SIECUS Logo

Support SIECUS!

Make sexuality education available to all.

Stay informed!

Sign up for SIECUS newsletters, updates, action alerts, and more!

Quick Links

PrEP

New Jersey State Profile Fiscal Year 2008

 Community-based organizations in New Jersey received $4,079,835  in federal funds for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs in Fiscal Year 2008.[1]

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

 
New Jersey Sexuality Education Law and Policy
New Jersey law mandates at least 150 minutes of health education during each school week in grades one through 12. In addition, high school students must acquire 3 ¾ credits of health education each year. School districts must align their health education curricula with the New Jersey Department of Education’s Core Curriculum Content Standards.
New Jersey State Department of Education released the Comprehensive Health Education and Physical Education Curriculum Framework in 1999. Itincludes detailed suggestions for teaching about HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and teen pregnancy prevention.
Under Standard 2.4: Human Sexuality and Family Life, the curriculum framework addresses a wide variety of topics for students in kindergarten through high school including gender assumptions, peer pressure, the reproductive system, families, media stereotypes, HIV/AIDS, abstinence, sexual orientation, and marriage. The framework aims to “provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to establish healthy relationships and practice safe and healthful behaviors,” including instruction on “healthy sexual development as well as the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, HIV infection, and unintended pregnancy.”
 Standard 2.4 alsoincludes guidelines about abstinence and contraception. Specifically, students are taught strategies to support abstinence, and to compare and contrast this practice with the use of contraception. State law also requires that all sexuality education programs and curricula stress abstinence. In addition, “Any instruction concerning the use of contraceptives or prophylactics such as condoms shall also include information on their failure rates for preventing pregnancy, HIV, and other sexually transmitted diseases in actual use among adolescent populations and shall clearly explain the difference between risk reduction through the use of such devices and risk elimination through abstinence.”
New Jersey allows parents or guardians to remove their children from any part of the health, family life, or sex education classes if it is “in conflict with his conscience, or sincerely held moral or religious beliefs.” This is referred to as an “opt-out” policy.
 
See New Jersey Statutes Amended 18A:35-4.7, 18A:35-4.20 and 18A:35-4.21; New Jersey Administrative Code 6A:8-3.1; and New Jersey Comprehensive Health Education and Physical Education Curriculum.
  
 
Recent Legislation
Resolution Sought Federal Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Funding
Senate Resolution 98, introduced in March 2007 and referred to the Committee on Education, urged Governor Jon Corzine (D) to apply for the almost $800,000 available to the state through the federal Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage program. Governor Corzine has rejected the money based on concerns about some of the strict guidelines imposed by the federal government. The resolution stated, “To reject available funding which can be used for a needed and worthy program for our children is poor public policy, and students should be taught that abstinence is the only completely reliable option available to prevent pregnancy or the sexual transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.” The bill failed to move out of committee and died.
 
 
New Jersey’s Youth: Statistical Information of Note[2]
·        In 2005, 44% of female high school students and 44% of male high school students in New Jersey reported ever having had sexual intercourse compared to 46% of female high school students and 48% of male high school students nationwide.
 
·        In 2005, 3% of female high school students and 7% of male high school students in New Jersey reported having had sexual intercourse before age 13 compared to 4% of female high school students and 9% of male high school students nationwide.
 
·        In 2005, 10% of female high school students and 14% of male high school students in New Jersey reported having had four or more lifetime sexual partners compared to 12% of female high school students and 17% of male high school students nationwide.
 
·        In 2005, 35% of female high school students and 31% of male high school students in New Jersey reported being currently sexually active (defined as having had sexual intercourse in the three months prior to the survey) compared to 35% of female high school students and 33% of male high school students nationwide.
 
·        In 2005, among those high school students who reported being currently sexually active, 65% of females and 79% of males in New Jersey reported having used condoms the last time they had sexual intercourse compared to 56% of females and 70% of males nationwide.
 
·        In 2005, among those high school students who reported being currently sexually active, 18% of females and 13% of males in New Jersey reported having used birth control pills the last time they had sexual intercourse compared to 21% of females and 15% of males nationwide.
 
·        In 2005, among those high school students who reported being currently sexually active, 19% of females and 25% of males in New Jersey reported having used alcohol or drugs the last time they had sexual intercourse compared to 19% of females and 28% of males nationwide.
 
