Curriculum A State Capitals Roundup

Researcher’s Report Faults Ohio Abstinence Lessons

By Christina A. Samuels — June 14, 2005 1 min read
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Ohio’s abstinence-until-marriage curricula taught in Ohio contain medically inaccurate and misleading information, asserts a new report by a public-health researcher at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

Dr. Scott H. Frank, the director of the division of public health for the university, writes in the report that the programs “are required to teach that sexual activity before marriage is likely to cause psychological and physical harm.” He adds, “There’s just no question that it’s not medically accurate to say that sex outside of marriage is likely to lead to physical harm.”

The programs are also required to teach that sex within the bonds of marriage is the expected standard, which ignores teenagers who are sexually active, Dr. Frank said.

The Ohio Department of Health oversees the programs and plans to launch its own study of them this fall, said Valerie Hubert, the manager of abstinence education for the agency, who disputes Dr. Frank’s conclusions.

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