Husband and Wife Abstinence-Only Execs “Marry” Federal Funding Contracts

Jodi Jacobson

A husband and wife abstinence-only-until-marriage education team appear to find ways to keep your tax dollars in their family.

AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland has submitted a request to Scott Riggins, Acting Director of the Abstinence Education Division in the Family and Youth Services Bureau of the Department of Health and Human Services for a formal review and examination of Elizabeth’s New Life Center (ENLC) for possible conflict of interest in the use of federal funds.  Readers of Rewire will recognize ENLC as the organization that hired the "Abstinence Clown" to teach students how to abstain from sex until marriage.

AIDS Taskforce’s request for review is based on the apparent sub-contracting of work between ENLC and another organization known as One More Soul without competitive bidding.  The Executive Director of ENLC, Vivian Koob, is married to the Executive Director of One More Soul, Steve Koob.  In the letter, Earl Pike, Executive Director of AIDS Taskforce writes:

"With CBAE [Community-Based Abstinence Education ] funds to support its “Marriage Works!” program, it appears that Ms. Koob and ENLC has subcontracted with an organization called One More Soul (http://www.omsoul.com/) to “develop curriculum to be used by their staff in stand-alone instruction to be given at recruited venues or as a supplement to existing programs to be used by Marriage Works/Partners in Marriage Education/Enrichment activities.”  The amount of that sub-contract is listed as $73,498.  (See attached copy of “Contractual Agreement” between ENLC and One More Soul—note that although the agreement is signed by Board President Glenn Jividen as One More Soul’s Board representative, Steve Koob is, in fact, One More Soul’s Executive Director.)"

Information on CBAE programs can be found here, and a copy of the contract can be found here.

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Is it permissible, Pike asks:

"For federal contractees to essentially “keep the money in the family” by sub-contracting to agencies run by spouses, without evidence of a competitive bid or assured qualifications?  (It is not clear how much, or whether, Mr. Koob draws a salary from One More Soul, but we must presume that some compensation is involved.  Even in the absence of compensation, however, ENLC’s decision to offer a no-bid sub-contract to One More Soul supports an organization with which Mr. Koob, at the very least, has a compelling personal interest.)"

If in fact there is a no-bid contract situation, the Koobs have not only found a way to tap into federal funding for deeply discredited programs, but have also found ways to keep as much of your tax dollars in their own family.

We will keep you posted.

Abstinence-Only Funding Not Dead if Congress Plays “Hide-the-Salami” Again

Wendy Norris

Will funding for abstinence-only-until marriage programs stay out of the budget once Congress gets its hands on it?

Reproductive health advocates cheered the news Friday that President Barack Obama proposed cutting cut two abstinence-only sex education programs totalling over $100 million from the federal budget in lieu of more effective, comprehensive teen pregnancy prevention programs.

But the real test of wills comes in the Congressional conference
committee on the federal budget where one Democratic member has a
penchant for playing “hide the salami” with funding for the
controversial chaste-until-marriage program.

As we’ve reported previously, the labyrinthine budgeting process Congress has been giving it away big time — to the tune of now more than $1.3 billion for abstinence-only programs in the past 10 years.

We’ve long-documented the fancy footsteps of Rep. David Obey (D-WI), chair of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, who
slipped additional funding into a 2007 report prepared by the
conference committee — the body responsible for ironing out final
discrepancies between the House and Senate versions of the Labor,
Health and Human Services and Education budget bill before it goes to
the president.

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Obey, a fierce proponent of “just say no to sex education,”
repeatedly crossed swords with reproductive health advocates in 2007
when he first attempted to boost funding for the Community-Based
Abstinence Education (CBAE) program to $141 million, a 25 percent
increase over last year.  In press accounts, Obey argued that the extra
funds are a necessary evil to placate conservative lawmakers in order
to make the larger spending bill veto-proof by then-President George W.
Bush.

Whether Obey will abide Obama’s directive on the funding will be the
subject of close scrutiny by budget hawks, religious conservatives and
reproductive freedom groups, alike.

For her part, Denver Democrat Rep. Diana DeGette, a fierce advocate for
comprehensive sex education, said in a statement,
“Eliminating funding for ineffective abstinence-only programs
is a win for science. The Obama budget proposal invests in programs
that are effective and based on sound science, rather than wasting
millions of dollars on efforts that have been proven to be ineffective
at best.”

Slutty Girls and Stupid Boys: Today’s Abstinence-Only “Education”

Joe Sonka

One of the common themes you'll find in abstinence-only curricula is the constant shaming of young women who don't uphold certain visual standards of chaste and purity.

One of the common themes that you’ll find in abstinence-only sex
education curricula (besides factual errors, conservative ideology and
demonization of condoms) is the constant shaming or judgmental
statements towards young women who don’t uphold certain visual
standards of chaste and purity.

Young women are taught to not show skin or flirt, lest they invite
dirty lustful thoughts in the boys, who are rendered helpless beasts
when tempted by the girls of ill-repute. Not only does such "education"
insult the intelligence of young people, but it reinforces harmful
gender stereotypes.