 
Title V Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Funding
·        New Jersey was eligible for $914,495 in 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.
·        New Jersey, however, does not apply for these funds due to the extraordinary restrictions placed upon how the money must be spent. Therefore, the state does not match funds nor does it have organizations supported by this type of federal money.
 
In October 2006, Governor Corzine made the decision to reject federal funding for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs in New Jersey.[3] Fred M. Jacobs, Commissioner for the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, and Lucille Davy, Commissioner for the New Jersey Department of Education, informed the federal government of the state’s decision in a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The letter stated that the goals of the federal Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage program conflicted with long-standing sexuality education laws in New Jersey. According to the letter, the federal government’s abstinence-only-until-marriage guidelines contradict New Jersey’s Core Curriculum Content Standards, which has been in place for more than 25 years and requires a more comprehensive approach to sexuality education.[4]
 
 
Community-Based Abstinence Education (CBAE) and Adolescent Family Life Act (AFLA) Grantees
·        There are five CBAE grantees in New Jersey: one hospital and four community-based organizations. 
·        There is one AFLA grantee in New Jersey: Freedom Foundation of New Jersey.    
 
SIECUS has compiled some examples of the use of federal CBAE and AFLA in New Jersey:
Free Teens USA, $800,000 (CBAE 2005–2008) and $550,000 (CBAE 2008–2013)
Free Teens USA, Inc. states that it “reaches more than 15,000 teens annually in urban and suburban areas of NY and NJ.”[5] Free Teens USA sponsors both “Free Teens Clubs” and “Teen Leader Councils,” which use the Relationship Intelligence and Free Teens Leadership Training abstinence-only-until-marriage curricula.[6] Nearly 90 percent of the organization’s funding came from government grants in Fiscal Year 2007, two-thirds of which were CBAE dollars.[7]
The organization was founded by Richard Panzer, a former “marriage intelligence” talk show host.[8] Mr. Panzer also authored the curricula used by Free Teens USA. One of the curricula instructs students on the benefits of marriage: “lower rates of domestic violence, better physical and emotional health, longer life expectancy, lower use of drugs and alcohol, more sexual fulfillment, and higher rates of savings and wealth.”[9] 
The Free Teens USA organization is an affiliate of the Abstinence Clearinghouse.[10] As an affiliate of the Abstinence Clearinghouse, Free Teens USA has access to a network of nearly 70 abstinence-only-until-marriage organizations. Affiliates gain access to resources, including abstinence-only-until-marriage curricula and invitations to the Abstinence Clearinghouse conference self-titled as the “most prestigious abstinence-until-marriage event of the year.” [11] The founder of the Abstinence Clearinghouse is Leslee Unruh, one of the industry’s leaders, who began her career working in a South Dakota crisis pregnancy center and has deep ties to the anti-choice movement. 
The organization’s website also offers links to Parents for Truth, a campaign by the National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA). [12] The NAEA is the lobbying arm of the abstinence-only-until-marriage movement. Its mission reads, “The NAEA exists to serve, support and represent individuals and organizations in the practice of abstinence education.” [13] Since its inception, the NAEA has undertaken a number of media campaigns that use fear and misinformation in an attempt to discredit comprehensive sexuality education.
 
IMPACT Community Development Corporation, $600,000 (CBAE 2008–2013)
The “Winners Wait” program was created by IMPACT Community Development Corporation, an outgrowth of the Christ Church in Montclair, New Jersey.[14] The program is described as an “abstinence-only peer leadership program that communicates the message of abstinence.”[15] One of the “responsibilities” of participants is to “take and maintain a pledge of abstinence.”[16]  
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.[17]
 
