Shelly Donahue's abstinence education "WAIT Training" (VIDEO)

shelly-donahue-140.jpg
Shelly Donahue.
The Denver based WAIT ("Why Am I Tempted?") abstinence-until-marriage program has used over $8.2 million in federal funds to bring assemblies like ones illustrated in the clips below to public schools, churches and community centers throughout the state.

The abstinence program, demonstrated by Shelly Donahue, is the subject of this week's cover story, "Forbidden Fruit."

Despite being cited for using shame and guilt-based methods as well as providing medically inaccurate information, WAIT will receive over $220,000 per year for the next three from the state of Colorado to do more of the same.

You can watch the full WAIT Training seminar video over at Boulder Community Media's Vimeo page. Below are a few clips mentioned in this week's story.

The Tape Example
Donahue performs one of several optional in-school activities outlined in the WAIT Training curriculum. Here, she uses a piece of tape affixed and reaffixed to a young man's arm to demonstrate how sex can ruin a teen's ability to bond later in life to a spouse. Donahue also points out in this excerpt how the tape represents the girlfriend: once-clear, now tainted and covered with bits of the boy's dried skin and hair (his DNA). Donahue repeated the process over and over again. Each time the tape -- the girl -- pulled up more debris and lost more of its ability to make a tight bond.

The "Hoover Vaccum"
Despite state and federal mandates that Title V recipients provide medically accurate information, WAIT Training's Shelly Donahue tells Loveland High School students that if sperm gets anywhere near a girl's vagina, her vagina will turn into a "little Hoover vacuum" to suck it up.

"Spaghetti and Waffles"
Abstinence-only programming repeatedly seeks to reenforce gender stereotypes. Here, Donahue implements WAIT's boys' brain as waffle vs. girls' brains as spaghetti, an analogy to highlight differences in boys and girls thinking and behavior.

"Fireworks Sex"
Donahue seeks to entice teens early in her WAIT Training presentation by leveraging the act itself. She tells them as she walks through the WAIT Training talking points that she wants them to have fireworks sex, not "squirt gun" sex. "Fireworks sex" can only happen after your married. Everything before that seems to fall into the "squirt gun" category.

More from our News archive: "Mary Celeste, county judge, cited by Denver cops for leaving granddaughter in hot car."

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35 comments
euchrebob
euchrebob

After seeing her live I realize how by watching just these clips you get a distorted view of what she is presenting.  Many of the comments so far are calling her out based on what they watched.  But She says much more than what is in these videos.  As for all they people who saying her evidence is bad, prove it.  Show your sources for better science.  You can't just say she is wrong and needs better science when you don't produce your own.  Basic argumentation, until a better view is presented the current one stands.  Also I would advise until you have seen her present in person to withhold your judgement.  Some of the critique is warranted.  I did feel she painted too broad of strokes regarding brain function (waffles and spaghetti).   Stereo types are not helpful, but understanding the norm is.  Had she simply said that the norm was waffles and spaghetti, with many exceptions I think it could have been heard much better.  Thanks for the discussion.

Seriously
Seriously

Seriously people are actually outraged at this type of quality education?  When our youth see women as sex idols, men as pimps and sex is ok anywhere, anyhow with whowever.  Where is the standards of being in a committed relationship to enjoy the benefits of sex.  So what is it ok that our 10-12  year olds are having children, committing suicide and raping each other.  What happen to pretend play and personal boundaries.  Today a young girl can be with a different partner every weekend and thats cool- I think not!

Thanks Shelly for the creative work you do. Giving youth hope and a positive goal that is attainable.

thinker33
thinker33

The bonding example is very medically accurate. If you study the research about oxytocin,you'll see how the brain causes people to chemically bond through the release of oxytocin and by changing partners over time it weakens the bond.   The students "get it" and obviously appreciate the message.  Apart from abstinence centered programs, no one is challenging teens to delay sexual activity and encouraging them to show self-control, self-discipline and make healthy choices based on your future dreams and goals. The abstinence centered programs came on the scene in the early 1990's and according to the Centers for Disease Control, teen pregnancies have dropped a whopping 35% since then, teen birth rates hit a 70 year low in February 2011 and teen abortions are down 40%.  If that is a "failed policy", I'd like more of it!  Check out this website www.abstinenceworks.org for all the data.Why is it we teach risk-avoidance for drugs, alcohol, tobacco and bullying but people get up in arms when we challenge teens to avoid the negative consequences of teen sex?  

