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Maryland State Profile Fiscal Year 2008

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and community-based organizations in Maryland received $2,702,011  in federal funds for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs in Fiscal Year 2008.[1]

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

 
Maryland Sexuality Education Law and Policy
Maryland education code requires each local school board to work with the county health department in establishing a school health education program with a number of specified goals. Sexuality education falls under Goal F, which is designed to help students “recognize the family as a basic unit of society that perpetuates life and promotes healthy growth and development.” Under Goal F, schools must help students “develop and use skills for making responsible decisions about sexual behavior based on its consequences for the individual and others” and “develop and use skills for making responsible decisions about family planning and preventing pregnancy.” Goal F also includes teaching students about “[a] variety of family structures and roles of family members,” “male and female roles in American society,” “sexual variations,” “contraception,” and “family planning.”
Maryland education code requires that health education classes be taught in kindergarten through 12th grade, in mixed gender groups. It also states when certain topics may and may not be addressed. For example, the code says, “Direct teaching of human reproduction may not begin earlier than age 10 or later than age 12.” Regulations also state that an elective sexuality education course must be offered in middle and high schools. This course must be designed with an appointed citizen advisory committee that broadly represents the views of the community and must cover a number of topics including contraception, family planning, and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
The code states that teachers of sexuality education classes may have additional preparation for this class and that any teacher who feels “inadequate or uncomfortable” with the curriculum does not have to teach the class. Maryland State Regulations also mandate that “local school systems shall provide annual instruction in AIDS to all students at least once in grades three to six, six to nine, and nine to twelve.” Each local school board determines the actual grade.
Parents or guardians may remove their children from any or all sexuality education classes. This is referred to as an “opt-out” policy. The elective courses offered in middle and high schools require parental permission in order for a student to participate, this is known as an “opt-in” policy.
 
See Maryland Regulations 13A.04.18.02, 13A.04.18.03, and 13A.04.18.04.
 
 
Recent Legislation
SIECUS is not aware of any proposed legislation regarding sexuality education in Maryland.
 
 
Maryland’s Youth: Statistical Information of Note[2]
·        In 2007, 85% of high school students in Maryland reported having been taught about
AIDS/HIV in school compared to 90% of high school students nationwide.
 
   Baltimore, Maryland
·        In 2007, 59% of female high school students and 76% of male high school students in Baltimore, Maryland reported ever having had sexual intercourse compared to 46% of female high school students and 50% of male high school students nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, 8% of female high school students and 32% of male high school students in Baltimore, Maryland 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, 17% of female high school students and 45% of male high school students in Baltimore, Maryland 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, 43% of female high school students and 57% of male high school students in Baltimore, Maryland 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, 67% of females and 82% of males in Baltimore, Maryland 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, 10% of females and 7% of males in Baltimore, Maryland 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, 8% of females and 16% of males in Baltimore, Maryland 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, 88% of high school students in Baltimore, Maryland reported having been taught about AIDS/HIV in school compared to 88% of high school students nationwide.
 
 
 
Title V Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Funding
·        The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene received $427,256 in federal Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage 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 Maryland, the federal funding is matched with $320,442 from state funds.
·        There are seven sub-grantees in Maryland: one university and five county health departments.
 
The funding is used to run the Maryland Abstinence Education and Coordination Program (MAECP), which is administered by the Center for Maternal and Child Health. The MAECP provides grants to local health departments in addition to providing them with Managing Pressures Before Marriage: An Educational Series for Young People, a curriculum developed by Marion Howard, Ph.D. and Marie Mitchell, R.N., that targets three age groups; pre-teens (fifth and sixth grade), young teens (seventh and eighth grade), and older teens. It provides age-appropriate information and skill-building strategies for youth in an effort to assist them in making positive decisions. Local programs use the pre-teen, young teen, and teen manuals as well as the accompanying videotapes. Some programs also supplement their lessons with other curricula such as the Developmental Assets Profile (DAP).
 
 
Community-Based Abstinence Education (CBAE) and Adolescent Family Life Act (AFLA) Grantees
·        There are three CBAE grantees in Maryland: Morning Star Baptist Church, YMCA of Cumberland, MD, Inc., and ZOPSmgmt Firm, Inc.
·        There is one AFLA grantee in Maryland: Hope Worldwide. 
 
