Surgeon General’s Report on Sex Education Delayed
A delay in the publication of the "Surgeon General's Call to Action on Promoting Responsible Sexual Behavior," a "far-reaching report on sexual attitudes and education," originally to be released last year by Surgeon General David Satcher, has many wondering "what form, if any, the report will take," the New York Times reports. The report "appeared set to showcase the tolls of [STDs] and unwanted pregnancies on the young and urge comprehensive sex education in every grade." Scientists and health experts offer several explanations for why Satcher did not release the report before the presidential election. Some suggest that a "call for sexual responsibility from President Clinton would carry little credibility," while others say that Satcher may have been concerned about alienating President Bush, who favors abstinence-only sex education. With explanations for the delay from Satcher's office "all over the map," proponents of comprehensive sex education, such as Advocates for Youth President James Wagoner, have expressed "keen disappointment." AFY sent Satcher an "angry letter" criticizing the apparent "suppress[ion]" of the report. Organizations such as the National Academy of Sciences, AMA and NIH say that a "stand from the Surgeon General ... would review the research linking access to information about protection with behaviors that reduce risk," and "provide neutral, authoritative support for frank discussions about sex and for improving access to contraception," the Times reports (Schemo, New York Times, 4/21).