Several Sources Foundation, $775,951 (CBAE 2005–2008)
Several Sources Foundation describes its mission by saying: “Through God’s Grace, we save babies’ lives and shelter their young mothers while providing education and ongoing compassionate support services. We further educate young people to make healthy life choices.”[18] Several Sources Foundation strongly emphasizes chastity as one of those healthy life choices. While pregnant women “are awaiting the births of their babies, they are counseled on abstinence and attend chastity workshops.”[19]
The Several Sources Foundation publishes an abstinence-only-until-marriage curriculum, The Choice Game, which has an accompanying website. There are different versions of The Choice Game, including a “Midwest Version” with “95 percent Caucasian actors” and an “Urban Version” with “55 percent African American actors, 24 percent Hispanic actors.” According to the website, the “remaining [actors] are Caucasian.”[20]
Both versions include a section on teen pregnancy. On the website, the urban version follows a young pregnant woman of color as she attempts to decide if she will marry, put the child up for adoption, or raise the child alone. Abortion is not discussed as an option. The young woman is shown as having no support until the home for pregnant teens (which Several Sources also runs) steps in—her grandmother cannot help her raise the child because “you know that landlord won’t have no babies,” her boyfriend leaves to join the Navy, and her boyfriend’s mother doubts if her son is the father. The Midwest version does not deal with unintended pregnancies, instead stating that this “curriculum has as its exclusive purpose to teach abstinence and is consistent with the abstinence-until-marriage message.”[21] While it is often appropriate to create culturally competent curricula geared to the specific population or community with whom the program will be used, the double standard implied by these two versions is disturbing. Several Sources seems to suggest that while young people in the Midwest have the ability to decide to save sex for marriage thereby avoiding unintended pregnancies, their “urban” counterparts do not and will be left to deal with the consequences. The organization plans to release a “Native American Version” of its curricula.[22] 
Several Sources Foundation also hosts the Lifecall.org website which provides “resources for pregnant women and their babies.”[23] The site includes a directory of shelters for pregnant women and crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs). CPCs typically advertises as providing medical services and then use anti-abortion propaganda, misinformation, and fear and shame tactics to dissuade women facing unintended pregnancy from exercising their right to choose. The Lifecall.org site offers several Biblical quotes and a video “Diary of a Preborn,” which is intended for women contemplating abortion.[24] In addition, Several Sources Foundation hosts the Chasitycall.org website. The homepage proclaims: “Chastity is a lifestyle. One date may be too late!!”[25] The site offers a variety of examples of chastity in the Bible including the Virgin Mary, and several passages from both the Old and New Testaments.[26]
Several Sources is an affiliate of the Abstinence Clearinghouse.  
 
 
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)
Columbus Hospital
2007–2012
$510,728
CBAE
 
Free Teens USA, Inc
 
2005–2008
DUAL GRANTEE
2008–2013
$800,000
 
$550,000
CBAE
 
CBAE                                    
Harvest of Hope Family Services Network, Inc.
2008–2013
$550,000
CBAE
IMPACT Community Development Corporation
2008–2013
$600,000
CBAE
Several Sources Foundation
2005–2008
$775,951
CBAE
Freedom Foundation of New Jersey
2004–2009
$293,156
AFLA

 
 
Adolescent Health Contact[27]
Cynthia A. Collins, MS, RD
Program Manager, Child and Adolescent Health
New Jersey Department of Health & Senior Services, Child and Adolescent Health Program P.O. Box 364
Trenton, NJ 08625-0364
Phone: (609) 292-1723
 
 
New Jersey Organizations that Support Comprehensive Sexuality Education

ACLU of New Jersey
P.O. Box 32159
Newark, NJ 07102
Phone: (973) 642-2084
Answer
41 Gordon Road, Suite C
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Phone: (732) 445-7929

Family Planning Association
of New Jersey
210 West State Street
Trenton, NJ 08608
Phone: (609) 393-8423
HiTOPS
21 Wiggins Street
Princeton, NJ 08540
Phone: (609) 683-5155
 
Hyacinth AIDS Foundation
317 George Street, Suite 203
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Phone: (732) 246-0204
 
NARAL Pro-Choice New Jersey
P.O. Box 23312
Trenton, NJ 08607
Phone: (609) 439-4516
www.prochoicenj.org
 
New Jersey Lesbian and Gay Coalition
P.O. Box 11335
New Brunswick, NJ 08906
Phone: (732) 828-6772
New Jersey National Organization for Women
110 West State Street
Trenton, NJ 08608
Phone: (609) 393-0156
 
New Jersey Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
P.O. Box 13
Mt. Freedom, NJ 07974
Phone: (973) 656-9494
 
Planned Parenthood of Greater Northern
New Jersey
196 Speedwell Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960
Phone: (973) 539-9580
 
Sierra Club – New Jersey Chapter
145 West Hanover Street
Trenton, NJ 08618
 
       
 
New Jersey Organizations that Oppose Comprehensive Sexuality Education

New Jersey Christian Coalition
560 Hoover Avenue
Township of Washington, NJ 07676
Phone: (201) 358-1382
New Jersey Family Policy Council
P.O. Box 6011
Parsippany, NJ 07054
Phone: (800)653-7204
 
New Jersey Right to Life
113 North Avenue W
Cranford, NJ 07016
Phone: (908) 276-6620
 
 

       
Newspapers in New Jersey[28]