Blacktiger
Blacktiger

Well she shoots down Christianity right there in the class room. Virgin Mary's little Hoover sucked somebody's sperm and her daddy said "Joseph you are betrothed so you gotta marry her"!!!!! Right??????

Jennifer Gale
Jennifer Gale

That is possibly the most idiotic thing I've ever seen.  Thank goodness we had comprehensive sex-ed in the mid-eighties--I learned actual facts and how to protect myself, rather than this mindless drivel. 

Mags
Mags

I am having such a hard time getting over the "facts" that she is using. She's spouting propaganda and lies to these kids (who I can tell you aren't taking her seriously) and I too am afraid for their future sex lives! Teaching kids that sex is dirty and bad and will ruin your life? Come on. Also, way to make anyone who is not a stereotype feel even more out of place lady - girls can't be good students after they have sex? Boys are all a**holes after sex? NO ONE stays together? I'd love to introduce myself to this woman: I went to high school in a town near Loveland, I had sex with my high school boyfriend, graduated with a 3.8, graduated college, and now have a wonderful life and 2 beautiful children with my husband - who happens to be that high school boyfriend. Know why it all turned out so well? I had an AMAZING sex-ed/home-ec. teacher who taught us honestly about protection and all the ways sex can affect your life. Thank God she wasn't telling me I could get STDs off a toilet or get pregnant by my Hoover being near his spermies. UGH.

Proud Mom
Proud Mom

WAY TO GO!!!!!   Good for you Shelly!  That was the best presentation I have seen!  I showed the videos to my daughter and she loved it!  Thank you for speaking the truth to those kids who SOOOOOO DESERVE IT!  And, thanks to the controversy here, many others get to see it as well.

GetReal
GetReal

8.2 million in federal funds?  Given the deficit, I am fairly certain we as a nation cannot afford this! 

BigT
BigT

This training does nothing to discourage kids from having sex. Her analogies are laughable as well. Our taxes pay this chick who probably had pre-marital sex to tell kids not too. Pot calling Kettle.....Educate kids on proper and factual education, not telling boys that a vagina is like a hoover vaccuum when sperm is around. Take your kids to the local welfare office and show them the consequences of their actions (I work there and see it everyday). Real life examples, not spaghetti and waffles...

Strange Fruit
Strange Fruit

Where does one start to comment?  First of all, after seeing these clips of the WAIT presentation, its clear that the comments are so age-inappropriate and sex-crazed, unlike any comprehensive sex-education program that I've seen; and I've seen many.  As for the commenter below, there is nothing wrong about waiting to have sex until you are married; however, some and most Americans (based on 100 years of research) choose not to, and do so in mutually caring and informed relationships. And those people deserve nothing less than having full-complete health information about safer-sex practices that reduce risks for unintended pregnancies and STDs.  And from a public health perspective this also reduces the risk of transmission, so get off your high horse.

John Von Rader
John Von Rader

My wife and I practiced abstinence.  It's crazy - she never got pregnant and neither of us contracted an STD.  It's almost like it works or something.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

So this is what goes on in DPS instead of teaching kids reading, writing, and arithmetic -- when exactly did America decide that morons and scammers should have charge of the education of the young?

Walldodger1969
Walldodger1969

Where the  hell are you gettin your info@ Seriously..?Quality education? ...."her Pussy is a little "hoover"?... please go back to your bible reading.. 

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Thanks for the post, Seriously. We're going to make it an upcoming Comment of the Day. Congrats.

OHH GASM
OHH GASM

correlation does not imply causation.  also texas has abstinence programs and has the 3rd highest pregnancy rate in the nation

David Walsh
David Walsh

Sexual risk avoidance cannot be equated solely with 'abstinence' - there are strategies for avoiding sexual 'risks' that do not necessarily include 'abstinence only' approaches.Furthermore, the argument that there is a direct correlation between the start of 'abstinence centered programs' and the fact that teen pregnancies have decreased by 35% since the early 1990s is utterly without merit. Obviously, there are a number of factors which might have led to this improvement, such as better and more widely disseminated sexual education for young people (one of the goals of much maligned organisations such as Planned Parenthood) and more consistent use of contraceptive devices for young people who are sexually active. Whether we are talking about sex, drugs, tobacco or alcohol - the idea that risk-avoidance equates to 'abstinence only' is unrealistic and ultimately doomed to failure.   

Me
Me

Thank you so much this well written response. It is obvious you have thought over this intellectually and not emotionally. Having worked with teens over 7 years, I can honestly say that kids who are sexually active are less focused and less disciplined academically. I think, in general, it has become a direct correlation of academic success which can lead to lower graduation rates.

