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Although most of Massachusetts's efforts to promote sexual abstinence among youth to date have focused primarily on media campaigns, Gov. Mitt Romney plans to expand abstinence education to the state's schools, The Boston Globe reports. Romney's administration in November submitted a proposal to the federal government to use some of the $700,000 in abstinence funds the state receives for classroom instruction. To date, the state's abstinence efforts had included only posters, public service announcements, and radio spots.
Romney plans to use the federal money to pay an outside vendor to create an abstinence curriculum for the state's public schools. Plans call for classroom instruction for students ages 12 to 14 in schools with large African-American and Latino enrollments; studies have shown 59% of Latino teens and 56% of African-American teens report being sexually active, compared with 37% of white teens. The abstinence program would be taught in addition to comprehensive sex education programs, which are required in Massachusetts schools, says a Romney spokesman. (Advocate.com)