SIECUS has compiled some examples of the use of CBAE and AFLA funding in Maryland:
Morning Star Baptist Church, $599,800 (CBAE 20072012)
Morning Star Baptist Church states: “We have been called by God to be His light, leading persons out of darkness through Worship, Service, Education, Discipleship, and Stewardship.”[3] 
 
ZOPSmgmt Firm, Inc., $600,000 (CBAE 20072012)
The ZOPSmgmt Firm runs the “I Have Standards” abstinence-only-until-marriage program in churches in Prince George and Baltimore Counties, and uses two popular abstinence-only-until-marriage curricula: A.C. Green’s Game Plan and Navigator.   
SIECUS’ review of Game Plan found that in order to convince high school students to remain abstinent until marriage, the curriculum relies on messages of fear and shame, inaccurate and misleading information, and biased views of marriage, sexual orientation, and family structure. In addition, Game Plan fails to provide important information on sexual health including how students can seek testing and treatment if they suspect they may have an STD. Finally, the format and underlying biases of the curriculum do not allow for cultural, community, and individual values, and discourage critical thinking and discussions of alternate points of view in the classroom. For example, Game Plan compares sex to fire and says: “In a fireplace, fire is beautiful and gives warmth to a home. Outside of the fireplace, it can cause serious harm.” “What about sex? In a marriage relationship, sex can be beautiful. Outside of marriage, it can cause serious harm.”[4]  
SIECUS reviewed Navigator and found that it relies on messages of fear and shame, inaccurate and misleading information, and biased views of marriage, sexual orientation, and pregnancy options. Navigator fails to provide important information on sexual health and the format and underlying biases of the curriculum dictate specific values and discourage critical thinking. For example, the authors explain “Navigator does not promote the use of contraceptives for teens. No contraceptive device is guaranteed to prevent pregnancy. Besides, students who do not exercise self-control to remain abstinent are not likely to exercise self-control in the use of a contraceptive device.”[5]  
 
 
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)
Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
 
$427,256 federal
$320,442 state
Title V
Baltimore City, Local Health Department
$66,700
Title V sub-grantee
Calvert County, Local Health Department
$20,000
Title V sub-grantee
Charles County, Local Health Department
$20,000
Title V sub-grantee
Dorchester County, Local Health Department
$22,148
Title V sub-grantee
University of Maryland, School of Social Work
 $225,000
Title V sub-grantee
Washington County, Local Health Department
$26,685
Title V sub-grantee
Wicomico County, Local Health Department
$47,204
Title V sub-grantee
Morning Star Baptist Church
2007–2012
$599,800
CBAE
Young Men’s Christian Association of Cumberland, MD, Inc.
2007–2012
$600,000
CBAE
ZOPSmgmt Firm, Inc.
2007–2012
$600,000
CBAE
Hope Worldwide
2007–2012
$474,955
AFLA

 
 
Adolescent Health Contact[6]
Patricia Jones
Abstinence Education Coordinator
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Center for Maternal and Child Health
201 W. Preston Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
Phone: (410) 767-5597
 
 
Maryland Organizations that Support Comprehensive Sexuality Education

Equality Maryland
1319 Apple Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: (301) 587-7500
 
Maryland National Organization for Women
P.O. Box 7216
Silver Spring, MD 20907
Phone: (301) 984-5831
NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland
8121 Georgia Avenue, Suite 501
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: (301) 565-4154
 
Planned Parenthood of Maryland Inc.
330 North Howard Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone: (410) 576-1400

     
 
 
Maryland Organizations that Oppose Comprehensive Sexuality Education

Association of Maryland Families
P.O. Box 106
Annapolis, MD 21404
Phone: (440) 760-9166
 
Maryland Right to Life
P.O. Box 2994
Annapolis, MD 21404
Phone: (410) 269-6397 

       
Newspapers in Maryland[7]

The Baltimore Sun
Newsroom
501 N. Calvert Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
Phone: (410) 332-6000
The Washington Post
Newsroom (MD)
1150 15th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20071
Phone: (202) 334-7313
 
The Capital
Newsroom
2000 Capital Drive
Annapolis, MD 21401
Phone: (410) 280-5919
 
Carroll County Times
Newsroom
201 Railroad Avenue
Westminster, MD 21157
Phone: (410) 857-7861
 
The Frederick News-Post
Newsroom
200 E. Patrick Street
Frederick, MD 21701
Phone: (301) 662-1177
 
The Morning Herald
Newsroom
100 Summit Avenue
Hagerstown, MD 21740
Phone: (301) 733-5131

 


[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: Danice K. Eaton, et. al., “Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance—United States, 2007,” Surveillance Summaries, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 57.SS-4 (6 June 2008), accessed 4 June 2008, <http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/yrbs/index.htm>. Note: Maryland did not participate in the complete 2007 YRBS but Baltimore did.
[3] “About Us,” Morning Star Baptist Church, accessed 15 October 2008, <http://www.msbcministries.org/main.htm>.
[4] A.C. Green’s Game Plan (Golf, IL: Project Reality, 2007). For more information, see SIECUS’ review of A.C. Green’s Game Plan at <http://www.communityactionkit.org/curricula_reviews.html>.
[5] Scott Phelps and Libby Gray, Navigator: Finding Your Way to A Healthy and Successful Future (Golf, IL: Project Reality, 2003). For more information, see SIECUS’ review of Navigator at <http://www.communityactionkit.org/curricula_reviews.html>.
[6] SIECUS has identified this person as a state-based contact for information on adolescent health and if applicable, abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. 
[7] 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