Menstuff® has compiled the following information on Abstinence Only Sex Education. There is no published study of an abstinence-only sex education program that demonstrates that these programs help young people change their behavior. On the other hand, programs that include information about contraception have been proven to actually postpone intercourse. Most importantly, all young people -- those who are sexually active as well as those who wait until marriage to have sex -- have a need for, and a right to, accurate, frank and positive information about sex.
80% of all people have intercourse at least once by the age of 20. Roughly 60% of teens in the US are sexually active. So information about how to prevent pregnancy and disease is crucial for young people. Having this information does no harm to people that aren't having sex and promoting abstinence can't be the only solution.
The next time someone tells you that abstinence is the only way to
be 100% safe from having an unintended pregnancy or an STD, ask them
If they tell you that it's unhealthy or wrong, then you've got a
pretty good idea that their programs are religion, not scientific
Abstinence-only programs aren't
certain to curb teen sex
Abstinence only sex ed not as effective
Baby Mama Bristol Palin Speaks Out on Teen Sex
Bristol Palin Faults Abstinence Teaching
Few Americans favor abstinence-only sex ed
Related Issues: Abstinence-only, abstinence failure, abstinence not safe, condom use
Bristol Palin Faults Abstinence
of the Abstinence Only
In her first interview since giving birth to a baby boy in
December, teenage mom Bristol Palin said abstinence for teens is "not
realistic at all." Palin, 18, is the daughter of former Republican
vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
Baby Mama Bristol Palin Speaks Out on Teen
While Bristol says she advocates that teens wait "at least 10 years" before becoming sexually active, she also said that "stopping teen sex is not realistic at all" -- a complete contradiction of her mother's abstinence-only sex education ideals.
She has no immediate plans to marry her boy friend. So much for
Abstinence-only sex ed not as effective
Few Americans favor abstinence-only sex
Most Americans, regardless of their political leanings, favor comprehensive sex education in schools over abstinence-only programs, researchers reported.
Currently, the federal government champions the abstinence-only approach, giving around $170 million each year to states and community groups to teach just-say-no sex education. This funding precludes mention of birth control and condoms, unless its to emphasize their failure rates.
However, critics point out that studies have failed to show that abstinence-only education delays sex or lowers rates of teen pregnancy.
This latest study, according to the authors, suggests that the federal government is out of step not only with research, but also with public opinion.
Of the nearly 1,110 US adults they surveyed, 82 percent supported programs that discuss abstinence as well as other methods for preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Half were in outright opposition to abstinence-only education.
Even among self-described conservatives, 70 percent supported comprehensive sex ed., while 40 percent opposed the abstinence-only strategy.
The findings highlight a gap between policy, and science and public opinion, said Dr. Amy Bleakley of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and lead author of the new study.
Whether this divide will influence policy-makers is unknown, she told Reuters Health. We just want to bring this to their attention, she said.
Bleakley and her colleagues report the findings in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
To receive federal funding, abstinence-only programs must meet eight criteria set down in 1996. Among these is the stipulation that abstinence until marriage be taught as the expected standard of human sexual activity.
Only a handful of studies have examined the effectiveness of such programs, and the results have been mixed, according to an editorial published with the study.
Many more studies have looked at comprehensive sex ed. and found that some programs do increase condom and contraceptive use, but may also help delay sex, writes Dr. Douglas Kirby of ETR Associates in Scotts Valley, California.
ETR Associates is a non-profit company that researches and develops health programs, including STD and pregnancy prevention programs for schools.
Until we have strong evidence that particular abstinence-only programs are effective, Kirby argues, we certainly should relax the funding restrictions and fund programs (including comprehensive programs) that effectively delay sex among young people.
Bleakley agreed with that conclusion. But beyond the issue of
balance in funding, she said, is the fact that there is evidence
comprehensive sex education can help prevent the potential
consequences of teen sex including HIV and other STDs.