Wisconsin is the latest state to reject federal funding for abstinence education because of rules that limit discussion of contraception or sexually transmitted diseases.
Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat, believes that abstinence must be taught in school, but not to the exclusion of other sex education, his spokesman told the Associated Press. Wisconsin received about $600,000 a year under the Title V Abstinence Education Program, which it was then required to match with state funds and distribute to community groups. The state will continue to provide its $300,000 match.
The federal funds come with requirements that programs funded with the money must teach exclusively the social, psychological, and health gains of abstaining from sexual activity outside of marriage. In addition, programs must teach that sexual activity outside the context of marriage is likely to have harmful psychological and physical effects, and that a “mutually faithful, monogamous relationship in the context of marriage” is the expected standard of sexual activity.
In October, New Jersey declined about $800,000 in federal funds because of restrictions in discussing contraception.
A version of this article appeared in the March 14, 2007 edition of Education Week