Blacktiger
Blacktiger

I agree Jennifer G. More to the point if she depends on those examples she should also tell the boys to keep their "squirt gun spermies" to themselves and stop telling girls to "come across or I won't like you" as there's no guarantee that he will after. Time to teach your boys to keep their penises to themselves until they do get married.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Thanks for the post, Jennifer. We're going to make it an upcoming Comment of the Day. Much appreciated.

David Walsh
David Walsh

Sadly, you are misinformed and naive. If your children are as well, then they will be the ones to suffer! This woman's presentation was ludicrous, inappropriate, factually incorrect and completely unhelpful to the young people she was addressing. Her presentation was embarrassing and repugnant It is aggravating that such drivel is perpetrated on vulnerable young people while being supported by the education system and tax dollars!

Erik
Erik

The entire presentation was factually incorrect!!! The science was warped, her methods were shoddy and based on flimsy analogies that enforced gender stereotyping while at the same time convincing the children that sex was evil and wrong leaving them wide open to problems later in life. Perhaps they should actually teach the kids facts about sex in an objective manner to give them the proper tools for being able to deal with adult situations and have healthy relationships and healthy sex lives. During the Bush administration when Abstinence took charge as the topic of sex ed the cases of STDs and teenage pregnancies rocketed because they weren't being properly educated because liars like this woman were filling impressionable young people with false information and an inherent bias.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

utterly clueless -- the Mayor is getting ready to try to take over DPS because half of its schools are in collapse, half of students don't graduate, and at least half of those who do lack twelfth-grade skills (and some, even ninth-grade skills) -- but you're cheering on this stupid scam!  The purpose of school is to impart academic knowledge -- not to try to compensate for a lack of an upbringing by parents.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

You make a good point, GetReal. Thanks for the post.

derrrrrrr
derrrrrrr

Abstinence is great for those who are too ugly or socially awkward to get any in high school or college.

MM2
MM2

I don't have brown hair, so it's a good bet that nobody does.

thinker33
thinker33

Thank you for your comments.... The Youth Behavioral Risks Study shows a connection and predictor of academic succes and students who embrace sexual risk avoidance (abstinence).  http://www.heritage.org/resear...It makes sense to give teens the best health and safety message.  The power of the message is that while many of the pundits and ideologs hate abstinence education... it resonates with the students.  I have seen it first hand!  

Meow
Meow

Anyone can get some at any time with proper tact.

John Von Rader
John Von Rader

We're not talking about a trait, we're talking about a behavior.  If you don't have sex, you don't get pregnant and you don't get an STD (unless you were born with it).

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

The videos were taken at Loveland High School, but the post says that "assemblies like ones illustrated in the clips below" are given at "public schools, churches and community centers throughout the state".  The program is "Denver-based" -- can anyone confirm whether or not it is being used in DPS?  I will call and ask (that should be interesting, because I am under the impression that DPS does not employ people who will answer the telephone).

P.S. I saved myself some pain and used Google instead -- Denver Public Schools is listed as a partner in the program, responsible for "certification of teachers and school health professionals in WAIT Training and Art of Loving Well, assistance with community events, school assemblies and parent education" -- I will go ahead and infer that the program is in use in DPS classrooms.

farmenlow
farmenlow

As are all pro-abstinence teaching schemes? I highly doubt that you know that. Like the person beneath me said, it is different for everyone. Children don't fit into boxes so you can't say that pro-abstinence works for no one. It depends on the person how the information will effect them.

kaileyverse
kaileyverse

 I have had pre-marital sex, never gotten pregnant, or an STD. 

Abstinence is right for some people, and not right for others. Pretending one way works for everyone  all the time is ridiculous. 

Erik
Erik

If you use protection then you don't get STDs or get pregnant. Sex positive is the only sensible outlook as it is objective and most of all factual with no bias. You cannot teach children with a programme that is inherently bias as its forcing another viewpoint on others. This WAIT thing isn't even scientifically correct as are most if not all pro-abstinence teaching schemes, therefore they base their teaching on lies and is thus immoral. 

matt in boulder
matt in boulder

Good point.  A better example would be to say that I stopped eating and I lost weight and all my food allergies were cured.  The point is that sex is a basic human need (at least if you believe Maslow http://upload.wikimedia.org/wi...

Teaching kids that it's dirty and gross, like she did in the tape video, is not a way to help establish a positive sexual outlook.

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