Let’s take a tour through the states to look at some of the most egregious examples:

In South Carolina, Heritage Community Services (currently receives a CBAE grant of $600,000 per year from 2006-2011) teaches girls that conservative attire is necessary, or those poor boys will virtually attack you. Here is an excerpt from their classroom curriculum:

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"Males and females are aroused at different levels of intimacy.
Males are more sight oriented, whereas females are more touch oriented.
This is why girls need to be careful with what they wear,
because males are looking! The girl might be thinking fashion, while
the boy is thinking sex. For this reason, girls have a responsibility
to wear modest clothing that doesn’t invite lustful thoughts.
"

Yes indeed, girls. It is your duty to the country. More from HCS’s website:

"a good minimum guideline is to declare everything covered by a
bathing suit as off limits. Everyone needs to know his or her
boundaries before getting in a risky situation. Once someone is excited
physically, it can be difficult to stop."

Teen Awareness, Inc., out of California (received $3.2 million in CBAE grants) agrees:

"be careful about how you dress (are you sending the wrong message?)"

As do Abstinence Education Consultants in Kansas (has received $3.1 million in CBAE grants). From their website:

"Dress modestly. Sometimes the way you dress can send unintended
messages to others, especially men because they are sexually aroused by
what they see"

The theme being expressed, with our tax dollars’ subsidization, is not only that girls have a responsibility
to dress like puritans or whatever it is that these groups are
advocating, but that if they don’t, young men are uncontrollable dolts
who will, presumably, "force" sex upon them. LifeGuard Youth Development in Missouri (has received $3 million in CBAE grants) reinforces this insult:

"Guys can be compared to a microwave. They see something enticing and like 30 seconds later, they are ready to go! Because
we know they are using only one side of their brain at a time (logic
and not emotion) and their testosterone causes their sex drive to
always be "ON," generally they may not connect feelings with the act of
having sex
. Girls can be compared to a slow cooker. Usually,
for a girl to be turned on, a whole lot of time, attention, words,
affection, and touch needs to be slowly added before she is aroused.
These actions engage her emotions and for her, sex does equal a
personal relationship."

Yes, this is the "science" that our government subsidizes.

But a quick glance around at other abstinence-only programs shows that
not all girls are "slow cookers." Oh no, some of them are pure trouble. You know, those girls who show skin and flirt, tempting your poor son into a sex-crazed madness.

In Indiana, A Positive Approach to Teen Health, Inc. (receiving a $600,000 CBAE grant each year from 2007-2011) asks why these troublesome girls have the audacity to flirt with boys:

"Sometimes girls flirt to get attention. They may want to feel
they are attractive to guys. Looking for this attention may be cover
for underlying insecurities, and having this attention lets them think
they are at least good at one thing."

Yes, that makes sense. Because flirting with the opposite
sex is certainly not normal, biological behavior. There has to be
something psychologically wrong with these deviants, this being the
"only thing they are good at", obviously. Colorado’s Friends First (receiving a $414,800 AFLA grant
each year from 2007-2011) agrees, saying these troublesome girls who
flirt must lack "parental communication and boundary settings" in their
own home.

These programs gleefully promote and teach others to point fingers at
girls in their school that have "gone all the way". "Slut-shaming" is
par for the course, as Missouri’s LifeGuard Youth Development lets
everyone know what to call these young women:

"Being able to have sex does not make you any different from a rat
in a warehouse. They have sex too. Is that what you want to compare
yourself to?"

(i.e., hint, hint, "slutty" girls are rats, spread the word!)

South Dakota’s Alpha Center (received $1.2 million in CBAE grants) elaborates:

"Nobody wants to marry someone who has been the loving, meaningful relationship of 17 other guys."

The worst combination of these themes of "slutty girls" and "uncontrollable sex beast guys" came from Ohio’s ATM Education website (receiving $600,000 CBAE grant
each year from 2006-2011). Before we shamed them into changing their
site, you could enter the "Party Room", where you learn the story of
Rochelle, Jason, Monica and Tanner. Each person tells their perspective
about what happens during and after a party one night.

Rochelle tells how she drove her drunken friend Jason home after the
party, and then is raped by him. Jason denies that the rape happened,
saying their sex was consensual. Monica and Tanner observe that Jason
was being a drunken idiot the entire night, with Monica (Jason’s ex)
adding her opinion that Rochelle has a reputation for "putting out" and
being a "slut."

The site then asks the question: "Based on all accounts, whose story sounds the least credible?"

Guess who the "correct" answer was? Rochelle.

Why? Because she had a supposed reputation as a "slut." Therefore she is not to be believed.

Jason, on the other hand, is given a pass, because he was drunk, "vulnerable," and with a "hot" girl in a car.

Boys will be boys, right? They can’t help it if they get tempted by one of "those" girls.

Fortunately, ATM Education was shamed into changing the language on their site,
but if you look at the language of these abstinence-only until marriage
programs all over the country, it’s not difficult to believe that one
of these programs would make such statements.

Currently, the Obama administration is finalizing the details on their
2010 fiscal budget, and they will have to make a decision: (A) continue
to fund these abstinence-only sex education programs that have already
wasted $1.5 billion in tax dollars and endangered the sexual health of
countless youth over the past decade? Or (B) zero out funding for these
ab-only programs, instead bringing real, age-appropriate comprehensive
sex education to our schools that gives youth all of the information
they need to stay safe and avoid pregnancy.

What can you do?

WRITE OBAMA AND TELL HIM TO ZERO OUT ABSTINENCE-ONLY FUNDING!


And tell your Congressperson too!

This post is cross-posted at Amplify.

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