Comprehensive Sex Education:
The Abstinence of Essential
Information (Ted Talk):
Watch Executive Director of Keystone Coalition for Advancing Sex Education, KC Miller, explain the failures of abstinence-only or based education and the need for a inclusive and comprehensive approach. Every student deserves the tools to keep their bodies happy, safe, and healthy. This talk provides a data driven argument for improved sex ed and a moral call to action to include minorities in our education programs.
What is Comprehensive Sex Education??
Comprehensive Sex Education is defined by Advocates for Youth as “A planned, sequential K-12 curriculum that is part of a comprehensive school health education approach which addresses age-appropriate physical, mental, emotional and social dimensions of human sexuality. The curriculum should be designed to motivate and assist students to maintain and improve their sexual health, prevent disease and reduce sexual health-related risk behaviors. It should allow students to develop and demonstrate developmentally appropriate sexual health-related knowledge, attitudes, skills, and practices. The comprehensive sexuality education curriculum should include a variety of topics including anatomy, physiology, families, personal safety, healthy relationships, pregnancy and birth, sexually transmitted diseases including HIV, contraceptives, sexual orientation, pregnancy options, media literacy and more. It should be medically accurate. Qualified, trained teachers should provide sexuality education.”
Why is Comprehensive Sex Education needed?
Many school districts in Pennsylvania use Abstinance-Only or Abstinance-Based Programs to teach sex education and health. These programs are aimed at teaching kids the potential risks of sex, delaying the initiation of sex, and minimizing the number of sexual partners a person has. These programs have failed to accomplish their goal. A federally-funded 2007 study of four “carefully selected abstinence-only education programs” found there is no correlation between enrollment in abstinence programs and a delay in sexual activity, fewer sexual partners, or students abstaining completely from sex.
We need a more successful approach. Comprehensive sex education empowers students with knowledge about their bodies, information to stay safe, and helps kids understand the risks involved with sexual activity.