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Indiana State Profile Fiscal Year 2008

The Department of Health and community-based organizations in Indiana received $2,551,527 in federal funds for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs in Fiscal Year 2008.[1]

(Click Here to View a PDF Version of this Profile)

Indiana Sexuality Education Law and Policy
Indiana requires that schools teach sexuality education. This instruction must:
·        teach abstinence from sexual activity outside of marriage as the expected standard for all school age children;
·        include that abstinence from sexual activity is the only certain way to avoid out-of-wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and other associated health problems; and
·        include that the best way to avoid sexually transmitted diseases and other associated health problems is to establish a mutually faithful monogamous relationship in the context of marriage.
Each school must include instruction about HIV/AIDS and “integrate this effort to the extent possible with instruction on other dangerous communicable diseases.” This instruction must stress abstinence-until-marriage. School boards must also establish an AIDS Advisory Council, consisting of 13 “parents, students, teachers, administrators, and representatives of the state department of health.” The council must review all curricula and materials for HIV/AIDS instruction to ensure that they “reflect the standards of the community.” This council must also work in consultation with the Indiana Department of Health.
Furthermore, Indiana Code states that:
Indiana does not require parental permission for students to participate in sexuality or HIV/AIDS education nor does it say whether parents or guardians may remove their children from such classes.
See Indiana Code 20-30-5-13, 20-34-1-3, and 20-34-3-17.
Recent Legislation
Legislation to Expand High School Health Education to Include Fetal Development Component
Senate Bill 119, introduced in January 2007, would have required each Indiana school district to include detailed instruction regarding human fetal development in its high school health education curriculum. This instruction would be required to include the following topics: the result of human sperm and egg convergence, the resulting development of human conception, the health consequences of early termination of pregnancy, photographic images portraying each stage of uterine fetal development, and descriptions of human fetal development. The bill was referred to the Committee on Education and Career Development in January 2007, but failed to move out of the committee.
Indiana’s Youth: Statistical Information of Note[2]
·        In 2007, 49% of female high school students and 49% of male high school students in Indiana reported ever having had sexual intercourse compared to 46% of female high school students and 50% of male high school students nationwide.
·        In 2007, 5% of female high school students and 6% of male high school students in Indiana reported having had sexual intercourse before age 13 compared to 4% of female high school students and 10% of male high school students nationwide.
·        In 2007, 12% of female high school students and 15% of male high school students in Indiana reported having had four or more lifetime sexual partners compared to 12% of female high school students and 18% of male high school students nationwide.
·        In 2007, 39% of female high school students and 34% of male high school students in Indiana reported being currently sexually active (defined as having had sexual intercourse in the three months prior to the survey) compared to 36% of female high school students and 34% of male high school students nationwide.
·        In 2007, among those high school students who reported being currently sexually active, 51% of females and 64% of males in Indiana reported having used condoms the last time they had sexual intercourse compared to 55% of females and 69% of males nationwide.
·        In 2007, among those high school students who reported being currently sexually active, 27% of females and 20% of males in Indiana reported having used birth control pills the last time they had sexual intercourse compared to 19% of females and 13% of males nationwide.
·        In 2007, among those high school students who reported being currently sexually active, 19% of females and 29% of males in Indiana reported having used alcohol or drugs the last time they had sexual intercourse compared to 18% of females and 28% of males nationwide.
·        In 2007, 89% of high school students in Indiana reported having been taught about AIDS/HIV in school compared to 90% of high school students nationwide.
Title V Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Funding
·        Indiana received $754,073 in federal Title V funding in Fiscal Year 2008.
·        The Title V abstinence-only-until marriage grant requires states to provide three state-raised dollars or the equivalent in services for every four federal dollars received. The state match may be provided in part or in full by local groups.
·        In Indiana, the match was provided through in-kind funds from the statewide media campaign.
