“Abstinence Education: Assessing the Accuracy and Effectiveness of Federally Funded Programs” (2008), by Government Accountability Office
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On 23 April 2008, the US Government Accountability Office, or GAO, released a report titled, “Abstinence Education: Assessing the Accuracy and Effectiveness of Federally Funded Programs,” hereafter “Abstinence Education,” in which it investigated the scientific accuracy and effectiveness of abstinence-only education programs sanctioned by individual states and the US Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS. GAO is a government agency whose role is to examine the use of public funds, evaluate federal programs and activities, and provide nonpartisan support to the US Congress. In “Abstinence Education,” GAO found that as of August 2006, a variety of factors in such programs, such as inaccurate medical information, contributed to overall conclusions that abstinence-until-marriage programs were unsuccessful at reducing the rates of adolescent pregnancy. In “Abstinence Education,” GAO recommends that HHS implement procedures to better assure the accuracy of educational materials used in abstinence programs and to set standards that measure the effectiveness of those programs.