MEDIA, PA - Abstinence is the only way to stay 100% safe from sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancy. That fact alone is one of the biggest reasons why schools across the country focus on abstinence-only education programs. However, a recent study published by the Journal of Adolescent Health says these programs are totally ineffective.
Researchers clearly state, "Policies or programs offering abstinence as a single option for unmarried adolescents are scientifically and ethically flawed." This new study falls in line with a plethora of scientific research that finds abstinence-only education is unhelpful and potentially dangerous to the health of kids.
A 2009 mandated congressional study on abstinence programs also found them to be totally useless. According to the report, students in abstinence-only programs are not more deterred from sex than those who are not enrolled in abstinence-only education.
"Adolescence is marked by the emergence of human sexuality, sexual identity and the initiation of intimate relations; within this context, abstinence from sexual intercourse can be a healthy choice. However, programs that promote abstinence-only-until-marriage (AOUM) or sexual risk avoidance (SRA), are scientifically and ethically problematic and—as such—have been widely rejected by medical and public health professionals." says researchers at the Journal of Adolescent Health. (To read the full scientific report click here)
Educators, scientists, and health professionals alike have been working together to change sex education programs across the country. Comprehensive sex dducation has been proven far more effective.
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.”
Read more: High School Student's Quest to Reform Sex Education Recognized by National Liberty Museum.
These programs have been found to delay the initiation of sex, lessen the number of sexual partners, increase the use of contraceptives, and overall protect students health. You can read a full report of the effectiveness of comprehensive sex education here.