Courier News
Newsroom
1201 Route 22 W.
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
Phone: (908) 722-8800
 
Courier-Post
Newsroom
301 Cuthbert Boulevard
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
Phone: (856) 663-6000
 
Herald News
Newsroom
1 Garret Mountain Plaza
West Paterson, NJ 07424
Phone: (973) 569-7100
 
The Hudson Reporter
Newsroom
P.O. Box 3069
Hoboken, NJ 07030
Phone 201-798-7800
The Jersey Journal
Newsroom
30 Journal Square
Jersey City, NJ 07306
Phone: (201) 653-1000
 
NJN/New Jersey Network
Newsroom
P.O. Box 777
Trenton, NJ 08625
Phone: (609) 777-5000
The Star-Ledger
Newsroom
1 Star Ledger Plaza
Newark, NJ 07102
Phone: (973) 392-4141
The Times
Newsroom
P.O. Box 847
Trenton, NJ 08605
Phone: (609) 989-5454

 
             


[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, 2005,” Surveillance Summaries, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, vol. 55, no. SS-5 (9 June 2006): 1-108, accessed 26 January 2007, <http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/yrbs/index.htm>. Note: New Jersey did not participate in the 2007 YRBS.
[3] Letter from Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D., Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Health and Services and Lucille Davy, Commissioner for the New Jersey. Department of Education to Secretary Michael Leavitt, The United States Department of Health and Human Services, 24 October 2006.
[4] Ibid.
[5] “Free Teens USA,” Free Teens USA, accessed 3 April 2008, <http://www.freeteens.org/>.
[6] Ibid.
[7] Free Teens USA, Inc., 990 Form, Fiscal Year 2007. 
[8] “About,” Lovesmarts, accessed 3 October 2008, < http://www.lovesmarts.org/stories/founder_ls.htm>.
[9] “Part Three Chapters,” Lovesmarts, accessed 3 October 2008, <http://www.lovesmarts.org/stories/curric_3_ls.htm#marriage>.
[10] “Affiliate Center,” Abstinence Clearinghouse, accessed 3 October 2008, <http://www.abstinence.net/affiliates/nonfaith.php>.
[11] “Affiliate Center,” Abstinence Clearinghouse, accessed 23 November 2008, <http://www.abstinence.net/affiliates/benefits.php>.
[12] “Links,” Free Teens USA, accessed 3 October 2008, <http://www.freeteensusa.org/links.html>.
[13] “About Us,” National Abstinence Education Association, accessed 10 October 2008, <http://www.abstinenceassociation.org/about_us/index.html>.
[14] “About Us,” IMPACT Community Development Corporation, accessed 3 October 2008, <http://www.sitehome.org/site/PageServer?pagename=icdc_peerleadership>.
[15] “Peer Leadership Initiative,” IMPACT Community Development Corporation, accessed 3 October 2008, <http://www.sitehome.org/site/PageServer?pagename=icdc_peerleadership>.
[16] Ibid.
[17] 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.
[18] “Our Mission,” Several Sources Shelters, (2001-2007), accessed 3 October 2008, <http://www.severalsourcesfd.org/mission.html>.
[19] “About Us: History,” Several Sources Shelters, (2001-2007), accessed 3 October 2008, <http://www.severalsourcesfd.org/history.html>.
[20] “Overview,” The Choice Game, (2005-2007), accessed 3 October 2008, <http://www.thechoicegame.com/>.
[21] Ibid.
[22] “Curriculum,” The Choice Game, (2005-2007), accessed 3 October 2008, <http://www.thechoicegame.com/na/index.html>.
[23] “Homepage,” Lifecall, accessed 3 October 2008, <http://www.lifecall.org/>.
[24] “Diary of a Preborn,” Silent Scream, accessed 3 October 2008, <http://www.silentscream.org/diary.html>.
[25] “Chastity, Abstinence, and Dating,” Chastity Call, accessed 3 October 2008, <http://www.chastitycall.org/index.html>.
[26] “The Virgin Mary,” Chastity Call, accessed 3 October 2008, <http://www.chastitycall.org/blessed.html>; “The Old Testament,” Chastity Call, accessed 3 October 2008, <http://www.chastitycall.org/bible-old.html>; “The New Testament,” Chastity Call, accessed 3 October 2008, <http://www.chastitycall.org/bible-new.html>. 
[27] SIECUS has identified this person as a state-based contact for information on adolescent health and if applicable, abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. 
[28] 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