·        In Fiscal Year 2008 the state did not distribute any funding to sub-grantees. The Indiana State Department of Health used the Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage money to run the statewide media campaign.
Statewide Campaign: “Indiana RESPECT”
Indiana runs a statewide adolescent pregnancy prevention campaign called “Indiana RESPECT” (Reduces Early Sex and Pregnancy by Educating Children and Teens) which uses the slogan “Sex Can Wait – You’re Worth It.” The campaign includes public service announcement videos, newspaper advertisements, posters, billboards, brochures for parents and teens, and other written materials.[3] The campaign frequently relies on fear and shame. For example, one poster reads, “Your virginity isn’t the only thing you’ll lose. More than 800,000 teen girls in the U.S. will get pregnant this year. And the sad fact is that many of those girls will have to put aside their future plans, hopes, and dreams to raise their babies. Live your life. Choose to wait to have sex.”[4]
Community-Based Abstinence Education (CBAE) and Adolescent Family Life Act (AFLA) Grantees
·        There are three CBAE grantees in Indiana: A Positive Approach to Teen Health, Inc. (PATH), Abstinence for Singles, and St. Vincent Hospital and Health Care Center.
·        There are no AFLA grantees in Indiana.
SIECUS has compiled some examples of the use of CBAE and AFLAfunding in Indiana:
A Positive Approach to Teen Health, Inc. (PATH), $600,000 (CBAE 2007–2012)
PATH, Inc. provides a website for teens and another informational website for parents and teachers about its abstinence-only-until-marriage program. The teen website offers videos, games, and other activities for youth that promote abstinence. For example, a game called “Hold ‘Em, Fold ‘Em” asks teens to decide whether to pursue a relationship after going on two dates based on virtual cards that offer characteristics of the potential partner, such as “wants to move too fast,” “stays in shape,” and “has a red convertible.” The game then provides a response to tell the player if he or she made the right decision. For instance, a player who chooses to hold these three cards will receive this response: “Sounds like this one likes moving fast in more ways than one! Better stay away, you don’t want to be stuck in the fast lane!”[5]
The site also sells promotional items that parody popular entertainment media such as rubber wristbands with the words, “Live True,” (a take on the Lance Armstrong “Live Strong” campaign for cancer research) and a poster meant to mimic the movie poster for the Lord of the Rings that instead refers to “The Power is in the Rings.” The sales description for the poster explains that it: “promotes the commitment of marriage and the power of waiting. It identifies love and trust as the bonds of commitment.” Youth can also purchase the Discover Freedom pledge card, which offers a space on the back for an “authorized signature” to commit to abstinence until marriage.[6]
Such commitments are commonly called virginity pledges. Research found that 88 percent of young people who took a virginity pledge ultimately had sexual intercourse before marriage. Under certain conditions these pledges may help some adolescents delay sexual intercourse. When they work, pledges help this select group of adolescents delay the onset of sexual intercourse for an average of 18 months—far short of marriage. Researchers found that pledges only worked when taken by a small group of students. Pledges taken by a whole class were ineffective. More importantly, the studies also found that those young people who took a pledge were one-third less likely to use contraception when they did become sexually active than their peers who had not pledged. These teens are therefore more vulnerable to the risks of unprotected sexual activity such as unintended pregnancy and STDs, including HIV/AIDS. Further research has confirmed that although some students who take pledges delay intercourse, ultimately they are equally as likely to contract an STD as their non-pledging peers. The study also found that STD rates were higher in communities where a significant proportion (over 20 percent) of the young people had taken virginity pledges.[7]
Abstinence for Singles, $599,954 (CBAE 2006–2011)
Abstinence for Singles offers presentations on abstinence from premarital sex for a variety of audiences. The organization conducts seminars, interactive workshops, and training sessions on abstinence for schools and church youth groups in Gary, Indiana. The abstinence presentation strongly promotes marriage as a core component of its message. One aspect of the presentation discusses “male and female responsibilities,” which focuses on communication between men and women. A description of the lesson explains that the session involves activities “that will help youth understand what each gender group is going through.” Another component of the program, titled “Pregnant with Potential, Give Birth to Your Dreams,” teaches participants that remaining abstinent until marriage allows individuals “to become the fathers, mothers, husbands, and wives [they] need to be.”[8] Such activities promote gender stereotypes and promote heterosexual relationships and marriage while excluding lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, and questioning (LGBTQ) participants.
Federal and State Funding for Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs in FY 2008

Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Grantee
Length of Grant
Amount of Grant
Type of Grant (includes Title V, CBAE, AFLA, and other funds)
Indiana Department of Health
$754,073 federal
Title V
A Positive Approach to Teen Health, Inc. (PATH)
Abstinence for Singles
St. Vincent Hospital and Health Care Center, Inc.

Adolescent Health Contact[9]
Stephanie Woodcox, MPH, CHES
Adolescent Health Coordinator
Indiana State Department of Health
Maternal and Children’s Special Health Care Division
Community and Family Health Services Commission
2 N. Meridian Street, Section 8-C
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone: (317) 233-1374
Indiana Organizations that Support Comprehensive Sexuality Education

ACLU of Indiana
1031 East Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Phone: (317) 635-4059, ext. 230
Indiana National Organization for Women
P.O. Box 2264
Indianapolis, IN 46206
Indiana Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
P.O. Box 723
Lafayette IN 47902
Phone: (877) 441-5797
Indiana Youth Group
P.O. Box 20716
Indianapolis, IN 46220
Phone: (317) 541-8726
The League of Women Voters of Indiana
3921 North Meridian Street,
Suite 225
Indianapolis, IN 46208
Phone: (317) 241-VOTE
National Association of Social Workers—Indiana Chapter
1100 West 42nd Street, Suite 226
Indianapolis, IN 46208
Phone: (317) 923-9878
Planned Parenthood of Indiana
200 South Meridian Street
P.O. Box 397
Indianapolis, IN 46206
Phone: (317) 637-4343
Center for Sexual Health Promotion
1025 East 7th Street, HPER 116
Bloomington, IN 47405
Phone: (812) 855-0861

Indiana Organizations that Oppose Comprehensive Sexuality Education

American Family Association of Indiana
P.O. Box 26208
Indianapolis, IN 46226
Phone: (317) 541-9287
Indiana Family Institute
155 East Market Street, Suite 307
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone: (317) 423-9178

Newspapers in Indiana[10]           

Indianapolis Star
307 N. Pennsylvania Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone: (317)444-4000
The News-Sentinel
600 W. Main Street
Fort Wayne, IN 46802
Phone: (260) 461-8444
South Bend Tribune
225 W. Colfax Avenue
South Bend, IN 46626
Phone: (574) 235-1765
The Journal Gazette
600 W. Main Street
Fort Wayne, IN 46802
Phone: (260) 461-8831
The Star Press
345 S. High Street
Muncie, IN 47305
Phone: (765) 213-5830
The Times
601 45th Avenue
Munster, IN 46321
Phone: (219) 933-3200
Tribune Star
222 S. 7th Street
Terre Haute, IN 47807
Phone: (812) 231-4241


[1] This refers to the federal government’s fiscal year, which begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends; for example, Fiscal Year 2008 began on October 1, 2007 and ended on September 30, 2008.  
[2] Unless otherwise cited, all statistical information comes from: D. K. Eaton, et. al., “Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance—United States, 2005,” Surveillance Summaries, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, vol. 55, no. SS-5 (9 June 2006): 1-108, accessed 19 October 2008, <>.
[3] “Sex Can Wait, You’re Worth It,” Indiana RESPECT (2007), accessed 18 October 2008, <>.
[4] Ibid.
[5] “The Games,” A Positive Approach to Teen Health (PATH), Inc., accessed 18 October 2008, <>.
[6] “PATH Gear,” A Positive Approach to Teen Health (PATH), Inc., accessed 18 October 2008, <>.
[7] Peter Bearman and Hannah Brückner “Promising the Future: Virginity Pledges and the Transition to First Intercourse.” American Journal of Sociology 106.4 (2001): 859-912; Peter Bearman and Hannah Brückner, “After the promise: The STD consequences of adolescent virginity pledges,” Journal of Adolescent Health 36.4 (2005): 271-278.
[8] “Achievement and Action Plan,” Abstinence for Singles, Inc. (2006), <>.
[9] SIECUS has identified this person as a state-based contact for information on adolescent health and if applicable, abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. 
[10] This section is a list of major newspapers in your state with contact information for their newsrooms. This list is by no means exhaustive and does not contain the local level newspapers which are integral to getting your message out to your community. SIECUS strongly urges you to follow stories about the issues that concern you on the national, state, and local level by using an internet news alert service such as Google alerts, becoming an avid reader of your local papers, and establishing relationships with reporters who cover your issues. For more information on how to achieve your media goals visit the SIECUS Community Action Kit.
National Coalition to Support Sexuality Education National Coalition to Support Sexuality Education