizations to expand or develop their own advocacy efforts related to comprehensive sexuality education and prevention programs.  Together, we can and must create policies that support the best programs for our young people.

The State Profiles are available now at www.siecus.org. Print copies will also be available. 

For more information on expanding or developing state and local advocacy efforts around comprehensive sexuality education, or to obtain a hard copy of the profiles, please contact Catherine Morrison, state policy coordinator, at cmorrison@siecus.org or 202/265-2405.

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