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The politics of virginity : abstinence in sex education / Alesha E. Doan and Jean Calterone Williams.


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Doan, Alesha E., 1972-
Publication date:
Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 2008.
  • Book
  • xx, 185 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (p. [177]-179) and index.
  • Under the radar : the advent of stealth tactics in morality policy
  • Tightening the sexuality noose : Title V and abstinence-only education
  • "Good girls" or "dirty whores?" : images and behaviors of adolescent women
  • Resurrecting the chastity belt : lessons from abstinence-only curricula
  • In their own words : sexuality, knowledge, and power
  • Whom and what are we "saving"? : morality, sexuality, and abstinence.
Publisher's Summary:
This title argues that abstinence-only education in schools injure women's physical and psychological health, violate the Constitution, and flout the will of the majority of Americans.Abstinence is currently taught in place of sex education in a third of American public schools. Although most Americans oppose federal funding for abstinence-only education, the federal government has spent more than $1 billion on programs that promote abstinence before marriage as the sole healthy and moral choice. Studies show that students in abstinence programs are no more likely to abstain from sex than their peers. Moreover, they perpetuate gender stereotypes that disproportionately constrain women.The authors detail what abstinence programs teach students, expose the political and religious agendas behind them, and analyse the damaging effects to women of the resurrection of the chastity belt, including: sexual disempowerment, distorted power dynamics in relationships, increased vulnerability to sexual assault, increased emotional vulnerability and increased risk of unintended pregnancy and STD/HIV infection. By focusing on the marriage of morality politics with gender politics and of ignorance with chastity that underlies abstinence-only education, the authors fill a major gap in the literature of reproductive politics and policy.Part of the "Reproductive Rights and Policy" series, this book links abstinence education to Christian right-wing political agendas, and suggests that girls are being taught to adhere to 1950s-era gender stereotypes even in unrelated areas of life.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)
Williams, Jean Calterone, 1966-
Reproductive rights and policy.

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