Abstinence Only Education

Decent Essays
It only takes a glance at a tv, a billboard, or a magazine to observe a recurring theme: sex sells. In our increasingly hypersexual nation, sex may sell, but it is certainly not taught. This is prevalent in the fact that US has both the highest amount of teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases than any other first world country (Malone and Rodriguez 2). Because of this, there is now a greater concern in both how sexual education is being distributed and taught in the United States, and how that has lead to these issues. For a portion of our history, not only was abstinence-only education heavily encouraged by society, it was also heavily funded by the government. In recent years, this extra funding has ceased to exist, allowing…show more content…
The fact that the United States does not actually require mandatory sex education is of utmost concern, seeing that places where sex education is not taught at all also experience the highest birthrates. In addition to places where sex education is not taught at all, areas in which abstinence-only education were taught also faced higher birthrates (Stanger-Hall and Hall 6). While abstinence only programs have shown no real statistical evidence of success, comprehensive sex education programs have, by combining the positives of both abstinence and information on how to engage in safe sex (Starkman and Rajani 314). In comprehensive sex education, students are taught not only how to use contraceptives properly, but also how to obtain them, as well as other aspects of practicing safe sex. Encouragingly, comprehensive sex education has shown a forty percent success rate in all of the following, “delaying the initiation of sex, reducing the number of sexual partners, and increasing contraceptive use.” Even more impressively, there was sixty-seven percent rate in these areas individually (Malone and Rodriguez 1). Teaching that abstinence is the only option, and providing no alternatives, leaves many teens vulnerable to engaging in unsafe sex out of pure incompetence (Starkman and Rajani 314). Despite many concerns, comprehensive sex education does not make a teenager more likely to be sexually active, and is surprisingly supported by the majority
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