Abstinence-Only Education

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Why Abstinence-Only Education Doesn’t Work Abstinence-only education, a form of sex education that focuses solely on remaining abstinent until marriage, is not only ineffective but is actually providing a disservice to the youth of America. This type of educational program preaches that the only sure fire way to avoid unwanted pregnancy and to remain (sexually transmitted) disease free is to not have sex. Of course, this is true and should be made abundantly clear, but nearly half of the high schoolers in America have already had sex by the time they participate in a sexual education class or program ("Abstinence Education Programs Are Not Effective"). The reality is that telling kids to “just not have sex”, or scaring them with statistics…show more content…
School sex education programs are not only responsible for providing information for high school students, but to also provide those students with knowledge that they can carry beyond their high school years. So, whether the student is currently engaging in sex or not, they are still being served an injustice by the educational system because at some point in their life, they probably will become sexual active. When that time comes, they need to know how to keep themselves safe and healthy because the moral dilemma of whether having premarital sex is right or wrong should not be left to the school or the state. The education system’s duty is to merely provide education and guidance. There are 900,000 teenage (between ages 15 and 19) pregnancies a year, with 78% of them being unplanned (Richards). A large percentage of these unintentional pregnancies could have been prevented if those teenagers had been properly informed. Instead, programs continue to fail students. In addition to that, 4 million teenagers contract a sexually transmitted disease each year (Richards). These diseases can vary from a mild infection that is easily treatable to an infection or virus that can lead to infertility, or even worse, is life threatening such as HIV. Schools are literally gambling with students’ lives by not…show more content…
In fact, national data shows that the “more strongly abstinence is emphasized in state laws and policies, the higher the average teenage pregnancy and birth rate” (Stanger-Hall). However, studies showed the opposite effect for states that offered a comprehensive approach to sex education, providing information about methods of birth control and contraception, along with encouraging abstinence. Those states tended to have the lowest teen pregnancy rates (Stanger-Hall and
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