Click here to see the NYC Sexual Education Report by Dr. Miriam Grossman.
WYA stood in solidarity with the Chiaroscuro Foundation and a dozen other organizations that work with the city’s youth at a press conference to request Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the New York Department of Education provide at least one abstinence-only curriculum under New York City’s new sex education mandate.
Mayor Bloomberg announced last week that sex education is now required in all New York City middle and high schools. The groups argue – and have data to back it up – that an abstinence-only option is the only way to fully protect school-age children from sexually-transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancies.
“This new mandate is a welcome sign that the administration is concerned about the city’s double-the-national-average rate of abortion and high rate of out of wedlock births,” said Greg Pfundstein, Executive Director of the Chiaroscuro Foundation, a New York City not-for-profit organization that supports alternatives to abortion. “But the City must also provide students with the latest scientific evidence on the risks of sexual behavior among young people. Those assembled here today represent a diverse coalition who feel strongly that an alternative program of education must be allowed under this new mandate for parents and schools which prefer a different approach to sex education.”
Others speaking at the news conference included Dr. Miriam Grossman, a WYA Scholar in residence who has been examining the City’s recommended curricula over the last few months and is releasing a report today. Dr. Nanci Coppola, Executive Director of Program Reach and the Healthy Respect Program was also in attendance and spoke.
“The curricula have serious flaws, and will leave students confused, misinformed, and vulnerable,” said Dr. Grossman.
“The claim that abstinence education is ineffective is outdated and ignores both the substantial development of programs over the last fifteen years and the latest research on effective sex education,” Dr. Coppola said. “It is time to put old political disputes aside and accept risk avoidance curricula as a serious and effective means for giving young people the information they need to stay healthy and avoid pregnancy. A good public health message should always speak to primary prevention and that is what abstinence does.”