Teaching sex education vs. abstinenced

Abstinence-only sex education is a form of sex education that teaches not having sex outside of marriage. It often excludes other types of sexual and reproductive health education, such as birth control and safe sex. Comprehensive sex educationby contrast, covers the use of birth control and sexual abstinence.

Get involved in our campaigns and help ensure young people's health and rights. They usually censor information about contraception and condoms for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases STDs and unintended pregnancy. Abstinence-Centered Education— Another term normally used to mean abstinence-only programs.

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Teen sexual health outcomes over the past decade have been mixed. On one hand, teen pregnancy and birth rates have fallen dramatically, reaching record lows. On the other hand, rates of sexually transmitted infections STIs among teens and young adults have been on the rise.

The United States ranks first among developed nations in rates of both teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. In an effort to reduce these rates, the U. However, a public controversy remains over whether this investment has been successful and whether these programs should be continued.

The institute has kept the numbers constantly updated since as the trend of lowered teen birth rates has continued to drop nationwide. Sex ed is mandated in 24 states and the District of Columbia. Of that total, the following 22 states and the District of Columbia mandate both sex ed and HIV education:.

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September 21, by Michelle Manno. In middle school and high school, students begin to face complex issues that go beyond the classroom but still impact their education. The way schools should handle topics regarding sexuality is one such issue at the center of ongoing debate.

Sex education has been a controversial subject for decades as public school officials and parents have debated the best ways to help teenagers avoid unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. Not all states require schools to teach sex ed. But many states require sex education instructors to discuss or stress abstinence from sexual activity, with some schools offering abstinence-only programming, which urges kids to wait until marriage and often excludes information about contraceptives.

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Sarah McCammon. In the U. Abstaining from sexual activity is a surefire way to prevent pregnancy and avoid sexually transmitted diseases. But programs advocating abstinence often fail to prevent young people from having sex, researchers write in the September issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health.

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Overall, the groups concluded that AOUMs, which are the only form of sexual and reproductive education in a number of U. Abstinence-only-until-marriage programs leave all young people unprepared and are particularly harmful to young people who are sexually active, who are LGBTQ, or have experienced sexual abuse. Credit: CC

Skip to content. Shop ABA. Everyone has an opinion about sexuality education. From vocal parents at PTA meetings to state governors who must decide whether to apply for federal funding for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs or more comprehensive sexuality programs, or both, or neither.

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